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Pugnacious Porsche – 718 Boxster GTS review

718 Boxster GTS review New Zealand

We all have a friend or even an acquaintance, that has what is commonly known as a fiery temper. In the most part, they are mild-mannered, easy to chat to and on the whole fun, however, there is a dark side to them. At any given moment (and often when you least expect it), they will burst into a seemingly pugnacious fit of rage. The new Porsche 718 Boxster GTS displays some of these traits only with one distinct difference, with the GTS you know how to poke the bear.

The new Porsche 718 Boxster GTS is a great looking soft top sports car. It sits in that sweet spot of open-air fun and unmistakable Porsche styling. The two-seater mid-engined set up shows its lust for performance but with two separate luggage areas, it also displays a certain amount of user practicality. Unprovoked, the Boxster GTS will quietly blend into day to day traffic (as much as a Porsche can), that is until you turn the dial on the GT Sports steering wheel and ‘irritate’ it – then the fun really begins.

The instant Sports or Sports + is engaged, the 268kW/430Nm available from the 2.5L turbocharged Boxer engine feels unleashed, a sensation emphatically underlined by the chest beating bellow that emanates from the twin tailpipes at the rear. The GTS sits lower on its haunches (up to 10mm) and is poised ready to fight. 0-100km/h is achieved in 4.1 seconds and top speed is a reported 290km/h – where is a racetrack when you need it?

The GTS is available in 6-speed manual transmission or Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), which I found housed in my review model, it’s a transmission that is constantly popping and crackling as you race up and down the numbers and there is a very satisfying mechanicalness to the way it engages drive selection.

The new GTS has a raft of standard features that were previously only available as options. Sport Chrono Package, Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with mechanical rear differential lock and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) however, the model I had been given had a few extra toys to throw out of its cot. ParkAssist, Lane Change Assist, Power Steering Plus and a Bose sound system. It also came with Adaptive Sport Seat Plus, not are the seats bathed in leather but the support seems endless, with my back and even my legs being squeezed as tight as a professional wrestler.

My GTS came in GT silver with a black roof, in fact, black plays a big part in the GTS’s creative. The front light clusters and Bi-Xenon headlights are black-tinted as are the rear tail lights. Black logos (rear and side), black rear lower bumper and centrally positioned black tailpipes, even the 20-inch wheels painted in black (satin finish) – It may sound a lot, but the sports car wears it well.

Luckily enough for me, Auckland weather laid on some mod winter sunshine which meant heated seats on and top-down (a simple push-button affair). As always, there is a holiday feel that comes with driving a convertible, however, the GTS’s Sport+ exhaust note compels you to push the Boxster a little faster than normal and in turn, receive its wonderfully aggressive backlash. This car is quick, and since you are barely mm’s away from the floor, it seems even quicker. Steering and throttle response is delightful and the torque vectoring is a welcomed addition when taking to the winding out of town roads.

The 718 Boxster GTS is a car you can drive sedately and I’m sure that when those long summer days are upon us, a leisurely coastal road cruise would be on the menu, however, having spent but a couple of days annoying this 2-seater, I strongly recommend heading to a track (or something similar), turning the dial on the wheel and poking this pugnacious Porsche.

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