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Driven: Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. Image by Porsche UK.

Driven: Porsche 718 Boxster GTS
Donít worry about the 718ís lack of cylinders; instead, worry about a new French competitor...


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Porsche 718 Boxster GTS

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Good points: the handling, the speed, the interior, the general Porsche-y air of 'rightness'

Not so good: as much as you don't want to, you occasionally wonder 'what if this had a six-pot engine?'...

Key Facts

Model tested: Porsche 718 Boxster GTS manual
Price: 718 Boxster range from £47,935; 718 Boxster GTS from £61,727, car as tested £71,191
Engine: 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Body style: two-door mid-engined roadster
CO2 emissions: 205g/km (VED Band 191-220: £1,240 in year one, then £450 per annum years two to six of ownership, then £140 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 31.3mpg
Top speed: 180mph
0-62mph: 4.6 seconds
Power: 365hp at 6,500rpm
Torque: 420Nm at 1,900-5,500rpm
Boot space: 275 litres (150 litres front, 125 litres rear)

Our view:

If you're in any doubt, any doubt whatsoever, that the move to four-cylinder power was a wrong 'un for the Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman twins, then you need to drive one of these GTS models. It will put your troubled mind at rest within seconds of firing up the mid-mounted, 2.5-litre 'boxer' four and rolling off down the road. Because it's as sensational in the handling department as any Porsche we can think of.

Everything flows so beautifully from mile one, with the genius centred around the steering. It might not quite match Porsche's old hydraulic systems for feel, but by modern standards the weighting, feedback and consistency of the 718 GTS's rack is second-to-none. It allows placement of the car to feel like it is taking place by thought process alone, with nothing so gauche as muscle movements required to get the roadster where you want it. With such utterly faithful information flowing back through your palms, fingertips and wrists, then you very quickly build rapport with the 718 GTS and start to explore what it can do.

What you find is that it can do a heck of a lot. We did 508 miles in it in a week, spending nearly 14 hours behind the wheel, and at no point did it feel out of its comfort zone. That's despite the fact it had to trudge along motorways at a steady cruise, whereupon the four-cylinder rationale makes total sense when you see a 32.5mpg return showing up on the trip computer. The comfort levels are good, thanks to two-stage adjustable dampers, and all the usual ease-of-use Boxster attributes remain intact, only now enhanced by the latest Porsche Communication Management infotainment - the one minor gripe here being that it's presented on a necessarily small screen, given the Boxster's confined cabin.

However, on challenging roads and when you're giving the GTS a workout, it's magnificent. We even like the soundtrack. OK, it's not as high-revs zingy as the old flat-sixes, but there's a rich, warbling tone to it that's quite alluring and it becomes louder, more insistent and even loveable as you close in on the redline. Even better, our test model was a six-speed manual and the slickly mechanical feel of the transmission's throw across the gate, plus the action of having to wring the 2.5 right out and time your upshifts perfectly, made driving the Porsche quickly an intense and incredibly enjoyable experience. Stuttgart's midships master has still got 'it', no doubt about it. There are few finer sports cars, of any size, shape and price, available right now.

But there's a sting in this particular tale. And it's not the GTS's £71,000-plus price tag (with options). No, it's a case of pure bad timing. We had the 718 booked in for a week in early October and, by chance, the opportunity to drive the revived Alpine A110 presented itself at exactly the same time. And the Frenchie was operating on an even higher plane than this German legend. So while we adore the 718 Boxster GTS, we adore the Alpine A110 that little bit more. And the problem here is, for all our adulation of it, the 718's four-pot engine. If the Porsche had one of the company's traditionally crisp flat-sixes singing away in the middle of the piece, then you'd be tempted to say the A110 was not quite up to snuff. As it is, this time around, Germany has to cede top honours to France. A bit like the 2018 World Cup, then.


Alpine A110: no convertible model as yet but, boy! Have the French bunch come back from the dead in some style with this thing. It is unbeatable for driving involvement, it really is.

Audi TT RS Roadster: for all its five-cylinder howling and quattro traction, you know what we're going to say next, don't you? The 718 Boxster is the superior car to the ultimate TT.

Lotus Elise Cup 250: the Norfolk outfit has a preternatural gift for damping and steering feel, but you have to admit, the 718 Boxster is the far better all-round proposition.

Matt Robinson - 18 Oct 2018    - Porsche road tests
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2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. Image by Porsche UK.2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. Image by Porsche UK.2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. Image by Porsche UK.2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. Image by Porsche UK.2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. Image by Porsche UK.

2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. Image by Porsche UK.2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. Image by Porsche UK.2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. Image by Porsche UK.2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. Image by Porsche UK.2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. Image by Porsche UK.


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