2015 Porsche Boxster GTS Test Drive - Performance Highlights

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 23, 2015

Buyers get added value with the Porsche Boxster GTS as it offers even more power generated by its engines as well as a longer list of standard equipment. It’s the first time for a GTS badge to be attached to an open-top model from the brand.

Porsche Boxster GTS, which was launched in 2014, costs from 71,258 euros (inclusive of VAT). What makes this model a stand-out is a distinct sportiness, which includes the use of prominent lines at the front, clear contours, and air intakes that are very hard to miss due to their size.

It also comes with a set of smoked LED daytime running lights and position lights designed specifically for the GTS. Now offered as standard on this model is a set of Bi-Xenon headlights that operate with the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS).

Also quite stunning is the 10-spoke design selected for the 20-inch Carrera S wheels. Its highly precise lightweight adaptive suspension certainly contributes to making its performance tremendously dynamic.

The Boxster GTS is fitted with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as standard while it remains as an option for the Boxster and Boxster S. An electronic damping control system works by consistently and actively regulating the damping force exerted on each wheel in consideration of the road conditions and the driver’s way of maneuvering the vehicle.

The suspension is now lower by 10mm. Since the system is constantly active, it won’t need to be turned on and assistance arrives much faster. However, users can choose their desired driving style. Comfort and performance are equally prioritized in the ‘Normal’ driving mode. In the ‘Sport’ mode, the system is considerably firmer.

If either one is not to the driver’s liking, the PASM may be adjusted to increase comfort or sportiness. The results are immediate. Right away, the driver will experience improved performance or more stability. Giving off a sportier feel, the Boxster GTS features a new design for its rear apron.

It also has these incredible smoked taillights. Of course, it has that black ‘Boxster GTS’ logo that’s a true attention-getter. Meanwhile, the sound produced by its black, dual-tube sports tailpipe and its sports exhaust system can’t be mistaken for anything else other than that of Porsche.

The 20-inch Carrera S wheels are standard but Porsche also offers alternative sets of wheels that come in different sizes. When the tire pressure is low, a warning is seen on the on-board computer display. This tire pressure monitoring feature is standard on the Boxster GTS.

A screen in the instrument cluster displays the pressure levels of every tire. This makes it more convenient and lessens the risks for the driver since the system provides instant updates after the engine has been started, when there’s a wheel change, or when the tire pressure has been corrected.

Because the Boxster is very dynamic, it uses internally vented brake discs that have also been cross-drilled so that they work well even when the road is wet. The Boxster GTS front brake discs have a diameter of 330mm, which makes it 15mm bigger than those used by the Boxster.

Meanwhile, the rear brake discs have a diameter of 299mm. Minimalist black leather is used as standard on the interior. Notably, the Boxster and Boxster S are fitted with the three-spoke sports steering wheel as standard. Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), which is available as an option, comes with a couple of ergonomic switches.

An additional display is placed above the airbag module if the Sport Chrono Package and PDK options are chosen to show if the SPORT, SPORT PLUS and Launch Control functions have been activated. Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) is standard on the Boxster GTS but it remains optional for the other Boxster models within the range.

The road is always uniformly lighted with this system regardless of what is used, dipped or main beam. This level of illumination is achieved with this system composed of Bi-Xenon main headlights with halogen main beam headlights, a headlight cleaning system, and automatic dynamic range control.

It has a dynamic cornering light function that enables the main headlights to point towards the inside of a bend, using the steering angle and road speed as the basis. With PDLS, the light is distributed and adjusted to match the speed. Once the rear fog light is on, the adverse weather function is activated. Hence, there’s increased safety during cornering. However, this is only effective in the dark.

Boxster models are equipped with electromechanical steering. Since it uses a variable steering ratio, the driver is guaranteed that responses are direct, efficient, and precise. Energy is expended by the electric motor only when the steering wheel has been turned on. The fact that it doesn’t use hydraulic fluid means that servicing won’t need to be done anymore. Owners can get the Power steering Plus, a speed-sensitive system, which is available as an option.

This is perfect for those who want more ease and convenience when they maneuver and park. To keep the car stable in challenging situations, Porsche fitted it with Porsche Stability Management (PSM) as standard equipment. Its sensors do constant monitoring of the vehicle’s speed, lateral acceleration, and yaw velocity.

And from these data, the direction of travel can be calculated by PSM at any given moment. This is why when a car begins to oversteer or understeer, PSM applies selective braking on certain wheels so that the car stays stable. Roads that are wet or have low grip wreak havoc on vehicles during acceleration. PSM significantly reduces the risk of accidents by improving agility, safety, and traction with its automatic brake differential (ABD) and anti-slip regulation (ASR).

The integrated ABS can reduce braking distances but for those who prefer a sportier drive, the PSM could be switched off. However, PSM can still kick in if the car is braked and requires ABS assistance. ABS and ABD stays on at all times. Furthermore, PSM features engine drag torque control (EDC), precharging of the brake system, as well as brake assist. Upon suddenly releasing the accelerator pedal, PSM will make sure that the next step is ready.

At this point, the braking system is recharged and its brake pads are slightly pressing on the brake discs. As a result, maximum braking power is achieved earlier. In addition, brake assist can detect a panic braking situation and puts in just the right amount of brake pressure necessary for maximum deceleration.

Powertrain

Powering the Boxster GTS is the 3.4-litre flat-six engine with direct fuel injection (DFI) and VarioCam Plus that offers 243 kW (330 hp) at 6,700 rpm. It generates 11 kW (15 hp) more power than the engine used by the Boxster S. The maximum torque of 370 Nm can be reached at a range of 4,500 to 5,800 rpm. Due to the lightweight construction, it has a very low power-to-weight ratio of just 5.5 kg/kW (4.11 kg/hp).

Accelerating from a standstill to 62mph takes only 5.0 seconds when the Boxster is fitted with the 6-speed gearbox. It is capable of attaining a top speed of 174 mph. Porsche offers an option for those want to boost its performance further: the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK). With this feature, it only takes the car 4.9 seconds to sprint from zero to 62mph.

Nonetheless, Porsche offers the Launch Control function of the Sport Chrono Package for that lift in power to do the sprint in only 4.7 seconds. To save on fuel, an auto start/stop function has been installed on all the Boxster models as a standard feature. This works by turning off the engine when the driver stops, chooses neutral, and lets go of the clutch pedal.

Simply applying and holding the brake activates the PDK for the Boxster GTS. The car occupants won’t be inconvenienced when the engine shuts down since all the audio and communications systems are undisturbed. The engine restarts when the driver operates the clutch or releases the brake (for the units with PDK).

People who have to drive through bad traffic will appreciate this feature. Here’s the full set of fuel economy figures for the Boxster GTS: Urban in l/100 km (mpg) 12.7 (22.2)-11.4 (24.8); Extra urban in l/100 km (mpg) 7.1 (39.8)-6.3 (44.8); Combined in l/100 km (mpg) 9.0 (31.4)-8.2 (34.4).

Meanwhile, it has CO2 emissions of 211-190 g/km. Buyers may also consider the optional 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), which could be selected in either manual or automatic mode. Installing this option means that gearshifts are completed in milliseconds with continuous power.

Its advantages include: (1) faster acceleration than the manual gearbox; (2) reduction in fuel consumption; and (3) higher level of comfort. Fans will also be interested to know about this standard feature -- the SPORT button on the centre console.

This improves responsiveness and leads to more pleasurable driving. A more direct response is gained from the throttle. The rev-limiter is adjusted to be on a harder setting while some modifications are made on the engine dynamics to enhance performance.

This SPORT mode also shuts down the auto start/stop function. A Boxster that has the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission has shift points that have been reconfigured to operate at higher engine speeds. This reduces the shifts times while gearshifts are faster and firmer.

Furthermore, throttle-blip downshifts are accompanied with an emotive engine sound. In addition, coasting mode is also instantly turned off. The switchable sports exhaust system with its dual-tube sports tailpipe is another feature that’s already available as standard on the Boxster GTS but remains optional for the Boxster and Boxster S.

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