2015 Porsche Boxster GTS Test Drive: A Supercar in Disguise

Article by Christian A., on November 11, 2015

Marking the first time for an open-top Porsche model to come with a GTS badge, the Boxster GTS is available with more powerful engines and more equipment offered as standard. Introduced in 2014, the Porsche Boxster GTS has a MSRP of $78,500 in the United States, when equipped with the PDK transmission.

The standard interior uses leather in minimalist black. It is standard for the Boxster and Boxster S to get the three-spoke sports steering wheel.

Two ergonomic switches benefit those who request the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK). If the Sport Chrono Package and PDK options are selected, there would be an extra display on top of the airbag module to indicate if the SPORT, SPORT PLUS and Launch Control functions have been turned on.

As an option, Porsche offers a multifunction steering wheel that gives the added comfort and convenience of multiple audio, telephone and navigation functions. The ‘Porsche’ logo is embroidered on the headrests of the Sports seats Plus. It comes with more prominent side bolsters of the seat squab and backrest. Lateral support is improved with firmer padding.

Porsche cares about your posture and so its seats have electric backrest adjustment as well as manual height and fore/aft adjustment. Another optional feature is the two-zone automatic climate control with the driver and passenger getting individual temperature controls that have three A/C modes to choose from.

Offered as standard is the CDR audio system with an intuitively controlled 7-inch touchscreen. It consists of a CD radio with FM twin tuner with RDS, dynamic autostore, 30 memory presets, and speed-sensitive volume control. In the glove compartment, there’s the AUX interface that allows connectivity with external sources like a compatible MP3 player.

But for the music buff, they may want to consider the optional BOSE Surround Sound System that has eight amplifier channels with a 445-watt total output. With 10 loudspeakers and an active subwoofer hidden at the back of the dashboard, it provides balanced acoustics.

The car occupants get full use of the remarkable sound spectrum of 5.1 digital recordings with the combined features of the CDR Plus audio system and optional Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with the BOSE Surround Sound System that ensures audio playback of DVDs.

But even so, other audio functions like MP3s and CDs can still work, either in stereo or in a virtual surround mode by BOSE Centerpoint 2. The hood of the Boxster models is fully electric – a standard feature. It only takes 9 seconds to complete opening and closing while the engine is running. The hood may be operated in speeds of up to 31 mph.

But when the car is on a standstill, a key may be used to remotely operate the hood. The hood is designed to blend with the car’s contours and to emphasize the car’s stretched profile. It flows backwards and is then swept into the body. Its silhouette is suggestive of outstanding aerodynamics and an amazing dynamic performance.

Since the hood can be compactly stowed above the engine compartment, it doesn’t cut into the luggage compartment space. If noise is an issue for you, be assured with the fact that its hood motor is exceedingly quiet and comes with the most advanced soundproofing fabric, which improves acoustics.

It has a big glass rear screen that is scratch-resistant and electrically heated, ensuring your comfort no matter what the weather is. The Boxster GTS has a wind deflector, which lessens air turbulence in the cabin and which easily fits to the roll-over bar, as standard.

However, it is optional for the Boxster. Safety is of the utmost importance with Porsche. During a roll-over or side impact, survival space is created by the dual roll-over protection. Super- and ultrahigh- strength steels were used to build the front roll-over protection element.

Behind the seats, we find rear roll-over bars made of a composite structure of aluminium and steel. These have been fully trimmed so that they can blend in and offer exceptional safety. Fastening the roll-over bars is easy with the presence of upper seat belt guides. Already a legend, the Boxster GTS design is a classic one but it comes with a sense of freedom.

The Boxster GTS is equipped with the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) as standard equipment. However, it is optional for the other models in the Boxster range. This system – which is composed of Bi-Xenon main headlights with halogen main beam headlights, a headlight cleaning system and automatic dynamic range control – uniformly illuminates the road whether dipped or main beam is chosen.

With its dynamic cornering light function, the main headlights point towards the inside of a bend depending on the steering angle and road speed. Furthermore, PDLS makes adjustments on its light distribution to correspond with the speed. If the rear fog light is turned on, it activates the adverse weather function and this raises safety when cornering.

But take note that it only works when it’s dark. The Boxster models feature electromechanical steering. As can be expected from Porsche, its steering system (with a variable steering ratio) offers precise, direct, and efficient responses. Only when the steering wheel is turned does the electric motor use energy. Servicing will no longer be required because it doesn’t have hydraulic fluid.

Maneuvering and parking is made more convenient and easy with the optional Power steering Plus, a speed-sensitive system. Porsche Stability Management (PSM) is available as standard. It keeps the car stable even when you’re pushing the limits of its performance. With its sensors, the car’s speed, lateral acceleration, and yaw velocity are consistently monitored.

From these data, PSM can calculate the direction of travel at any moment. When a car starts to oversteer or understeer, PSM causes the car to stay stable by applying selective braking on individual wheels. During acceleration on road surfaces that are wet or have low grip, PSM enhances traction, safety, and agility with the use of automatic brake differential (ABD) and anti-slip regulation (ASR).

Braking distances is cut to a minimum with the integrated ABS. For those want a sportier drive, the PSM may be turned off. But PSM will still intervene if the car is braked and it needs ABS assistance.

For safety, ABS and ABD stay on at all times. PSM also comes with engine drag torque control (EDC), precharging of the brake system and brake assist. PSM will instantly prepare you for what you will do next if you make a sudden release of the accelerator pedal. Since the braking system is precharged, its brake pads are in light contact with the brake discs.

This means that maximum braking power comes much earlier. Brake pressure needed for maximum deceleration is generated when a panic braking case is detected by brake assist.

Exterior Design

Even when it is stationary, it exudes a sporty feel unlike any other model because of its boldly defined front with distinct contours and massive air intakes. Adding to this sporty look are the GTS specific smoked LED daytime running lights and position lights.

Among its standard equipment are a set of Bi-Xenon headlights that include the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS). Taking your eyes off the 10-spoke design of its 20-inch Carrera S wheels is certainly a challenge.

Its performance is surely dynamic with its lightweight adaptive suspension that’s as precise as possible. While Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is optional for the Boxster and Boxster S, it comes as standard on the Boxster GTS.

The damping force on every wheel is continuously and actively regulated by an electronic damping control system to a certain degree depending on the driver’s style and the conditions of the road. Furthermore, its suspension has been lowered by 10 mm.

As the system is always active, it doesn’t have to be switched on. This means that assistance comes quickly. But by pressing on a button, it can be adjusted to the preferred driving style. The ‘Normal’ driving mode is a mix of comfort and performance while the setup for the ’Sport’ mode is a lot firmer.

A choice can be made on the PASM to enhance either sportiness or comfort. Doing so leads to concrete results. Immediately, the driver notices a better performance or more driving stability, making driving more enjoyable. Hinting at a sporty performance, the Boxster GTS has striking smoked taillights and a uniquely designed rear apron.

Fans will appreciate the black ‘Boxster GTS’ logo as well as the distinctive Porsche sound delivered by the black, dual-tube sports tailpipe and its sports exhaust system. Keeping to the road is done in style with the 20-inch Carrera S wheels that come with a 10-spoke design.

However, Porsche offers alternative wheels that can be available in various sizes up to 20 inches. Fitted as standard on the Boxster GTS is tire pressure monitoring (TPM), which informs the driver when tire pressure is low by issuing warnings on the display screen of its on-board computer.

The pressure levels in the four tires are shown on the screen in the instrument cluster. Since the system gives quick updates after a wheel change, a tire pressure correction, or an engine start, drivers benefit as it reduces risks and makes it more convenient. Choice of brake discs is crucial due to the dynamism of these Boxster models.

The automaker gave it brake discs that have been internally vented and cross-drilled to make them work better even in wet conditions. The front brake discs of the Boxster GTS have a 330mm diameter, which is 15 mm bigger than those of the Boxster. The rear brake discs, on the other hand, measure 299 mm.


Power for the Boxster GTS is boosted by the 3.4-litre flat-six engine with direct fuel injection (DFI) and VarioCam Plus that delivers 243 kW (330 hp) at 6,700 rpm. This output is higher than that of the Boxster S by 11 kW (15 hp). Maximum torque of 370 Nm can be accessed over the range from 4,500 to 5,800 rpm.

Because of its lightweight structure, it has a remarkably low power-to-weight ratio of only 5.5 kg/kW (4.11 kg/hp). It takes just 4.7 seconds for the Boxster GTS with the 6-speed gearbox to accelerate from zero to 60 mph. Its top speed is at 174 mph.

Pushing its performance even further is the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), which enables the car to make the 0-60 mph sprint in only 4.6 seconds. But with the Launch Control function of the Sport Chrono Package, it gets an added boost and allows it to reach this speed in a mere 4.4 seconds.

All the Boxster models have the auto start/stop function – a fuelsaving feature -- as standard. This shuts down the engine when you stop, select neutral and release the clutch pedal. For cars that have Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), it is as easy as applying and holding the brake.

However, all of the audio and communication systems stay active. As soon as the driver operates the clutch or releases the brake (for cars with PDK), its engine will restart. This feature is particularly useful in heavy traffic or in towns.

The Boxster GTS has the following fuel economy ratings: 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); CO2 emissions in g/km 211-190. Meanwhile, the 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), which is available in either manual or automatic mode, is an option.

Gearshifts are accomplished in milliseconds with uninterrupted power. It offers quicker acceleration than the manual gearbox as well as enhances comfort and cuts fuel use. Fitted as standard, the SPORT button on the centre console activates better response and lead to a higher level of driving enjoyment.

Throttle response becomes more direct. Adjustments are made on the rev-limiter to a harder setting and some tweaking is done on the engine dynamics to achieve performance driving. It also turns off the auto start/stop function. When the Boxster features the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission, its shift points will be reconfigured to run at higher engine speeds.

It also cuts the shifts times while gearshifts are quicker and firmer. In addition, throttle-blip downshifts come with an emotive engine sound. Also, coasting mode is instantly deactivated.

Another standard feature for the Boxster GTS is the switchable sports exhaust system with its characteristic dual-tube sports tailpipe. However, it’s an optional feature for the Boxster and Boxster S.

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