Auto123 gets into a file First drive of the 2022 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0.
Rome, Italy – The limit of perfection.
Is there such a thing?
Casablanca movie perhaps? How about a Boeing 747? Perhaps Tiger Woods’ approaching shot, at the height of his fame? Popcorn movie? Your mother’s apple pie?
Of course, by definition, “perfection” is something quantifiable – 100 percent, for example – but it rarely happens that the word “perfection” escapes the subjective bias inherent in the person saying it, so there will always be arguments.
but not today. Not in my book because I recently tested samples of what could be a . excellent. Sports. car.
The beauty of the 2022 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 is that on paper it’s not perfect. It is not the most powerful sports car offered by Porsche. It’s not the most expensive either. Heck, it’s not even the most expensive 718 you can get, because it is eclipsed — in terms of price, performance, and exclusivity — by the 718 Spyder and its sibling 718 Cayman GT4 RS.
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Here’s the thing, although as cool as those cars are, they’re vulnerable. The Spyder’s roof is such a pain to work that you don’t even want to do it, and the GT4 RS, airbox in the cabin and super-rigid body settings make it a truly racetrack-oriented car.
The GTS 4.0 has a traditional folding soft-top, and also the one thing – a true beating heart – that sits at the center of the other two: a naturally aspirated flat-6 “Boxer” engine in an era where every other Porsche Taycan EV and 911 are being shipped. GT3 Turbocharged, the GTS 4.0 stands as a fascinating look at what made Porsche so coveted before the turbo hit: the smooth, progressive and completely unique delivery of power to a Porsche. NA flat drive.
In this app, it makes 395 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, and while that puts it at the bottom of the power spectrum when it comes to the GTS range (even the Macan GTS crossover achieves more), you’d never know. You’d never know because that’s a 7800rpm redline motor’s free spin gap (which makes peak power up to 7000rpm) so that speed is a byproduct of the lively feel you get when you open the taps. Plus, we all know that with the wind in your hair (and with your bottom near the ground), everything feels faster.
Not that the 718 GTS is a slouch. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 4.0 seconds on models equipped with a 7-speed dual-clutch (shown here), to a top speed of 288 km/h. So yeah, don’t slouch.
All before we get to the real element of this thing, the real “Gran Turismo Sport” (not the game; that’s what Porsche says the “GTS” stands for) aspects of what this car is about: its behaviors through corners.
In addition to the increased power it has on the 718 Boxster S 4-cylinder (about 45 hp and an additional 1 lb-ft), the GTS specification provides a host of standard chassis features. The Sport Chrono package with its watch above the dashboard, for example, is standard here. It adds a Sport Plus mode for faster gearshifts, active engine mounts, torque vectoring and a mechanical limited-slip differential. In addition to the Sport Chrono, you also get the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and the ride height is reduced by 20 mm.
Among it all, though, active powertrains — ubiquitous as it may sound — are what really do for me.
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