First drive: 2016 Porsche Cayman & Boxster GTS in Germany
Porsche is going to rebadge their Boxster and Cayman as “718” models this year, complete with 4-cylinder turbo engines, the first of which have just been revealed. However, the GTS models will get a stay of execution from the turbo era for now. We drove the last of these naturally-aspirated mid-engined Porsches late last year in Stuttgart, Germany.
At first glance, there isn’t much separating the Boxster and Cayman GTS models from their regular brethren, aside from some blacked-out trim bits and smoked lights. However, the GTS cars apparently have slightly different front bumpers with larger air intakes as well as a redone rear apron.
The GTS cars come with a 340 hp 3.4-litre flat-6, 15 horses more than the Boxster/Cayman S, with either manual or automatic gearboxes. Our testers came with the 7-speed “PDK” dual-clutch automatics.
Inside, the dash and doors are lined in leather from top to bottom, not losing anything to its pricier stablemates. In fact, we drove a 911 back-to-back with these cars and they gave off the exact same premium vibe.
Truth be told, it’s hard to tell how the GTS is better than the S versions, since we didn’t have the latter to compare with. Going by the specs sheets, the GTS has sportier suspension tuning, more standard equipment and the aforementioned extra ponies.
All we know is they drive amazingly well, with grippy handling and unnoticeable body roll. The weighty electric steering is sharp and direct, although feedback is middling at best. And the brakes are always dependable. We had a good time on the twisty mountain roads around Stuttgart.
The engine needs the revs high to get you any sense of speed, as low-end torque isn’t this car’s strong suit. Keep the revs above 5000 rpm though, that too in “sport plus” mode with the exhaust valves fully open, and the uniquely-Porsche grunting soundtrack is accompanied with useful power.
The PDK automatic remains Porsche’s greatest achievement though, with lightning-quick shifts to manual paddle inputs, or always choosing the right gears in auto mode even, with downshifts under braking as well, but only in “sport plus” mode.
No doubt, the Boxster and the Cayman are excellent modern sports cars. Everyone knows that Porsche can add as much as 30% to the cost of a car on options alone. When you do the math, the GTS iterations are actually great value for money, given standard equipment such as bi-xenon headlights with a dynamic lighting system for corners, ten-spoke 20-inch Carrera S wheels and the unique bumpers. If you’re buying one of these cars, buy the GTS.
For prices and specs, visit the Porsche buyer guide.
Photos by Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury.