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2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS Aren't Quicker Than the S Models

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 11/12/2018 Joseph Capparella
The GTS Variants of the Boxster and Cayman Are No Quicker Than the S Models: We test the GTS versions of the 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman to see how they perform compared to their S equivalents.© Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc We test the GTS versions of the 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman to see how they perform compared to their S equivalents.

Porsche recently made the controversial move to switch to four cylinders for its 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman lineup. There's still a chance that upcoming track-focused versions of these mid-engined sports cars will use one of the company's vaunted flat-six engines, but for now Porsche is doing its best to convince doubters about the legitimacy and performance potential of these flat-fours, and the new GTS variants of the Boxster and Cayman are its latest argument.

As it has for some time now, GTS denotes an emphasis on sportiness, and the new Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS pack Porsche's most potent roadgoing four-cylinder ever. It's a massaged version of the same turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four found in the S variants. Thanks to higher boost pressure from its turbocharger, it produces an extra 15 horsepower for a total of 365 and is paired with the same six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch-automatic gearboxes as the lesser models.

a car parked on the side of a road: 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman GTS© Chris Amos 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman GTS

Numbers Don't Lie

The turbo fours have demonstrated their prowess in previous tests of the 718, and these GTS models were no exception. But while the numbers are formidable, there was little difference between the GTS versions and the 718 Boxster S and Cayman S variants we've previously tested.

Both GTS cars, a Cayman with the manual and a Boxster with the PDK automatic, exactly matched the zero-to-60-mph times of the equivalent S models, with the Cayman laying down a time of 4.1 seconds and the Boxster hitting the mark in 3.6 seconds. Skidpad and braking results were a dead heat, too, with the GTS versions beating the S versions by only a few feet in stopping distances from 70 mph, and with skidpad results of 0.01 to 0.04 g respectively. At our Lightning Lap event, however, a Cayman GTSdid beat a similar Cayman S around Virginia International Raceway's Grand Course by a substantial 1.6 seconds.

The GTS doesn't quite seem to earn its keep in terms of an objective performance improvement, but maybe its intangibles make up for it? The visuals are appealing inside and out, with darkened trim for the headlights, taillights, badges, and wheels and all manner of microsuede pieces inside. And like any Boxster or Cayman, the GTS cars are thrilling and satisfying to drive, supremely balanced sports cars that engender confidence in the way they go, stop, and steer.

a car parked in a parking lot: 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman GTS© Chris Amos 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman GTS

Adding It Up

The real appeal of the GTS models comes in their list of standard equipment. Although their starting prices are $11,400 more than the S versions, the GTS includes features such as brake-based torque vectoring, the Sport Chrono package, adaptive dampers with a lower ride height, 20-inch wheels, and sport seats that are otherwise optional on the Boxster S.

Really, these mid-engined Porsche sports cars are fantastic no matter how they're equipped. And for those looking for the outright sportiest version, the GTS might just make a case for itself purely in terms of value. Just don't pull up next to a 718 S at a stoplight and expect to leave it in the dust.

Research the Porsche 718 on MSN Autos >>


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