In my opinion they did their job, but the styling, dynamics and even performance was left a little wanting from a sharper, faster end of the scale perspective.
I am sure almost every Boxster owner will disagree with what I have just said, but true performance enthusiasts won’t – and it is my job when testing a car to look at things in black and white, while keeping an eye on the emotional aspect of the package offered.
Back then the generation one car had only 150kW of power from its 2.5 litre engine and was good for a rated top speed of 235km/h via a Tiptronic box. A 3.2 litre was introduced in 2000 as one of two engine options and this saw 185kW being available and a claimed 255km/h with the same box. A few years later, in 2003, the power was bumped up to 191kW.
2005 saw the second generation car with power now up to 206kW, while in 2007 a 217kW 3.4 litre was introduced. In 2009 the second generation car was facelifted and given a direct fuel injection – and this saw another jump in power to 228kW.
But for me, things changed for the Boxster when the generation three car was launched in 2012. The new car now had the looks, the chassis and the power along with Porsche PDK gearbox offerings to bring a good looking and competitive package to the market.
Since then we have seen the S derivative break cover and now have the top of the range GTS model that adds some serious attitude to a class-leading package. The name says it all: Porsche GTS, stands for Gran Turismo Sport and has promised outstanding Porsche performance ever since the legendary 904 Carrera GTS, dating back to 1963.
Your GTS differs from the other Boxster models by offering a unique front end with smoked bi-xenon headlights, along with the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) as standard, a modified rear body apron and exterior badges in silky gloss black. This is certainly no longer a car you simply dismiss in the looks department.
Being a Porsche you have unbeatable dynamics, thanks to the exclusive features fitted as standard such as PASM and Sport Chrono that let you cruise around town in comfort one moment and the next you hit a button and switch to stalker mode that not only fine tunes the suspension for some fast action, but also unleashes an aggressive and grumpy snap, crackle and pop soundtrack from the standard sports exhaust to announce your not-so-innocent intentions in no uncertain terms.
I will admit I seldom let the Boxster GTS run in standard automatic mode.
I far preferred to run the car in Sport or Sport Plus modes and run up and down the seven-speed PDK gearbox and make full use of the dynamics of the car and revel in the soundtrack available from the 3.4 litre direct injection powerplant that now produces 243kW.
Take this car to the track or a twisty mountain pass and it will take chunks of time out of the likes of BMW’s Z4, Merc’s SLK and Jaguar’s F-Type – not forgetting it is an open top roadster. It is the most dynamic of the bunch.
And let me tell you, the Porsche Boxster GTS might be outgunned on paper by the competition, but it is when put against the clock it surprises them all by jumping to 100km/h in just 5.33 seconds, hitting the quarter mile in 13.52 seconds, while crossing the 1km mark at 220km/h on the way to a true top speed of 282km/h.
This, you must remember, is up on the Reef, where our thin oxygen-deprived air robs a naturally aspirated car such as this of around 18% of its horsepower. Down at sea level, you can expect even sharper performance with a few tenths of a second shaved off here and there.
Inside it is as to be expected: a sports steering wheel, two proper sports seats and a leather interior that is accentuated by the must-have Alcantara do duty.
You also get the black GTS badge embroidered on the headrests, a rev counter with GTS badge and door sill plates that also display a black badge.
This is not a family car; at
R928 000 or R978 000, depending if you opt for the three- or five-year Porsche Drive Plan, which makes it one the best priced in terms of the other premium offerings in this segment, this is a personal indulgence that is best enjoyed alone or with your significant other at pace.
And as an added bonus, you can drop the top and simply relax and revel in the great weather this country has to offer.