Performance and 0-60 time
It isn’t just the base 261bhp 2.7-litre Boxster that loves (indeed, needs) to rev when asked to stretch its legs, the 3.4-litre S relies on its top end to provide the real kick in its performance, too. Its flat-six engine simply isn’t endowed with masses of low- and mid-range torque, so it’s perhaps just as well that its heady red line isn’t there for show.
From a gravelly, hollow throb at low revs, the engine spins with building smoothness, urgency and aural aggression while the spot-on ratios and butter-slick gearchange combine to make wringing every last one of the 311bhp a rare and exhilarating pleasure.
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The experience is even better with the optional sports exhaust fitted, especially if you appreciate all the crackling explosions on the overrun at high revs. Subjectively it makes the Boxster S feel even quicker than its claimed 0-62mph time of 5.1sec, though, at the sprint benchmark, the 2.7-litre car isn’t that far behind at 5.8sec. Flat out, however, the S hits 173mph, a good 10mph up on the base model.
If that isn’t quite enough, there’s always the GTS which raises the Boxster’s firepower to 325bhp and 273lb ft – making it 14bhp and 8lb ft punchier than the S – and, in league with the lower, tauter and more amply-booted chassis, delivers the mid-engined roadster’s best game, even if the on-paper performance stats (0-62mph in 5.0sec and 174mph) are only marginally improved.
The GTS is truly the pick of the bunch, bringing together all of the Boxster's strong points and simply ramping them up a notch. It feels like an extremely well rounded package and, if you can afford it, is worth the extra investment.