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#1 2019-06-19 06:12:54

Cadey
Member
Registered: 2019-04-13
Posts: 5

Is the new Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder the perfect sports car?

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It looks like Porsche has released driving heaven. The 2020 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder is everything we wanted from a pure lightweight sports car.

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#2 2019-09-17 08:03:03

simonpegg3123
Member
Registered: 2019-09-17
Posts: 1

Re: Is the new Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder the perfect sports car?

The Scottish countryside feels epic, a Tolkienesque landscape conjuring visions of orcs and whimsy (and an unshakeable thirst for post-drive Scotch whisky). I probed these Lowland hills near Edinburgh recently, helming Porsche’s new 718 Boxster Spyder. The car thrilled. The 2020 Spyder is, essentially, the track-special 718 Cayman GT4 with a folding soft top. That top sits neatly under a clamshell cover, smoothing the rear of the Spyder while allowing the car’s 4.0-liter flat-six to scream into the cabin, unfiltered.

Alongside that engine, the GT4’s other talents infuse the Spyder. There’s the notchy and accurate shifter stirring the six-speed manual, paired with excellent steering feel and a razor-sharp chassis. The car serves another purpose, too: antidote. Enthusiasts complained about the turbocharged flat-four engines pervading the Boxster lineup. It didn't sound right, didn't deliver power right, didn't feel like a Porsche engine, they whined. Well, the six-cylinder Boxster has returned. Enthusiasts, rejoice.

But, a problem with the flat-six rhetoric emerged during my drive among the orcs. I couldn’t stop thinking about a "lesser" Boxster.

Before the trip to Scotland, R&T borrowed a 718 Boxster GTS from Porsche. You know, the one with a 365-hp turbo-four. The goal was to re-acquaint ourselves with Porsche’s mid-engine sports car ahead of the Spyder’s introduction. I picked up the GTS in midtown Manhattan, dodged potholes the size of swimming pools on my commute home, and reveled in the seven-speed PDK transmission’s seamless, brainless efficacy. I parked the GTS street-side, feeling fresh, like I’d just wafted home in a Mercedes.

The next day, I pointed the GTS north, trading New York City’s early-morning bustle for the bucolic bliss of Lime Rock, Connecticut. The roads surrounding Lime Rock Park raceway are much like the track itself—dipping, rising, winding, narrow. Perfect territory to suss out a sports car.

The GTS was a willing partner. I let the top down and reveled in the summer heat flitting over my forearms, awash in the burbling notes from the 2.5-liter four. The Boxster dove into blind corners with vigor, clawing out of each bend on a wave of turbo boost. Full torque (317 lb.-ft) is available from 1900-5000 rpm, with a redline set at 7500 rpm, lending a punchy, growling character to the GTS. I settled into a groove with that engine, hammering the throttle the instant each corner exit appeared. I enjoyed every second.
I’ve never understood the cold reception for this four-cylinder. As a former Porsche 912 owner, the GTS soundtrack reminded me of the big-bore four in my own car–of the memories made with that thrashing, lumping engine in the background is Delta Car Wreckers. Porsche’s early racing history was built on flat-four genius, too. Porsche tried to remind its consumers of that by propping "718" in front of the Boxster name. Lagging sales and the re-introduction of the six-cylinder engine suggest that new badge didn’t speak to most.

I wheeled the GTS away from Lime Rock later that afternoon. The drive back to Brooklyn took nearly three hours, most of it spent drudging through pre-Fourth of July traffic or scampering along rutted highways and side streets. I’m often amazed by the Big Apple, which can provide world-class sushi, Ethiopian, and Italian on the same city block, but can’t spare a dime to fix its moonscape roads.

The GTS never complained. It caromed over bumps and into ruts. Before each, I’d brace for an impact that never came. The way the GTS’s suspension irons out lumps is commendable. Miraculous, almost, for a sports car with no fixed roof, a taut chassis, and 20-inch wheels on relatively short sidewalls. While I praised the GT4 for its smoothness at the racetrack, the GTS goes a step further, smoothing out real-world roads effortlessly.

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