Every car, regardless of its level of focus, is at its best in a very specific environment. Whereas the Cayman GTS 4.0 we recently featured was sampled on a flat, fast, and challenging circuit, this example of its open-air counterpart is rightly tested on a bumpy backroad flanked with trees. With the lanky, eloquent, and always captivating Henry Catchpole behind the wheel, we learn just why this open-top beauty may be the best car currently available for a spirited Sunday drive.
In the case of its hardtopped brother and the Cayman GT4 it was compared against, the sharper variant makes more of an impression. The coupes are better suited to the circuit, after all. However, with the Boxster GTS a car meant to engage the driver with the elements, some added comfort isn't such a bad thing. Breathing in the excellent scents of a spring drive on a ribbon of road, life is more comfortable draped in a layer of Alcantara.
Like the Cayman GTS, the Boxster GTS shares a very mildly detuned version of the 4.0-liter found in the racier siblings. In the case of the Boxster GTS, it is down twenty horsepower, but it also weighs forty pounds less than the Boxster Spyder—and that's with a roof that can be retracted while moving.
The majority of the differences are in the chassis. Essentially, the GTS is not as rigid, agile, nor as immediate as the Spyder, and that's just fine. The narrower, less aggressive tires and simplified suspension mean a slightly slower breakaway. Though that means it's a little harder to find the limit of the tire, a less edgy car is preferable on a backroad with an uneven surface, because it won't surprise you with a sudden loss of grip. Even so, watching Catchpole dance the car around these off-cambered hairpins shows it's still a very communicative car and as engaging as almost anything. We're talking only a few degrees of difference here.