911 Porsche World - - Boxster Gts Twin Test -

The way some peo­ple dis­miss the four-cylin­der tur­bos in the 718 cars you’d think Porsche slung a Golf mo­tor in it in the hope no­body would no­tice. To some it seems an en­gine with just four cylin­ders and a turbo isn’t a proper Porsche en­gine.

Rest as­sured, this IS a proper Porsche en­gine. The more you read up on it the more ex­otic you re­alise it is and how, de­spite be­ing two cylin­ders down, you’re ba­si­cally get­ting 911 en­gi­neer­ing in a car that costs half as much. No­body could ac­cuse Porsche of be­ing half-hearted in en­gi­neer­ing terms, the vari­able vane turbo one ex­am­ple of its com­plex­ity.

I can’t pre­tend it sounds as good as the six-cylin­der, or that it de­liv­ers on that emo­tive con­nec­tion. The im­me­di­acy of re­sponse isn’t there, like­wise the in­er­tia-free crescendo of revs or sear­ing sonic re­ward for send­ing the rev-counter’s nee­dle all the way round the dial.

But it has other qual­i­ties, its re­sponse to the throt­tle be­ing night and day dif­fer­ent to the in-line four-cylin­der tur­bos many seem to lump it with. Yes, there’s a slight soft­ness to the pedal but it picks up revs in a way only a short-stroke en­gine can and the throt­tle cal­i­bra­tion is sharp enough that heel’n’toe blip­ping is as in­stinc­tive as any nat­u­rally as­pi­rated en­gine. It’s hardly short on revs ei­ther – the 7500rpm red­line is just 300rpm be­hind the 981 GTS’S 3.4 and, be­lieve me, it thrives on us­ing ev­ery last one of them. It’s night and day more ex­otic, more ex­cit­ing and more in­volv­ing than the highly boosted hatch­back mo­tors in the Alfa Romeo 4C and Alpine, too. This is a real sports car with a real sports car’s en­gine.

And the end re­sult? A faster and more ex­cit­ing Boxster that fi­nally de­liv­ers on the dy­namic prom­ise we al­ways knew was there. I’ll miss the six-cylin­der noise. But I con­sider this a fair swap

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