According to some of the latest folklore, the word on the street suggests that if you were to ask a child to draw an automobile, they would most likely turn out an image that resembles a Porsche 911.

It could have to do with their limited drawing skills and it's quite easy to produce something with four wheels, two doors and a slanted roofline. Or, as people like to suggest, it's because the 911 is an icon.

Say what you will.

Porsche Boxster GTS

Because of the 911's status, this has just about relegated every other Porsche to the infamous claim that "it's not a real Porsche." Admittedly so, when I was a younger and more naive lad, I echoed the same thoughts — I heard it from other, cooler people that "knew what they were talking about."

This thinking is sad. Not only because it is close minded but because in my opinion the best cars Porsche makes are actually the Boxster and Cayman. And just like the brand's icon, the 911, the Boxster and Cayman are receiving a multitude of variants aimed at fitting every possible consumers' needs.

One of the latest is the GTS. In the 911 range, the GTS is aimed at slotting in between the S cars and more hardcore GT3 variant. In the Boxster and Cayman's case, the GTS will slot in between the S cars and the Boxster Spyder and Cayman GT4, respectively. It's a middleman that's supposed to provide the best of both worlds without any of the downsides. I can dig that. 

Porsche Boxster GTS

Taking delivery on the left coast, I was very surprised to see just how hopped up this Boxster GTS was. Painted a blood red color and sporting some seriously massive wheels and tires, it did not look like any half-hearted Porsche to me. This Boxster means business.

Offered with more standard equipment than the regular car, the GTS comes with the following: unique front/rear valences, blacked-out bi-xenon headlights featuring the Porsche Dynamic Light System and the sport exhaust, which has blacked-out tailpipes.

And then there's the interior. This definitely is not your run-of-the-mill, entry-level car. As far as the eye can see the interior is upholstered in Alcantara. The steering wheel, door panels, the lower dashboard, the seat inserts, the gear shift, simply put, it's everywhere and I love it. The contrasting red stitching, though found in many of today's modern autos, is a welcome touch as Porsche's execution is second to none.

Elsewhere around the interior, the instrument panel (IP), infotainment screen, center stack controls have essentially been standardized across the brand's sports cars. Everything is where you'd expect it to be, and one thing the Agents still geek out over is the configurable screen in the IP that allows you to switch to a map view. Yeah, we're nerds.

Realistically though, that's only half the story. That's because these cars were built for pure driving excitement.

Equipped with 3.4-liter, six-cylinder motor, the Boxster GTS produces 330 horsespower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. That's 15 and 7 more horsepower and lb.-ft. torque over the Boxster S, respectively. My test car was issued with a PDK, dual-clutch gearbox that snapped gears astoundingly fast. In my opinion, it certainly feels like Porsche's transmission does it faster than any of the supercar manufacturers' efforts. Thanks to this addition, zero to 60 happens in 4.4 seconds, which is quick enough for me though I wager someone will say "Car 'X' can do it faster for less money!"

While this individual may have a valid point, the reality is that the Boxster was never conceived to be the most optimal performer when it came to zero to 60 and quarter-mile times. This vehicle was built to tackle road courses and take on winding roads. It becomes readily apparent the moment you put this car into its first high-speed corner.

Porsche Boxster GTS

As the Boxster benefits from a mid-engine layout, it feels supremely balanced. There's no hyperbole there. Simply put, the Boxster is probably one of the most well-balanced automobiles I've ever had the pleasure to drive. The motor is so well tucked away that you can't even see it. No, really. You can't find it. Pop open the front bonnet and you'll note you have what Tesla's so cutely deemed a "frunk." Walk around the back and pop open the trunk lid and you'll find more storage space. The engine is actually tucked away in between the front seats and trunk. Because it is mounted down low in the chassis, it provides the Boxster with an optimal center of gravity, like that of a modern day race car.

When driving even at the limit, the Boxster GTS manages to corner very flat. Although some would argue that the standard Boxster S does just as good of a job, the GTS variant's stiffer and lower suspension plus bigger wheels and tires provides a more surefooted feeling that has less lean. With so much traction even in the hairiest of turns, you'll find yourself doing things you never thought you were capable of. You'll keep adding more throttle in turns and feel confident in doing so.

I don't think that the GTS is underpowered, I think it is just so well balanced and sticks to the road so well that people tend to take it for granted. A lot of drivers don't realize that the speed they just went through at turn one probably couldn't be done by many of the faster vehicles they love to point out have a quicker zero to 60 time.

Rather than have to back off the gas when entering windy roads, you can keep pushing the vehicle to the ragged edge. In other words, you can drive this vehicle at 10/10ths, everywhere. I don't know any/many other products that I can say that about.

And at the end of the day, this means that the Boxster GTS is way more fun to drive than a lot of its competitors. It has the same fun factor as many of today's supercars minus the six figure base price. Sure, it may not have the bragging rights, but would you rather show off to your friends and family or would you rather drive home from the office with a smile on your face?

That's the struggle with purchasing a Boxster — any variant, for that matter. You have to determine how much you may have to justify your rather expensive purchase — my test car surpassed the $100,000 mark. If you're like me and don't care about other's opinions then feel free to take the plunge. If you're sensitive, you may need to rethink your sports car options.

The Good:

- Easily one of the best handling sports cars on the market today
- The GTS variant is exceedingly well trimmed with a mixture of leather and Alcantara — it is not entry-level, at all
- If you listen to its six-cylinder exhaust note with the pipes open, you'll quickly fall in love with its sweet six

The Bad:

- It's not exactly a cheap date — base price starts at $74,600*
- The Boxster Spyder just made its big debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show — this is the model to have as it will always be in demand and it's even better
- Everyone will ask "So, you couldn't afford a 911?"

The Lowdown:

The Boxster GTS is a helluva product but will require some diehard fans of Porsche's mid-engine convertible to take the plunge. Personally, I am sold on it; however, the Boxster Spyder did just come out and, frankly, I'd much rather have that in my garage. While I know a lot of buyers steer clear of the higher-end Boxster and Cayman models because they do not want to hurt their street cred, I think this is just silly. As a modern day reboot of the 550 Spyder, there's no question the Boxster and Cayman are real P cars. Need further proof? If you go down to Porsche's driving school in Alabama and put both the Boxster/Cayman and 911 on the track and drive them at 10/10ths, I am confident you'll want the mid-engine car in your garage.

*This price does not include title, taxes and fees.

Porsche Boxster GTS

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