When Porsche last redesigned its mid-engine roadster and coupe siblings, it decided to make them more distinctive by giving each a unique face. But in adding new range-topping GTS models, the German automaker has reversed course, giving the 2015 Porsche Boxster GTS and the 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS the same front clip. This was done to emphasize the heritage of the GTS (Gran Turismo Sport) badge, which goes back some 50 years to the original 904 Carrera GTS, a mid-engine streetable racecar designed by Butzi Porsche.

The face of these two cars features longer nose and a large center inlet feeding a center radiator flanked by two additional inlets. There are new black colored aerodynamic elements on the front including a chin spoiler and inlet strakes and a redesigned rear diffuser. The blackout treatment is extended to the headlamp bezels and other accents including the side scoops on the body. Buyers can specify all these elements in either a matte or gloss finish. The GTS models also ride on 20-inch Carrera-S design wheels, which also can be ordered in satin finish or gloss black.

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GTS Power

Mounted amidships, the 3.4-liter flat six delivers 15 more horsepower than the engines found in the Cayman S and Boxster S models. The 2015 Boxster GTS delivers 330 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, while the 2015 Cayman GTS produces 340 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Both models can be equipped with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed PDK dual-clutch paddle-shift gearbox. Porsche says the PDK equipped Cayman GTS and Boxster GTS sprint to 60 mph in 4.3 and 4.4 seconds respectively.

The GTS models are equipped with Porsche's Sport Chrono package as standard equipment and includes the dynamic driving Sport+ model that rev matches downshifts on both the manual and automatic transmissions, as well as opening up the exhausts for a sportier sound and stiffening the suspension for more dynamic handling.

Razor sharp performance 

In back-to-back drives of the standard Boxster and Cayman, S models and the GTS, the difference in performance levels is readily apparent. During lead follow exercises, it was difficult to keep up with the 2.7-liter base cars, which give away 55 horsepower to their respective models. The performance differential is not as pronounced between the S and GTS models, which share the 3.4-liter flat six. Still, thanks to the extra bit of horsepower, a lower ride height and the more aggressively tuned Sport+ mode in the GTS, the new model is quicker on the straights as well as getting in and out of the corners. The new rev matching mode on the manual GTS is a great feature, allowing for smooth and quicker gear changes without having to manually heel-and-toe. The only wish is that it would be available in the regular Sport mode rather than just in Sport+.

Among the elements giving the 2015 Boxster and Cayman GTS their precise handling are Porsche's Active Suspension Management System (PASM) and Porsche Toque Vectoring (PTV). The former delivers a consistent ride height and flat cornering through active management of the dampers that adjust in milliseconds to the road surface. Porsche Torque Vectoring uses a rear differential lock and variable torque distribution on the rear axle to compensate for under- or oversteer by delivering or reducing torque to one of the rear wheels depending on the situation. Overall, the GTS models feel balanced, responsive, with communicative steering with a smooth, well-controlled body motions. As far as the Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS are concerned, those who want an open top ride will sacrifice a touch of performance and body stiffness in favor of the ability to drop the top. More hard-core enthusiasts will likely opt for the coupe.

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Luxury to go with sport

In either case, buyers will be getting well-equipped cars that offer more features than comparably equipped S models for a sticker that is not much higher. In addition to getting the Sport Chrono package as standard equipment, all GTS models come with leather upholstery with Alcantara inserts, black anodized trim strips and a Sport Design steering wheel. Among the options available on the Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS are 18-way adjustable adaptive sport seats, back-up camera and park assist features. The 2015 Porsche Boxster GTS will retail for $73,500 plus $995 destination, which is $10,200 more than the Boxster S. The 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS starts at $75,200 plus destination, an $11,400 premium over the Cayman S.

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