A one-two punch from Porsche

The GTS badge has a very special place in the hearts of Porsche purists. The moniker dates to the vaunted 904 Carrera GTS of 1963, and in the ensuing decades it has been with administered only to cars that achieve “a specific standard of performance and uniqueness.” This year, at long last, Porsche’s Boxster and Cayman hit the mark, with new models that push the mid-engine sports cars’ already heralded athleticism to new levels – right in to 911 Carrera territory, in fact.

As in their S variants, Cayman GTS and Boxster GTS feature mid-mounted 3.4-litre horizontally opposed six-cylinder engines, which each see bumps of 15 horsepower and 7 pound-feet of torque, bringing the Boxster to 330hp and 273lb-ft and the Cayman to 340hp and 280lb-ft. With the optional PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission, the Boxster GTS will sprint from zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds; the Cayman GTS will make the trip in and 4.3sec. Top speed for the Boxster GTS is 174mph with the standard six-speed manual transmission; the Cayman GTS is good for 177mph. It perhaps bears mention that Porsche's standard 911 Carrera takes 4.5sec to reach 60mph (with the PDK) and will press on to a top speed of "only" 173mph (manual).

The new GTS models announce their performance intent with unique front and rear fasciae, blacked-out bi-xenon headlamps, a sport exhaust system with black tailpipes and 20in Carrera S wheels with 235/35-series front and 265/35-series rear tires. The cockpits get the full Alcantara treatment and standard Sport Seats Plus.

In the US, the Boxster GTS starts at $74,495; the Cayman GTS commands $76,195, inclusive of $995 destination charges. Both models commence delivery this summer.