I’d like to tell you about a phenomenon called the Porsche Syndrome. You drive one of Porsche’s sportscars and are deeply impressed by its abilities as a precision driving instrument, but you tell yourself that it would score a 10 on 10 if only it were a little less of a precision driving instrument. You wish it had a hooliganistic streak in it that scared you, and that it had what automotive journalists like to call ‘soul’ (this is usually accompanied by an emphatic clenching of a fist, in a very Italian manner). To experience this elusive soul, you then go off and drive something from the competition, which duly scares you silly, making you laugh and wet your pants at the same time. Time passes, and you find yourself at the wheel of another Porsche sportscar. About 10 minutes into the drive, you are faced with a stark fact – soul or no soul, moist trousers or not, there is simply nothing else out there that comes close to offering you the pure, highly distilled driving experience that a Porsche does. This is an almost annoying realisation, because you now know that the smug bastards at Porsche are right when they say that nobody can make sportscars like they do. Another 10 minutes of driving, however, and this annoyance is blown away by the amount of adrenaline coursing through your system. Rinse. Repeat.
It should now be clear that the Cayman/Boxster GTS twins are worthy of whatever adjectives you can come up with, so I’ll just tell you about what sets them apart from their regular counterparts. These are the range-topping editions of Porsche’s mid-engined sportscar duo, and the first thing that strikes you about them is that they look mean, like they might snap at you if you get too close. This is achieved by the use of lots of matte black and smoked-out elements all over the car – the (larger) wheels, headlamp and tail light surrounds, sports exhaust tips and fascia inserts, front and rear. Especially in red, the combination looks muscular and sinister, which is just the sort of effect a sportscar should be going for.
Stepping into a Porsche cabin has always been a pleasurable experience, because the company has long set the benchmark for quality and tactility, paying as much attention to an interior as it does to the car’s dynamics. In the GTS twins (like on any other Porsche), you can option pretty much anything you like, but the cars come with loads of features as standard – sports seats, alcantara-lined steering wheel, carbon-fibre inserts, digital and analogue clocks and others. As always, build and material quality is peerless – these are cabins that will last an age, with some TLC. With the Boxster, naturally, you get a drop-top roof, which is easily operated at the touch of a switch. In either car, the action begins at the ignition, which is done the old-school way – insert the key and twist.
Both cars receive power spikes in their 3.4-litre flat-six engines – the Cayman is up to 335 bhp, while the Boxster now makes 324 bhp, and this is where all the fun lies. As soon as you fire the cars up, a hilarious crackle bursts out from their sports exhausts, letting you know in no uncertain terms that they’re up for some mischief. Although they’re very easy to drive as everyday cars, even in Mumbai’s traffic, what you really need to do is find an open highway and let them loose – you won’t regret it, although your license might. The twins are simply incredible in the way that they pick up speed all the way to around 280 kph, exhausts snarling and popping every inch of the way, and not once do they make you feel like your last moments may be approaching. The 7-speed PDK automatic gearbox is whiplash-quick, almost anticipating your next shift, and the way these two conduct themselves in corners is astonishing; simply point at the exit with the superb, feedback-rich steering, and they go – no drama, no wiggling about, just razor-sharp reflexes and instant response, with chewing gum levels of grip. At Rs 1.12/1.15 crore, ex-Maharashtra, for the Boxster GTS/Cayman GTS, these aren’t exactly easy on the pocket, but trust me when I say that it’ll be the best chunk of cash you stump up for a sportscar – period. And they have soul, too, by the way.