The Porsche Boxster (986) Shooting Brake is actually a university project with inputs from a Porsche specialist
Among ‘proper’ car enthusiasts, station wagons are often considered as the holy grail of body styles. Go further into the crowd and one will be able to find ardent admirers of ‘shooting brake’ designs. The best definition of a shooting brake is that it’s a mix of a coupe and a station wagon. The concept is not new. In fact, it dates back to the early 1900s and was popular among ‘coachbuilders’.
The later automotive world has had a fair share of shooting brakes such as the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato, Ferrari FF (or GTC4 Lusso), Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake and, of course, the BMW Z3 M Coupe aka ‘clown shoe’. Fast forward to 2020 and a one-off Porsche Shooting Brake project takes shape in the Netherlands.
Besides the fact that this is a shooting brake which Stuttgart never gave the world, the car creates a lot of visual confusion upon first glance. For starters, it has a 997.1 Porsche 911 GT3 front profile and a tail lamp section borrowed from the 991.1 Carrera. The side windows are from a 996 Porsche 911 while the rear hatch is straight out of a Peugeot 407 wagon. If this seems interesting, how about the fact that the base is not a Porsche 911 at all!
The donor car is actually a 986 Porsche Boxster and for good reason. The Boxster may be the ‘lesser’ product in Porsche’s portfolio but its balanced mid-engine layout, technically, has got more potential than the 911’s proven rear-engine architecture. Furthermore, its original convertible format offers better chassis stiffness at the base for an efficient body conversion. An expert can still make out the donor car from the side intakes.
The idea of the one-of-a-kind shooting brake project originated in the mind of Erik Groenendijk de Laat. He is a faculty of the Automotive Engineering department at the Fontys Hogeschool university in the Netherlands. He included four students — Dennis, Yoris, Thom and Bram — in the project and reached out to Van Thull Development for some expert inputs. It took the team more than half a year of dedication, effort and attention to detail to finish the project. The final result is a work of art which the automotive world never asked, but deserved. To top it off, the car is finished in the much-loved Miami Blue paint shade.
The aim of the Porsche Boxster Shooting Brake project was to make it feasible. Till then, modern-day Porsche shooting brakes were reserved to the virtual world in the form of random digital sketches and renders. Hence, making the project as practical and production-efficient as possible with nothing to take as reference was quite a challenge.
The project has received immense appreciation from all over the world. Hence, Van Thull Development is looking forward to perfecting the concept to make the conversion available for interested 986 Boxster owners.
The 986 Porsche Boxster, in its final iteration, drew power from a 2.7-litre naturally-aspirated acoustically pleasing flat-six motor that made around 225bhp and 260Nm of torque. The engine came mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 5-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission that sent the power to the rear axle.