Who says sports cars can't be practical?
Shooting brakes have divided attention in the automotive world for some time. When they look like the Aston Martin Zagato Shooting Brake, they're impossible to resist. While others require a little more getting used to, as in the case of the BMW Z3 M Coupe. But when Van Thull Development - a Dutch coachbuilder and aftermarket specialist - gets it in mind that the world needs a new shooting brake, you best believe it's going to be outrageous. And 'outrageous' is exactly the direction Van Thull went when developing its latest creation, a Porsche Boxster 986 Shooting Brake. This isn't your ordinary Porsche 718 Boxster, nor is it something you'll forget anytime soon.
The idea came from Erik Groenedijk de Laat, who'd worked with Van Thull before. He came up with the concept and it was pulled together by a group of students under the supervision of the van Thull team. Using the 986-generation Porsche Boxster as a starting platform was a no-brainer for the group, being both affordable and reliable. The mid-engine layout is also ideal, making the shooting brake more practical than a 996-gen 911 that was also considered. Because the Boxster started life without a roof, it meant the body was already structurally sound, which also gave the team extra freedom in terms of designing the roofline.
In order to build the shooting brake, van Thull had to bring together bits and pieces of different vehicles. The process included using the door windows of a Porsche 996, and in an unlikely turn of events, the side windows and rear hatch of a Peugeot. The 986 Boxster Shooting Brake has also been updated to resemble Porsche's modern product offering with styling elements borrowed from 997 and 991 models - the former something already in van Thull's arsenal.
All in, the project took around six months, and the end product is rather striking. We're not sure we're fans of this implementation of the shooting brake body style, but we won't forget it any time soon.