When people talk about bulletproof cars, they tend to mean one of two things. Either a car that is literally bullet resistant, or a car that is so reliable, not even a direct hit from a bullet could stop it. The 996 generation 911 and bullet proof rarely fit in the same sentence, due to the IMS bearing randomly grenading the engines, this was until YouTuber That Nine Eleven Guy made news with a video about one very special Porsche 911.
A Factory Bullet Proof Porsche 911
Yes, back in 1997, Porsche wanted to see if they could compete with fellow Stuttgart automaker Mercedes-Benz who were the go-to manufacturer if you wanted a bulletproof car. This led to Porsche taking a 1997 911 Carrera 966 off the production line and set to work. From a distance the car looks like every other 996, even though it received the more desired Dragonfly Turquoise paint job. There’s no special badging, body kits or wheels to indicate that this 911 is bulletproof, but as That Nine Eleven Guy shows, this is where its discreet styling ends.
How Porsche Bulletproofed a 911
As soon as you get close, you’ll notice the unusual 2-inch black border that runs around every plane of glass. This wasn’t a styling choice but rather a consequence of replacing every pane of glass with 20mm thick double glazed Sekurit glass, which Porsche claims can stop a shot from a 9mm handgun or a .44 Magnum revolver. To keep the car as discreet as possible, Porsche even went through the effort to have the rear window defroster wires set into the glass.
Porsche knew that making a 911 bulletproof would mean adding weight, but to keep the car as light as possible, Porsche dropped the traditional steel plated armor for an energy absorbing composite fiber material called Dyneema. While it was still as heavy as the proposed steel plating, it was 15 times stronger than steel.
Unfortunately, all that weight meant the bulletproof Carrera tipped the scales at 6000lbs, or twice as heavy as the stock model. Porsche kept the stock M96 engine, that produced 316hp, and manual transmission which led to incredibly poor performance.
Porsche decided there was no market for a bulletproof sports car, and promptly scrapped the project, with the bulletproof prototype finding its way into The Porsche Museum in Stuttgart where it remains to this day.
Bulletproof Reliable 996s
While the 996 was plagued by IMS bearing failures, there are a few 996 models that are still worth owning. The 996 Turbo, GT2 and GT3 featured an engine based on the legendary water-cooled Mezger engine from the 959. The origins of the Mezger engine are debated, but it is genuinely accepted that all Porsches from 1963 until the 996 were some variation or evolution of the Mezger engine. That means the 996 Turbo, GT3 and GT2 benefit from over 35 years of development and improvement, with their reliability being praised by big horsepower engine builders, race teams and enthusiasts.