To comply with homologation requirements, Porsche built two street versions of their 1996 Le Mans contender. These pre-production cars are essentially the same as the race version without all the safety equipment, a higher ride height and more interior amenities. The two street versions were actually built in 1995 as 1996 model year cars. The engines were slightly detuned from 600 bhp to 544 and the gear ratios were changed. The braking system reverted to cast-iron discs over the racing car’s carbon fiber. Suspension was raised and softened to also provide more compliance. Inside, the interior was also fitted with leather upholstery.
Porsche developed two prototype cars, both fully road-legal versions. The first was delivered in early 1996 to the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development for compliance testing, which it passed. The second prototype vehicle is in the hands of a Bahrain-based private car collector Khalid Abdul Rahim. These two cars feature 993 style front headlights.
These early prototype 911 GT1 Straßenversions were based on the 1996 911 GT1 race car, featuring the same 3.2-liter twin-turbocharged flat-6 mounted in a mid-engine position (as opposed to the regular 911’s rear-engine positioning). The prototypes had a peak output rated at 544 hp versus the race car which had closer to 600 hp, and they also skipped the race car’s carbon-ceramic brake rotors in favor of regular steel units. The suspension was also not as extreme as in the race car, but as the video shows, driving one on the street is still pretty much impossible.
While the two early prototypes were mechanically similar to the 20 customer cars that came later, there were some differences, the main one being the styling that resembled the earlier 993-generation 911. The customer cars were also based on the 911 GT1 Evo race car built for the 1997 motorsport season, and not the original 1996 911 GT1 race car that the two prototypes were based on.