There’s not much that happens in the car world that is rare these days – only the other week I covered a genuine flying car – yet there are still some things that remain uncommon, like the off-road supercar for example. Not only is the ambitious Marc Philipp Gemballa (note the initials) designed Gemballa Marsien supercar unusual, it will also be heading to production sometime in 2021.
The Gemballa Marsien is expertly equipped to be able to cope with the well-known stresses and strains of the races such as the infamous Dakar Rally and will arrive homologated and tweaked for use in Europe, the USA and the Middle East. No word on any plans or ambitions for the supercar to actually compete off-road as yet, but the car’s credentials are pretty impressive and such a venture seems inevitable.
If the name Gemballa sounds familiar, that might be because Marc is the 27-year-old son of former Porsche specialist Uwe Gemballa, founder of the Gemballa tuning company who provided aftermarket tuning for Porsche vehicles from 1981. Or indeed it might be because you remember news reports from 2010 when Uwe went missing in Johannesburg, South Africa only to sadly be later found dead, the victim of murder as a result of a suspected money laundering operation gone wrong. Marc Gemballa’s newly founded company makes it clear that Marc Philipp Gemballa GmbH is in no way connected to Gemballa GmbH.
It was inevitable that Marc’s career arc might lead to this point, having been in and around cars from an early age and growing up around the heady desire for speed. Now, he has a vision to create something that lasts, and the off-road capable Gemballa Marsien supercar is the realisation of this.
Unsurprisingly, the Gemballa Marsien is based around a Porsche 911 Turbo S and features an uprated 740bhp (with 686lb ft of torque) engine courtesy of tuning experts Ruf. Ruf’s expertise has given the Marsien (French for ‘Martian’ inspired by the red sand dunes in the United Arab Emirates, which helped shape the capabilities and design of the vehicle) a 0-62mph of just 2.6 seconds and a top speed of 205mph. Amazingly all this power hasn’t compromised the engine’s Euro 6 compliance.
Underneath and supporting all this power, KW Automotive has provided bespoke double-wishbone suspension up front with a capable ground clearance of 120mm when set to road mode, and 250mm when set for off-roading. If that’s not enough then you might like to opt for the off-road package with Reiger suspension and an upgrade over the solid piston damper tech to gain even more ground clearance.
You could also opt for the ‘second stage’ upgrade too with extra power turbochargers and updated transmission along with a revision to the ECU pushing the horse-power up to an impressive 830bhp. In fact, there’s plenty to spend your money on – how does a fully carbon-fibre body built by a bespoke company that supplies various Formula 1 teams grab you? Or maybe you hanker after a bespoke titanium exhaust. Inside, the Gemballa Marsien is equally customisable, including a choice of leather or Alcantara, though the specifics as to what exactly ‘full customisation’ means is yet to be revealed.
Prices start at 495,000 euros, though I suspect this figure could potentially rise somewhat depending on the impressive spec and upgrade choices that you choose.
For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.