Fancy a supercar that can play in the dunes? Look no further than Marc Philipp Gemballa’s new Marsien, which was inspired by the Paris Dakar rally era Porsches.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Marc Philipp is the son of renowned German tuner Uwe Gemballa, who was murdered in South Africa back in 2010. However, the 27-year-old says that his newly-formed company, called Marc Philipp Gemballa GmbH, is not associated in any form with Gemballa GmbH.
The Marsien was born from Marc Philipp’s belief that in a world where carmakers are churning out production models with ridiculous outputs, the role of the traditional tuner is becoming increasingly redundant and thus something different needs to be created. That something different, in this case, comes in the form of a Porsche 911 Turbo S that has been heavily modified to master off-road terrain.
For starters, the Marsien features a bespoke, full carbon fibre body and a redesigned chassis, developed in partnership with KW Automotive. The suspension, as you’ll see in some of the pics, has an adjustable ride height that allows it to go off-road, while also hugging the ground the way a supercar should when its four tyres are on the tarmac. At the touch of a button, owners can raise the car from the Turbo S road level all the way up to 250 mm. The car also features a Dynamic Damping Control system, where the compression and rebound forces are adjusted in real time. Drivers can toggle between the traditional Porsche drive modes via the steering wheel, as well as new off-road modes such as Gravel, Mud, Snow and Sand.
Underbody protection is provided by a solid aluminium skid plate and owners will be handed two wheel sets, one featuring All Terrain Tyres and the other shod in Michelin Ultra High Performance rubber.
Under the bonnet, Porsche’s flat-six petrol engine has been tuned up to 552 kW and 930 N.m but German tuner RUF, and clients can also opt for a ‘Stage 2’ upgrade that brings the tally to 610 kW through enhanced VTG turbochargers and revised electronics. The tuner claims a 0-100 km/h time of 2,6 seconds and a top speed of 330 km/h, with the on-road rubber fitted of course.
Buyers can also look forward to a hand-crafted interior, in full leather or Alcantara, and equipped with a Carrera GT-inspired lifted carbon fibre centre console as well as carbon fibre side sills and additional carbon accents throughout the cabin.
Marc Philipp Gemballa is planning to build just 40 of these, with conversion prices starting at 495 000 euro, which equated to R7,28 million at today’s riot-battered exchange rate.