The Marc Philipp Gemballa ‘Marsien’ is a 750bhp dune-bashing hyper-911 | Top Gear
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The Marc Philipp Gemballa ‘Marsien’ is a 750bhp dune-bashing hyper-911

Son of celebrated tuner Uwe Gemballa is taking the 911 Turbo S to a whole new planet

Published: 14 Jul 2021
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Tired of supercars that are too fast for the road? Bored by hypercars that are confined to private test tracks? Then we might have the machine you’ve been waiting for. A go-anywhere, do-anything supercar.

Courtesy of Marc Philipp Gemballa, the 27-year-old son of late, great German tuner Uwe Gemballa, welcome to the Marsien. It was once a Porsche 911 Turbo S. It’s now an all-carbon high-riding dune-bashing 750bhp monster.

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Now, this new ‘MPG’ venture isn’t anything to do with the other company under the Gemballa name that’s promising its own mutant 911 and a new hypercar. Marc doesn’t own the legal rights to his father’s company title, so he’s gone ahead and created his own start-up, following in his dad’s Porsche-modifying sandtracks. Good lad.

Marc Philipp Gemballa Marsien Porsche 911 Turbo S Top Gear

The plan is to build 40 Marsiens. They will be based on the talented underpinnings of the latest Porsche 992 Turbo S: Top Gear’s reigning Performance Car of the Year. 

The ‘Marsien’ name is derived from the word ‘Martian', because it looks like it’s on the surface of the Red Planet when testing out in the Arab Emirates, and the spec is pretty out of this world too.

All of the body panels are replaced with bespoke carbon fibre sections, the highlight being that wraparound 959-esque tail. That required the standard Porsche tail light to be replaced with a new one. Not cheap. Not easy. But necessary. 

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The carbon itself is of F1 grade, and you can either have it painted or supplied as a naked weave if you prefer, as decreed in The Big Book of Selling Hypercars, Chapter One.

Meanwhile, German Porsche specialists RUF have been busy at the back tweaking the already potent 3.7-litre flat-six engine. Cooling and dust filtration have been improved, and there’s the small matter of it now developing in excess of 750bhp and 686lb ft of torque. MPG says despite that, the bi-turbo powerplant still complies with worldwide emission legislation. 

The car’s also been busy doing its crash test homework. Because yep: this beastie is indeed going to be street-legal. 

Bolt a set of road tyres on and the son-of-Gemballa-mobile will go from 0-62mph in 2.6 seconds. The top speed is north of 205mph. Need something as rapid as a 918 Spyder but considerably more pothole-proof? Look no further.

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While the furious engine breathes out through a fresh Akrapovic titanium exhaust, the power it’s developed is marshalled through a reinforced Porsche twin-clutch gearbox to all four wheels. 

Underneath, everything is burlier. Driveshafts are extended, while components from Porsche’s Cayenne SUV are swapped in to cope with the higher forces. 

Bespoke suspension was next on Gemballa Jnr’s shopping list, so he’s had KW Automotive design and build an adjustable set-up that hydraulically jacks the Marsien from 120mm (standard 911 Turbo S height) to a 250mm-high off-road altitude. The word ‘boing’ comes to mind. 

Electromagnets within the dampers constantly adjust the compression and rebound behaviour of the suspension as you pound along, so your stomach will probably say ‘I’ve had enough, thanks’ before the car’s undercarriage does. 

Like modes? You got ‘em. The Marsien keeps the usual Porsche modes: Normal, Individual, Sport and Sport Plus, but gains settings not seen in a 911 before: Gravel, Mud, Sand, and Snow. All bases covered then. Latch on the horsebox and it’s the perfect pony club company car. 

What sort of optional extras does a limited edition off-road hypercar need? That’s right: more everything. 

So, you can tick a box for Reiger rally suspension if you’re more focused on stage times than commuter comfort, and then there’s the power kit. New VTG turbos, an ECU tweak and reworked gearbox can oblige you with 830 horsepower. And not a hybrid boost in sight.

Marc Philipp Gemballa Marsien Porsche 911 Turbo S Top Gear

Inside, you get a smart 911 Turbo interior laced in suede and carbon, with fabric door pulls as a hat-tip to classic extreme Porsches of yore. The ‘Project Sandbox’ kick plates are a nod to the Marsien’s codename while it was being developed. Fun fact: MPG has been working on this thing since before the latest 911 Turbo was actually on sale. The first test mules were actually based on standard 911 Carrera 4s.

Now, this is a very multi-purpose vehicle. It’s a practical sports car with hypercar performance that can traverse any terrain on Earth (or Mars), and do jumps. So, the price needs to reflect this specialness. And it does. Gulp.

The Marsien costs €495,000. Plus tax. And shipping. And import duties. And optional extras. 

Oh, and you’ll need to bring a Porsche 911 Turbo S for the Hulk-smash conversion treatment along to the German factory. One of those is yours for £160,610 last we checked.

Mind you, most 27-year-olds probably reckon they could come up with the world’s ultimate supercar. This chap has actually made it real, and he’s doing it all in tribute to his father. We approve.

So, in the wild world of modded 911s, is your million quid going on this, or a Singer?

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