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Porsche-Based Gemballa Marsien Is the New King of the Dunes
The wait is over. Marc Philipp Gemballa's creation has finally arrived. After living his whole life being surrounded by some of the coolest Porsches around, he is ready to take on the world with his new project. And his completely bespoke off-road capable supercar has been given a suiting name: Marsien.

Porsche-Based Gemballa Marsien Is the New King of the Dunes

Porsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the DunesPorsche-Based Marsien Is the New King of the Dunes
We might as well start designing race tracks in the desert. No more asphalt needed though, as we can just set the track limits, and allow a future roster of seemingly Dakar-spec Marsiens to do their thing. Given the name, and the choice of location for its first official photo shoot, you can't help but feel that there's something unearthly about this car. Fear is the mind killer
NASA may as well call Marc Philipp Gemballa and get a few of these for the exploration of Mars, by the look of it. But it would have been interesting to have the whole car covered in solar pannels so that it could have the energy required to be taking on Mars. But my mind is racing ahead already, and I'm pretty sure that this is the effect the Marsien has on me. "A new era begins", that's how they teased the new off-road supercar last week.

The Marsien started out as Project Sandbox, and it's nice to see that Uwe Gemballa's son decided to think outside the box. He didn't want to build another car like any other car on the market, he wanted to come up with something special for car enthusiasts. And I can't help but imagine how successful this car is going to be in the Middle East, or states like Nevada or Arizona, or anywhere else on the planet where there are seemingly endless sand dunes to take on.

The project was inspired by the Paris Dakar rally era, and it may as well be the descendant of the fabled Dakar-spec Porsche 959 of the '80s. What's really interesting about this car is that it won't force you to stick to the off-road. And it's not going to be an on-road-only vehicle. Because it can handle both environments just as well, which should allow for even more freedom behind the wheel. A rose in a desert can only survive on its strength, not its beauty
After all, there are no speed limits out in the desert. And the all-new Porsche 992 Turbo S was the perfect starting point for the Marsien. RUF has been brought on board for the project, to ensure that the outcome would be no less than breathtaking. That means that the turbocharged, six-cylinder boxer engine will be churning out 750 horsepower and 686 lb-ft (930 Nm) of torque. And even with those figures, this is still a Euro 6 emission compliant vehicle.

In case you were expecting more power, don't worry, they've thought about that as well. Any future clients will have the option of getting a second-stage power upgrade from RUF. With enhanced VTG turbos and revised ECU mapping, they'll have access to 830 horsepower instead. And apparently, you'll be able to stomp on the throttle all day long without having to worry about overheating the engine, as the engineers have thought of a way to avoid that from happening.

The airflow from the central radiator has been redesigned, so that the hot air will be directed through a NACA duct over the carbon fiber hood and around the A-pillars, to the rear of the car. Italian air filter specialist, BMC, has also devised a means for the car to cope with the dusty environment of the desert. The Porsche PDK transmission was also tweaked to take any kind of abuse, and Cayenne joints were used to ensure the reliability of it all.In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved
Most racetracks you'll go to these days have an imposed DB limit, but that's not going to happen in the desert. So you'll be happy to know that Akrapovic has designed a new titanium exhaust system from scratch for the Marsien. KW Suspensions was brought on board as an official suspension partner, and that's going to play a big part in how the car rides both on and off-road.

The Marsien comes with an adjustable right height, and you can switch from normal driving conditions to 9.84 inches (250 mm) of ground clearance when you're in the mood for going off-road. You also have access to a Dynamic Damping Control system, which means that the compression and rebound forces of the dampers will be adjusted in real-time, providing optimum levels of grip and driving confidence.

It may very well be the new king of the dunes, as it also comes with multiple driving modes, and besides the standard Porsche ones, you have a selection of off-road choices including gravel, mud, sand, and snow. Oh, there's a solid aluminum skid plate that covers the entire underbody of the car, so you shouldn't be too worried about occasionally bottoming out in the Marsien. Future owners will receive two specially designed aluminum wheelsets with center locking systems, with either Michelin UHP tires for on-road use or All-Terrain tires for the off-road.It's time for a change
If you're contemplating the idea of chasing down some Baja Trucks, there's an optional package for that too. You will be limiting the on-road capabilities of the car, but the Reiger Suspension rally-spec off-road dampers will enhance the suspension travel while increasing ground clearance at the same time. But then you won't be able to adjust the ride height anymore. Oh well, you might as well get two cars then!

But getting two cars isn't going to be easy, at least not at this point in time. Because the Marsien has already been in high demand ever since it was just a rumor for most people. And it seems that besides the limited launch edition of 10 cars, more than half of the small series production cars have been sold already. As 40 units were built at first, that means that there aren't many left for now.

But serial production will be commencing later this year, don't worry about that. The only thing you have to consider is the cost of getting the Marsien. When I first saw the price, I thought to myself that it's quite decent considering the package. €495,000 ($585,292) net before taxes, duties, and shipping doesn't sound that bad.

But upon closer inspection, there is also the cost of the base 992 Turbo S to consider. So you can add around $210,000 for that as well. Either way, I can't wait for people to start drag racing the Marsiens out in the desert!



 Download attachment: Marc Philipp Gemballa goes intergalactic with the all-new Marsien: The ultimate adventure supercar (PDF)

 
 
 
 
 

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