While we're patiently waiting for Porsche to finally come out with a Safari-spec 911, the aftermarket scene is ready to fill that niche. You've probably seen your fair share of jacked-up sports cars from Zuffenhausen, but the new Marsien takes the upgrade package to new heights, literally. Conceived by Marc Philipp Gemballa, son of the late Gemballa tuning firm owner Uwe, the off-road supercar is a modern-day interpretation of the iconic 959.
What is it? A 992-generation 911 Turbo S created for desert running courtesy of a generous 250-mm (9.8-inch) ground clearance in off-road mode or 120 mm (4.7 in) in on-road mode. It features a full carbon fiber body and has been designed by diehard Porsche fan Alan Derosier, known for his superb 908 design study.
Gallery: Marc Philipp Gemballa Marsien
Marc Philipp Gemballa teamed up with KW Automotive to give the Marsien a completely bespoke suspension with a double-wishbone front setup relying on solid piston damper tech and active control. It benefits from an adjustable ride height to switch between off-road and on-road modes while the rear suspension features a multi-link configuration. The dampers react within 20 milliseconds to handle any sort of terrain.
The off-road supercar is powered by a Ruf-tweaked flat-six engine with a twin-turbo setup producing 740 hp (552 kW) in the base configuration and as much as 818 hp (610 kW) when using upgraded VTG turbochargers and a remapped ECU. Maximum torque for the Marsien is rated at a whopping 930 Newton-meters (686 pound-feet) and the vehicle is equipped with an Akrapovič titanium exhaust created specifically for this project.
The all-terrain machine rides on 20/21-inch centerlock forged wheels with performance Michelin tires for the on-road set and switches to 19/20-inch forged wheels wrapped in all-terrain rubber for the off-road setup. With the former set, it sprints to 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 2.6 seconds and maxes out at 205 mph (330 km/h). In off-road mode, the top speed is limited to 130 mph (210 km/h).
Only 40 dune-bashing vehicles will ever be made and more than half of them have already been sold. It carries a starting price of €495,000, which works out to approximately $583,000 at current exchange rates. Bear in mind that doesn't include the donor 911 Turbo S. In addition, the listed price excludes taxes and shipping costs, as well as any options the owner might want.
As a final note, it's worth mentioning Marc Philipp Gemballa is not associated in any way with the Gemballa tuning firm as they're two completely different companies.