After an eventful 2010 year that saw their founder kidnapped and killed in South Africa, 2011 has been a relatively quiet year for German tuning company, Gemballa .

The new brass over at Gemballa is determined to turn over a new leaf and investor, Steffen Korbach, is initiating a new chapter in the company’s history by starting a new Gemballa racing team that hopes to begin competing in the 2012 motor racing season. With a new team in hand, Korbach wanted a car that can be competitive from the get-go and they seemed to have found it in a pair of McLaren MP4-12C GT3 models.

"We deliberately went for the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 for our motor sport commitment, because we think the car has enormous potential to be among the season’s leaders," Korbach said.

Powered by the same 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine found on the production version, the MP4-12C GT3 comes with a de-tuned output of only 500 horsepower at a limited 7,500rpm. The engine is then mounted to the car’s carbon fiber MonoCell chassis and tuned to racing specifications.

In addition to scoring a pair of MP4-12C GT3s, Korbach also tapped race vet, Sascha Bert, to serve as team manager with the names of prospective drivers scheduled to be announced soon.

UPDATE 12/27/12: The Gemballa Racing Team McLaren MP4-12C is now on sale for an "affordable" price of just €350,000, which is around $460,000 based on current exchange rates.

In the process of rebuilding their tuning empire after the devastating loss of Gemballa founder, Uwe Gemballa , the company has arrived at the 2011 Top Marques Monaco with two new packages: the Tornado based on the new Cayenne and the 2011 Mistrale based on the Panamera sedan. Both models are defined by the most impressive design, cutting edge technology and the finest materials.

For the Mistrale, Gemballa is offering two stages of engine updates. In stage one, the twin-turbo V8 engine has been tuned to deliver 610 HP and a peak torque of 626 lbs-ft. Stage two takes power to a more incredible 700 HP and 737 HP. This significant output is achieved through the use of larger turbochargers, a modified intake system, high efficiency intercoolers, sports exhaust, free-flow catalytic converters and bespoke ECU remapping.

"We have significantly reduced weight, but without compromising strength, safety or comfort," explained Andreas Schwarz, CEO of GEMBALLA GmbH. "Rather than cutting into the steel panels and bonding on new parts, as is common in the aftermarket industry, we completely replace entire panels with bespoke carbon-fiber ones that use the original mounting points," he said. "These new panels, which include the bonnet, front wings, doors, front and rear bumper/valance, save a total of 70kg."

Say what you want about the year Gemballa has had, but you can’t deny that when these guys buckle down and bring their lunch pails to work, they’re one of the best in the business when it comes to tuning high-powered sports cars.

One product line that has been associated with Gemballa has been the Mirage GT, which is based on the Porsche Carrera GT . Over the years, Gemballa has released a number of Mirage models based on the Carrera GT, including the Carbon Edition , the Matte Edition , the Black Edition , and the Gold Edition . Recently, the German tuning company released the latest iteration of the super aggressive Mirage GT, christening it the "Matte Blue Edition".

Similar to its predecessors, the Mirage GT Matte Blue Edition is powered by Gemballa’s own V10 engine that produces 650 horsepower and 464 lb/ft of torque, up from the standard output of 612 horsepower and 435 lb/ft of torque the standard Carrera GT comes in. Those figures translate to a 0-62 mph time of 3.7 seconds (down from the stock version’s 3.9-second time) with a top speed of 208 mph, which in turn is up from the Carrera GT’s 205-mph top speed.

Aerodynamically, the Mirage GT Matte Blue Edition comes with the same aerodynamic kit as all the other special edition models, which is to say that we expect Gemballa’s rather over-the-top aerodynamic package on the front, side, and rear of the car to be highlighted on the Matte Blue Edition. Likewise, this version of the Mirage GT will also carry the same interior treatment, including the carbon seatblends, and the two-tone - in this case, its black and white - leather finish.

Many Porsche 911 models have been christened with the Avalanche name since the mid-1980s when Gemballa came out with their first Avalanche tuning package for the sports car. Since that first project, the Gemballa-911 models bearing the name have become masterpieces in their own right and Gemballa is ready to show the world just how special this model is.

At the upcoming 2011 Retro Classics, Gemballa will prove that they offer the best tuning programs for the Porsche 911 models by bringing back the Avalanche GTR 750 EVO-R for display. This is a model that has been tuned to deliver an impressive 750hp and hit a top speed of 208 mph. Next to this impressive engine update, the Evo-R will also be heavily modified on both the exterior and the interior, with a new set of 20" racing wheels and a black and orange exterior combination to boot.

Hit the jump to read more about the Gemballa Avalanche GTR 750 EVO-R.

Gemballa hasn’t exactly had the best year, to say the least, in 2010. Earlier this year, the company’s founder, Uwe Gemballa mysteriously disappeared only to be found a few months later in South Africa, a victim of an apparent murder orchestrated by people that he may have had some prior involvement with.

Then in February, German police officials closed down the company’s tuning shop only to be re-opened a few months later when the company officially re-opened under new leadership with CEO Andreas Schwarz and Investor Steffen Korbach taking the reins and assuming full control of the company.

So after a tumultuous year, the new Gemballa is poised to enter 2011 on a positive note by announcing their latest project, the Tornado Porsche 958 Cayenne .

It may have taken longer than anyone would have liked, not to mention the tragic circumstances surrounding the untimely death of its founder, but the new company is trying to make sure that some semblance of normalcy returns after the year they’ve been through.

And, really, what better way to do that than to announce the development of a new and awesome project.

UPDATE 05/04/11: Here’s something you don’t see at an auto show: The Cayenne-based Gemballa Tornado made its official debut at the recently concluded 2011 Top Marques Monaco and before anybody else could take the SUV out for a test run at the Monaco Grand Prix circuit, an Arabian sheik bought the SUV 16 seconds after the show opened its doors. 16 seconds, people. That guys scooped up the Gemballa Tornado faster than it takes for us to drink our coffees in the morning.

Check out details for the Tornado Porsche 958 Cayenne after the jump.

Source: Gemballa

Uwe Gemballa’s killer has been arrested and sentenced to 20 years behind bars, according to The Times Live.

In what has been a story that has featured so many twists and turns, the latest development comes in the arrest of 28-year-old Thabiso Mpshe of Pretoria for his involvement in the murder of Uwe Gemballa . Mpshe was arrested last Friday before being sentenced to 20 years in prison in a Johannesburg high court later in the afternoon, a dizzying sequence of events that has taken this saga to new heights. Police spokesman Colonel Vishnu Naidoo was "not at liberty to say" if Mpshe had plead guilty or if a deal was struck, but something fishy is going on for this arrest, trial, and sentencing all to be done in a mere 24 hours.

Despite the arrest being made, the authorities are still in the dark as to how Gemballa was murdered adding even more questions to this bizarre story. According to police spokesman Colonel Vishnu Naidoo, “it is still unclear how Gemballa was murdered, but indications are that he was suffocated. He had no visible injuries.”

Meanwhile, Uwe Gemballa ’s body is on its way back to Germany, according to Martin Schaefer, spokesman for the German consulate in South Africa. "The corpse is being flown to his home,” he said. “We have offered our consular services in terms of issuing official documents for customs and the like."

The arrest and subsequent conviction of Mpshe is the latest twist in a saga that has had more plots and turns than a mystery thriller novel. From the looks of things, we’re thinking that this won’t be the last news we’re going to hear regarding the murder of Uwe Gemballa. The whole secretive nature of this arrest and conviction only lead us to believe that authorities are on to something, and on to something big. Why else would such a high profile situation get pushed under the rug so quickly?

Source: Times Live

Last week, we reported the unfortunate news of the death of Uwe Gemballa , the owner of one our favorite auto tuning firms, Gemballa.

As more details surrounding Gemballa’s death are uncovered, it’s come to the point that the story behind it has more twists and turns than a John Grisham novel.

According to a report made by the South African Mail & Guardian, Gemballa may have been the victim of an elaborate plan to lead him to South Africa where he was going to be executed. The story also seems to point to notorious kingpin, Radovan Krejcir, as the mastermind behind Gemballa’s killing. From the report, M&G writes that friction betweenGemballa and Krejcir began when the latter who was smuggling money into South Africa using Gemballa cars, received a car that didn’t have money on it. After a heated argument between the two, Krejcir made no bones about his intention to hurt Gemballa if he didn’t give back the money that was supposed to come in one of the cars.

Continued after the jump

The mysterious whereabouts of Gemballa founder, Uwe Gemballa, has finally been solved. Unfortunately, there won’t be any reunions or happy endings with this one.

In a tragic development, Uwe Gemballa was found dead and covered in cellophane in South Africa. Details behind Gemballa’s death are still limited but according to police, Gemballa may have been the victim of a hit orchestrated by Radovan Krejcir, a notorious Czech crime kingpin. Even before Gemballa inexplicably fell off the grid earlier this year , there have already been rumors surrounding his involvement in some illegal transactions with Krejcir dating back to 2002. The relationship between the two looks to have hit a rough patch late last year when Gemballa wasn’t making enough payments to Krejcir, prompting the latter to issue a death threat on the German auto tuner.

After Gemballa was called to South Africa, the German was kidnapped by Krejcir’s henchmen – airport surveillance caught Uwe with what appears to be an associate of the crime boss – where it tried to retrieve the money owed to Krejcir. When the payments never came in, Uwe Gemballa was murdered.

This is definitely tragic news for those who knew Uwe Gemballa. He may not have been the most accommodating person in the world, but he was a well-respected figure in the auto tuning industry.


German tuning house, Gemballa, is officially back and we should all thank two people for its comeback: CEO Andreas Schwarz and Investor Steffen Korbach.

Gemballa caught international headlines a few months ago after its founder, Uwe Gemballa, unceremoniously went missing with a number of rumors suggesting he went M.I.A because of an impending case involving his tuning firm. With Gemballa falling out of the grid, the company that was named after him eventually closed up shop .

Now, the tuning firm that made its name as one of the best Porsche tuners in the world is set to make a comeback and will be now led by both Schwarz and Korbach. According to the two, the company is now fully secured and would return to its world-class tuning ways. To add to the good news, the company is now in the middle of developing new packages for a slew of current Porsche models, including the Panamera and the second-generation Cayenne , and is expected to release its first model sometime in the next few months.

In addition to developing new kits for the aforementioned Porsche models, Gemballa will also continue some of the trademark packages that made it a household name in the tuning world. Some of these models include: the Gemballa MIG-U1 based on the Ferrari Enzo , the Gemballa Tornado based on the Porsche Cayenne , the Gemballa Avalanche Roadster based on the Porsche 911 , the Gemballa GT Aero 3 based on the Porsche Cayenne , and the Gemballa Mirage GT based on the Porsche Carrera GT .

If you’re a fan of controversial tuning house, Gemballa , this coming Monday should be an interesting day for you.

Reports are coming stating that this Monday, August 23, a press conference will be held to formally announce the return of the renowned tuning house under a new management that will be led by one, Andreas Schwarz.

The tuning house founded by Uwe Gemballa was shut down a couple of months ago after the German unceremoniously went off the grid for a couple of weeks only to be found spending some time in Africa. Gemballa’s mysterious exit out of Germany was rumored to be the result of running away from German authorities, which then led to reports that German officials raided and effectively closed down his tuning facility , resulting in all the cars in the plant getting impounded.

Now that it looks like the company’s under new management – in addition to Schwarz, rumor has it that another German tuning house is also working on getting Gemballa back on its feet – we’re expecting to found out more on what exactly happened to the company and the new direction it’s going to take in next Monday’s press conference.

As always, stay tuned for more details.

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