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.
Exterior and Interior
As with any of its past works, Gemballa has made sure that their projects are given materials of premium-grade quality. The Tornado 958 Cayenne is no different. Other than the SUV’s steel body-in-white, the rear quarter, roof panels, and hatchback, almost all the steel body panels on it have been replaced with carbon fiber. The vehicle’s carbon fiber bonnet, front wings, side sill covers, doors, front and rear bumper/valance, and rear hatch outer skin amount to a reduction of 70 kg compared to when the original steel panels were used. The company did make sure to keep safety considerations intact so they kept the parts like the passenger safety cell and door side impact protection untouched.
The vehicle’s front styling comes with a large grille that’s flanked by two smaller ones providing a substantial amount of ram air for the twin-turbocharged engine. To ensure that the car is instantly recognizable as a Gemballa work of art, the tuning firm also added brake cooling ducts beside the fog lights and vertical LED daytime running lights. The carbon fiber doors’ recessed surface is finished in matte visible carbon, which is actually a direct reference to one of their previous works, the Avalanche GTR. This same material is used on the SUV’s tail panel and rear corners. Over at the rear, Gemballa worked to completely reinvent the rear end by adding a stacked round rear light design, reinforcing the four individual round exhaust outlets, which is a staple among Gemballa-designed vehicles.
The Tornado 958 Cayenne also sits on 10.0J x 22-inch wheels with 295/35 ZR22 tires at the front and 12.0J x 22-inch rims with 335/30 ZR22 tires at the rear.
Details on the interior are still being kept under wraps, but the tuners at Gemballa are in the process of developing a completely new design for the Tornado’s cabin. According to Gemballa, the interior will be characterized by both “elegance and functionality.”
The German tuning firm is already offering a Stage One Cayenne Turbo engine conversion that produces over 580 horsepower. Not content with merely replicating a past masterpiece, Gemballa is equipping the Cayenne 958 Tornado with a Stage Two performance boost – it’s still not finished but it is close to completion – that’s expected to produce a 30-40% increase in output of 650 to 700 horsepower and a 30% increase in torque to around 1,000 Nm of torque.
Pricing for the Tornado 958 Cayenne is still at the TBD phase, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as pricing is released.
Other tuning firms – Superchips, TopCar, and SpeedArt come to mind - have released some pretty impressive works on the Porsche Cayenne. But when it comes to overall bad-assery, very few can hold a candle to Gemballa. These people release some of the most impressive tuned-up Cayennes on the planet and their latest project, the Tornado 958 Cayenne, is just the latest in a long line of masterpieces.