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.
In the 30 years that Gemballa was active in the car tuning scene, they belonged to the upper-echelon of tuning houses producing some of the most memorable modified cars in the world. They specialized in Ferraris and Porsches with their most recent project being the Gemballa MIG-U1 based off the Ferrari Enzo. Their history is speckled with automotive notable such as the Mirage GT and the Gemballa Avalanche GTR800 EVO-R. With this history in mind, it pains us to say that the company has finally closed up shop - permanently - after the wife of the still-missing company founder, Uwe Gemballa, hired a law firm to file for bankruptcy.
Things turned sour for Gemballa when the 54-year old founder of one of the then biggest specialists in the tuning business went missing last February. Any and all efforts in finding him were all futile and the last form of communication established was a conversation between Uwe and his son where the father asked his son to transfer an significant amount of money to Uwe. There’s still no word as to where Uwe is and what he’s up to, but it seems that his absence - or maybe even before that - pretty much spelled doom to his once-popular tuning company.
Gemballa has definitely made a name for itself when it comes to tuning a remarkable vehicle like the Porsche Carrera GT or the Porsche 970 Panamera. In fact, they have been doing so for the past 27 years and will probably continue to do so for another 27 more. What is absolutely remarkable about this company is not its ability to tune a Porsche—we know they can do that—it’s their ability to do anything else on top of it. Take, for example, this Gemballa MIG-U1 based Ferrari Enzo. This car is currently on sale on Jameslist.com by The Car Experience. It has a gasoline-powered V12 engine with a semi-automatic gearbox producing 700hp. It makes the 0-60 sprint in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 218mph. Only 25 of these super-tuned, highly erotic vehicles were produced, each with a unique individualized style.
The Gemballa MIG-U1 based Ferrari Enzo features a front skirt that has a spoiler lip adding 77lbs of additional downforce, door extensions to the diffuser and rear spoiler, a rear flap that lowers itself at speeds of 75mph, and an optional electro-hydraulic height adjustment that can lift the car up by 1.7 inches is available. The car that is currently on sale is white with a red and black interior and only has about 13 miles on it. The price is only available upon request, but after taking a look around, we found Ferrari Enzos at a price range of $1.1-1.8million (US). Of course, those weren’t tuned by Gemballa.
Reports of Uwe Gemballa’s mysterious disappearance in South Africa has turned out to be premature. But while we’re glad to know that Gemballa is probably still alive, his tuning company, Gemballa, may not be as fortunate.
According to Cars UK, Gemballa didn’t exactly ’disappear’ when he went to Johannesburg. Turns out, he might be hiding from German authorities. While there’s no definite word on why Gemballa fled out of the Germany, reports have it that German officials raided and effectively closed down his tuning facility, resulting in all the cars in the plant to be impounded.
As a result, all the owners with cars inside would have to show definitive proof that they own those cars for them to have any chance of reclaiming their belongings.
Like we said, we don’t know the reason why Uwe Gemballa decided to fall off the grid, but if the latest happenings involving his tuning his house has any merit, then he – and his company, for that matter - might be in some deep trouble. Keep checking back here for more updates regarding this rather perplexing turn of events.
Here at Topspeed, we like to make jokes as much as the next guy, but sometimes, we’re met with some pretty distressing news that, quite frankly, if joked about, would makes us look totally classless and insensitive.
That being said, in all seriousness, we got pretty bummed out when we heard the news that Uwe Gemballa, the founder and big boss of the popular Porsche tuner, Gemballa, has been reported missing.
According to a number reports, Gemballa was found missing during the 51-year olds trip to South Africa. There’s no confirmed location as to where he disappeared but the prevailing opinion is that the Gemballa fell off the grid while he was in Johannesburg, which, incidentally, is one of the most notoriously dangerous cities in the world known for its stratospheric crime rate.
For their part, German investigators have been working with local authorities in South Africa to find Gemballa and bring him back to safety.
Our thoughts are with his family as they try to cope with this pretty distressing news and we hope for the safe return of Uwe Gemballa.
When we hear the world Gemballa thoughts of highly modified Porsche Cayennes and super tuned Carrera GTs, however it comes at no surprise that this Gundam winged Ferrari Enzo super car comes from the same stable as Tornados and Mirages. The Gemballa MIG-U1 will be limited to only 25 units, every single one of them being individually adjusted.
Gemballa is remaining a bit tight lipped about the specifics surrounding the MIG U1 and won’t reveal any of the tuned super car’s official details until the invitation only launch in Dubai. The kit looks like it started as a take on Ferrari’s FXX program and then morphed into something more reminiscent of a stealth bomber with its pronounced wing and assortment of scoops all covered in a coat of Championship White. On the inside, the Enzo’s business only attitude has been given a bit of a plush makeover with special quilted red Alcantara covering the seats, steering wheel and interior trim as well as an in dash LCD screen to control the MIG’s in car entertainment system. Once again the German tuner has shown us their ability to take an already attractive high performance machine and completely transform it into something unrecognizably out of this world.
Updated 01/14/10: Thanks to an optimized engine management and a specially tuned exhaust system, the 6.5 Liter Ferrari V12 now develops a maximum output of 700 HP. Meanwhile Gemballa revealed all the highly modified Enzo’s possible exterior colors. Check out the gallery to see them all.
Press release after the jump.
Gemballa has added an all new take onto their Tornado lineup of modified Porsche Cayenne SUV with a new forward opening hood and new lighting at all four corners. The Gemballa Tornado 750 GTS has a much more compact face thanks to the new Carrera GT head lamps that are housed underneath the new hinged sheet metal and manages to completely transform the character of the full size Cayenne much like when Ruf created the Dakara. Aside from the wide body fenders and traditional Tornado kit, the 750 GTS also features a reinforced chassis complete with sport suspension and an electronic lowering module that compliment the big brake kit housed inside the 22 inch Gemballa GT SPORT forged wheels.
On the inside Gemballa added a few high end features like night vision thanks to a tiny camera mounted in the front bumper and a set of sport buckets wrapped in luxurious leather and Alcantara back in the cabin that is adorned with a host of carbon fiber trim accent pieces. However Gemballa doesn’t call this Tornado a 750 GTS for nothing, after working their magic under the new engine cover and applying a few in house tricks, the German tuner has managed to extract a total of 750 HP from the twinturbocharged V8 Porsche.
The German tuning firm Gemballa have just revealed a new customization program targeted at Porsche Cayenne owners. The GT500 Aero 3 kit is a new take on their classic rounding out of the high performance SUV and also includes an electronic lowering kit, a set of 22 inch Gemaballa GT Sport wheels as well as a free flowing exhaust and plenty of upgrades on the inside. With christmas eve right around the corner, it looks like this one is a special order. Who ever knew that Santa Claus was a Porsche guy?
Aside from the driver’s seat, a vehicle’s steering wheel is one of the only items inside of a car that the operator will be in constant contact with throughout the automobile’s life cycle, so a small upgrade in the directional department can go a long way towards enhancing the driving experience. The German tuner Gemballa is now offering a new steering wheel for the Porsche Cayenne. The wheel is slightly smaller in diameter, measuring only 365 millimeters across and features a modern three spoke design. Customers can chose from a variety of leather wrapped finishes and colors with an optional carbon element at the owners request, all starting at around € 1,680.
Press release after the jump.
The German tuning firm Gemballa has been modifying Porsches since the early 1980s and their most recent endeavor, the Mistrale based on the Porsche Panamera proves to deliver upon all of the wild Gemballa design cues and insane horse power figures that have made them such a successful force in the high end aftermarket.
However the Mistrale isn’t quite ready for retailers, so until then Gemaballa has come up with a new wheel and ire package for the Panamera to hold Porsche tuning enthusiasts over until they can get all the kinks worked out of the full size version. Yesterday we showed you how far a simple set of wheels can go to improve the look of a vehicle from every angle, so Gemballa has come up with a new set of their 22 inch GT Sport wheels that go a long way to upgrade the appearance of the mildly tuned Panamera. The rims are being offered in two styles, one with rivets in the lip and the other without; the new rollers give the Panamera a staggered stance and are sized to fit a set of 265/30 tires up front an a bit wider 315/25 rubber in the rear.
Gemablla isn’t the only aftermarket manufacturer looking to jump on the modified Panamera bandwagon, after seeing what other companies like Mansory, TechArt and even Lumma Design can do with the new German four door GT car it looks like the sky is the limit as to what we can expect to see in terms of highly modified four door Grand Touring cars in the near future, especially as far as the Porsche Panamera is concerned.
The crazy car guys at Gemballa are at it again, having one upped their previous GT 600 tuning package for the powerful Porsche Cayenne Turbo. This time Gemballa is calling the modified ride GT 750, hinting at the boosted Cayenne’s additional 150 HP under the hood.
If you are familiar with Gemballa’s line of high performance Cayennes then the flared arches and oversized 911 Turbo style intakes in the front bumper should be immediately recognizable, however one small detail that you might overlook is that the Magic White paint on the hood hides the GT750’s large central vent that accompanies the two standard slits. The front bumper also has a pair of fog lamps cleverly hidden behind a black screen that makes them look more discreet, while the wings on either side of the unit transition nicely into the bulging front fenders. On the inside, Aero 3 Sport Exclusive is upgraded with a few fine touches like SPS bucket seats front and rear with color matching suede inserts and carbon fiber trim. The in car entertainment consists of one screen in the middle of the dash up front and a trio of flat black monitors mounted in the headrests and rear tunnel for the back seat passengers. Continuing up the rear divider is a refrigerated compartment that is perfect for keeping some bubbly on ice, after all this is the exclusive model.
The less glamorous and more function part of the new Gemballa GT 750 consists of an electronic lowering module that manipulates the stock air ride suspension to eliminate the gap between the boxed fenders the new 23 inch Gemballa racing wheels that house the Gemballa brake system. The stoppers consist of massively huge multi piston calipers both front and rear as well as cross drilled and slotted rotors all around. However under the hood lies possibly the single most important element of the GT 750, a twin turbocharged Porsche tuned V8 modified with Gemballa’s 750 HP engine kit that transforms this luxury sport utility vehicle into a fire breathing go anywhere limousine.