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Gemballa returns with 959 Rally-inspired supercar

Marc Philipp Gemballa establishes new self-titled brand with high performance, luxury on and off-roader

By Sam Sheehan / Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Gemballa is a firm long famed for attention-grabbing at motor shows with enormous power outputs, but the brand’s return at Geneva will see it take a completely different path under the stewardship of the founder’s son. Marc Gemballa is using the tenth anniversary of his father’s death to launch a self-titled brand and new car, which is simply described as an off-road-capable supercar. If the shadowy picture is anything to go by, it will be inspired by the 959 Rally car that competed at Dakar, harking back to the heyday of Uwe Gemballa’s brand.

The image just released shows little more than a light bar, rear wing and what we presume are vents for a rear-mounted engine. Gemballa’s longstanding ties to Stuttgart neighbour Porsche means it’s likely to use underpinnings from the current line-up. We’re thinking of a 992-based, 959-aping off-roader; it would certainly fit the bill for a headline-maker at Geneva. Although it won’t necessarily get a big boost to power output, as MP Gemballa said that it’s leaving the “era of tuning behind”. Boo. 

Although no doubt that’s specifically in reference to engine work, because anything described as a supercar that can go off road is probably subject to extensive work elsewhere. MP Gemballa explained in its announcement that two years of preparation has included work with suspension specialist KW Automotive, creating an adventure capable vehicle “no matter where in the world, no matter what the terrain, no matter what the climate or road conditions”. The project is said to have already attracted orders from clients.

Exact details will be released when the covers are pulled off next week in Geneva, when we’ll also have a better idea of what Gembella junior’s business plans for the future look like. Given the brand cache and a seemingly never-ending demand for ultra-expensive, low-run models, it’s probably safe to say there’s more to come in the pipeline. Which for fans of ultra-mad performance cars, will probably come as welcome news.

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