What happens when you cross a Porsche 911 Turbo with a Dakar racer and lightly dust it with some Porsche 959 seasoning?
You end up with the Marsien, which could be the answer to a question very few have asked: How to blend supercar performance with LandCruiser ability.
The Marsien is the brainchild of Marc Philipp Gemballa, the son of Uwe Gemballa who was known for making Porsches faster and more radical.
Boiling it down, the Marsien takes a 992-generation Porsche 911 Turbo S and jacks up the suspension to allow it to traverse the sort of terrain no Porsche engineer would have dreamt of.
Ground clearance is claimed at a whopping 250mm, more than a Toyota LandCruiser.
And peak outputs are a fair whack up on a regular 911 Turbo S courtesy of some tuning from Porsche specialist RUF.
Power swells to 551kW (up from 478kW) and torque to 930Nm (from 800Nm).
Top speed is 330km/h and the Marsien blasts to 100km/h in 2.6 seconds when engaging the launch control mode.
However, that’s only when using the 20-inch front wheels and 21-inch rears that are designed for on-road use.
Wheel sizes step down an inch with the off-road wheel set that adds all-terrain tyres and lowers the top speed to just 210km/h.
The ride height also raises from its road-going 120mm using a hydraulic lift system to a towering 250mm.
Developed under the codename Project Sandbox, the car morphed into the Marsien when testing in the Al Faya desert near Abu Dhabi.
“Since it looked and felt like we were on Mars paired with the futuristic design and the vehicle’s off-road capabilities, we couldn’t think of a more fitting name for our first project,” said creator Marc Philipp Gemballa. “The name ‘Marsien’ was born – derived from the French word ‘Martian’ or ‘from Mars’.”
While the Marsien clearly has Porsche design cues, the panels are all changed from the 911 Turbo S it’s based on.
Gone is the aluminium panels and in is a full carbon fibre design, much of it supplied by a company that also supplies F1 teams.
Those who know their Porsches will recognise the hints of 959 – especially with the rear bodywork and tail lights – the supercar that started life as a rally homologation vehicle in the 1980s.
All of which has created one of the coolest looking cars to go desert exploring.
Gemballa describes it as “the ultimate adventure sports car”.
The company is planning to produce 40 of them and, unsurprisingly, they won’t come cheap.
The asking price is €495,000, excluding taxes and the price of the car. Think something like $1.7 million once you got the car to Australia.
Just the ticket for a trip across the Simpson…