Meet The Marsien: Porsche 911 Transformed Into 959 Offroader With 830 HP

Reveal / Comments

Only 40 examples will be produced.

We first reported on the details of a modern-day Porsche 959 based on a Porsche 911 back in February. At the time, we knew that the son of Uwe Gemballa, Marc Phillipp Gemballa, would lead what was initially known as Project Sandbox. Shortly after this, the carwas leaked.

Well, all the rumors about this production-ready off-road capable supercar can now be put to rest. The Marsien has been revealed in all its glory. Said to draw inspiration from the Paris Dakar rally era, the Marsien was designed for a sensational driving experience both on the road and off it. It's been described as creating an entirely new supercar segment and we're not about to debate that.

Marc Gemballa
Marc Gemballa
Marc Gemballa

The development partners have ensured that mechanically, the Marsien is a force. These include exhaust specialists Akrapovic, Porsche engine masters RUF Automobile, and KW Automotive for the suspension. The specific base car is the Porsche 911 (992) Turbo S. The name 'Marsien' comes from the French word 'Martian' or 'from Mars.' The team tested the Marsien in the Al Faya desert in the UAE where the sand reminded them of an environment similar to that of the red planet.

Aesthetically, it is something rather special. The Marsien has a full carbon fiber body and its design was created by Alan Derosier, the creator of the Porsche 908 design study. The lines are smooth and timeless.

Marc Gemballa
Marc Gemballa
Marc Gemballa
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The wraparound rear wing is one of the most distinctive styling features, as is the completely horizontal rear lighting element. Customers can order a fully exposed carbon fiber body, otherwise it is finished in triple layer Pearl White paint. Currently, the Marsien is being homologated for road use, ensuring it passes the required crash tests.

The Marsien is powered by RUF's twin-turbo flat-six engine that delivers 750 horsepower and up to 686 lb-ft of torque but a second stage power upgrade can unleash as much as 830 hp. This monster powerplant is paired with the Porsche dual-clutch transmission and the Marsien is capable of reaching 62 mph in just 2.6 seconds.

Marc Gemballa
Marc Gemballa

A number of enhancements have been made to equip the Marsien for the extreme conditions it is designed to excel in. For example, the central radiator's airflow has been redirected to prevent the engine from overheating. A special air filter insert is used that is optimized for dusty conditions. Even the extended driveshafts have been strengthened with joints from the Porsche Cayenne.

Although there are no tall buildings in the desert to amplify the echo of the engine, Akrapovic has designed a titanium exhaust system for a special sound experience anyway.

Marc Gemballa
Marc Gemballa
Marc Gemballa

Naturally, off-road jaunts will require a significantly beefed up suspension. Teaming up with KW Automotive, the changes include new double wishbone front suspension with solid piston dampers. An adjustable ride height system can increase ground clearance to a Subaru-like 250 mm (over 9.8 inches). A Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) system is in place and damper forces can be adjusted in just 20 milliseconds depending on whether snow, sand, or dirt roads are being traversed. Unlike your regular 911, this one also has gravel, sand, snow, and mud driving modes.

Two wheel and tire sets are available, with the off-road set being 19-inch front, 20-inch rear forged aluminum wheels and all-terrain tires. The on-road set consists of 20- and 21-inch forged aluminum wheels and Michelin Ultra High-Performance tires.

Marc Gemballa
Marc Gemballa
Marc Gemballa

The cabin is clearly derived from the road-going 911 but with several important changes. It features either full leather or Alcantara and a lifted center console inspired by the Carrera GT.

Only 40 examples of the Marsien will be manufactured and over half of the small series production has already been accounted for. Besides the cost of a Porsche 992 Turbo S base vehicle, the price for the conversion begins at a steep 495,000 euros (around $585,322), excluding shipping, any options, taxes, and duties.

Marc Gemballa
Marc Gemballa

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