In a world where power, size and money take precedence above all else, Gemballa’s GT 650 is king. There aren’t many other cars which have as much presence, poise and power as the GT 650. There may be bigger or more powerful cars, but nothing smacks you in the face with a wet fish harder than Gemballa’s re-creation of the Porsche Cayenne.
The Gemballa GT 650 is a car for those who have made it to the top and aren’t abashed to show off their wealth. This is a car for the show-off, for the brash, the bold but not necessarily the beautiful. This is a crass and vulgar car, but in a very tasty and delicious way.
What is it that makes the Gemballa GT 650 such a bold, crass and vulgar statement? First is the very car the GT 650 is based on, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The Cayenne is a tree hugger’s worst nightmare. With global warming on the rise, big, powerful and fuel guzzling cars like the Cayenne are being frowned upon, so much so that eggs, as well as rotten tomatoes are being thrown at SUVs by overzealous environmentalists around the world. By buying a Cayenne, then getting Gemballa to make it look even brasher and even more powerful so it’ll burn even more fuel is like flipping off environmentalists and tree huggers all around the world with a huge, 4-wheeled 650bhp finger.
Second is the sheer absurdity of a car like the Cayenne, let alone a modified one like the Gemballa. Built as an SUV, one might expect it to be somewhat, big, slow and ungainly with amazing off-road ability. Not, however, when said SUV is built by Porsche. What Porsche have come up with is a big, but definitely not slow and ungainly SUV with less-than-decent off-road ability. The Cayenne is more of an overpowered and oversized engineering feat which is able to defy the laws of physics. It’s fantastic.
With a decently sorted 4-wheel-drive chassis and a huge 4.8-litre, twin turbo V8 powering it, Gemballa had themselves a great platform to start their work with. In fact, Gemballa have managed to extract more than 750bhp from the Cayenne Turbo. This variant packs ‘only’ 650bhp though, but even that is an impressive power figure for ANY car.
Gemballa achieved that power figure by replacing the standard turbochargers with Gemballa turbochargers and improved exhaust gas flow with inconel headers, racing catalytic converters and a full Gemballa sports exhaust system. Also contributing to the 650bhp power output are less restrictive Gemballa air filters, a sports intercooler, stainless steel intercooler piping and a Gemballa remapped ECU, with a Gemballa race oil cooler to keep everything running well and cool.
Transferring power to the four wheels is the robust automatic gearbox, which is more than up to the task of handling the extra power, but Gemballa fitted one of their transmission fluid coolers to be on the safe side.
With the drivetrain and the powertrain sorted out, Gemballa turned their attention to the suspension. Gemballa wisely opted to retain the Cayenne’s sophisticated air suspension, but added a few tweaks of their own with their electronic lowering module, which lowers the Cayenne’s portly body by 40mm.
When you add more power to a very heavy car, the one thing which really should be upgraded is the braking system. The last thing you want is to turn your car into a 250km/h battering ram. Gemballa feels the same way and fitted 6-piston calipers with 412mm rotors on the front and 4-piston calipers with 380mm rotors on the rear. The rotors are slotted and cross drilled, of course.
With the massive brake kit fitted, the stock wheels would no longer fit. Good thing then, that Gemballa just happens to have a range of aftermarket wheels for the Cayenne. Gemballa says that their 412mm brake kit requires 22 inch wheels to clear them, so a set of 22 inch Gemballa GT Sport wheels in satin black were fitted to this Cayenne’s hubs. Each massive 22 inch wheel is wrapped in an equally massive Yokohama Advan Sport tyre which measures 315/30R22 in size.
If there’s one thing you’d be sure to find in a Gemballa tuned car, it’s a fully pimped out interior, utilizing the finest materials and the most technologically advanced gadgets. This GT 650 is no exception and the interior is now a see of burgundy leather and black alcantara. The front and rear seats have also been replaced with Recaro seats and the steering wheel is now a Gemballa item. Keeping things more enjoyable for the passengers is a mini fridge with iPod and Bluetooth connections and monitors to keep them entertained.
Finally, the GT 650 gets the icing on its 650bhp cake, the Gemballa Aero 3 bodykit. This bodykit transforms the ugly looking Cayenne into a beast of a car. It’s still not very pretty, but at least the Aero 3 kit makes the Cayenne looks as scary as it is ugly. The kit is quite a comprehensive one and replaces the front bumper, the front bonnet, rear bumper and adds a few extra goodies such as the side view mirrors with integrated indicator lights, tailpipes and foglights.
The Cayenne is an absurd car for many. It’s heavy, it’s ugly and it’s fat. It is quite a pointless car. Then Gemballa comes along and makes it even more ridiculous. The simple fact is, if you want a high performance Porsche, trim the fat, cut the nonsense and get a 911. But then again, we need a little but of absurdity and fat in our lives to make it truly exciting. No one wants to be a truly straight and boring arrow now, do they?
Car: Gemballa GT 650 (Based on 957 Porsche Cayenne Turbo)
Engine: 4.8-litre twin turbo V8
Engine modifications: Gemballa hybrid turbochargers, Gemballa inconel exhaust headers, racing catalytic converters, Gemballa remapped ECU, sports intercooler, stainless steel intercooler piping with race fittings, full Gemballa sports exhaust system, Gemballa oil cooler, Gemballa air filters
Transmission: Stock, Gemballa transmission fluid cooler
Suspension/Chassis: Gemballa electronic lowering module
Brakes: Gemballa 6-piston calipers with 412mm slotted and cross-drilled rotors (front), Gemballa 4-piston calipers with 380mm slotted and cross drilled rotors (rear), steel braided brake lines
Wheels & Tyres: 22inch Gemballa GT Sport wheels, 315/30R22 Yokohama Advan Sport tyres
Interior: Gemballa sports steering wheel, customized Recaro seats, front and rear monitors, rear mini fridge, fully customized interior in black alcantara and burgundy leather, iPod & Bluetooth connection
Exterior: Gemballa Aero 3 bodykit
Tuner: Gemballa – www.gemballa.com