German Porsche tuner Gemballa has finally gone off the deep end. Its new Avalanche 4X4 concept takes the “Safari 911" trend to its ultimate end by jacking up one of its 991 Turbo S-based Avalanche supercars. Safari cars started out as cool because they were unique and hadn’t really been explored before outside of a motorsport context. Now that everyone and their brother builds a rendition of the concept, each wilder and more off-the-wall than the last, can we just declare it dead now? This Gemballa, set to be available for order in the next 24 months, is milking the trend for all it’s worth.
The ‘standard’ Avalanche makes a massive 820 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque from a modified 3.8-litre Porsche flat-six. There’s no word on whether the 4X4 version will get the same powerplant, but it’s likely. While I’m sure driving this monstrosity down a fire road, or across a wide open desert rally stage, would be an absolute riot, I’m not sure I’d be able to look at it without vomiting. The design works pretty well when it’s mere milimetres from a paved surface, but with added height it just looks gratuitous. Gemballa, what hath you wrought?
The bodywork and massive rear wing look pretty similar to the track-ready Avalanche, but in the 4X4 version the massive 21-inch centre-lock wheels are replaced by a five-lug setup with gnarly knobby rubber. The front end looks like it’s possibly a bit more 992 than 991, though the wide nose does look to have some 991 RSR race car inspiration. It’s still a rough sketch, so it’s hard to tell some of the finer details.
Yes, some of you may say that it reminds you of Porsche’s famous Dakar-winning 1980s icon, the 959. As true as that may be, Dakar is actually bad now.
Maybe I’m just bitter that I lifted my excellent Audi S6 sedan and put it on knobby off-road tires and it totally ruined the driving experience.