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 |  Jan 03 2011, 3:42 PM

Before the untimely death of Uwe Gemballa, he had given the world a special gift, a modified Ferrari Enzo. Gemballa is one of the most well-known tuners in the world, but all his work was previously focused on Porsches. So the move to work his magic on a Ferrari, and a very rare one at that – only 400 Enzo’s were ever produced – came as a big surprise.

The tuning went far beyond just looks. The Enzo’s aerodynamics were tweaked to give the car more downforce at speed, and the brakes have more ducting to cool them quicker. It’s also lighter, lower, wider and faster. The extra speed comes thanks to a tuned 6.0-liter V12, that now produces 700 hp.

The initial plans were to produce 25 examples of the Enzo-based MIG-U1, but with Gemballa’s death and reoganization of his company, so far only one such vehicle exists. It is currently on sale, and while the listing says the car is in the U.S.A., after inquiring the seller informed us it is actually currently sitting in Paris, France.

Interested? Thought you might be, after all it would make for an interesting addition to any garage. However, as you might have guessed, it is not exactly cheap. The current owner is asking $3.8-million for it, which is twice as much as what a regular Enzo is fetching these days. We suggest you crack open all your piggy-banks now.

[Source: The Car Experience]

 |  Dec 15 2010, 2:01 PM

2010 has been the sort of year Gemballa would never want a repeat of. It was in February when Uwe Gemballa, the founder of this high-end tuning company, was reported missing.

Sadly, his body was found a few months later, ending speculation of where he was and what had happened. With news of the company filing for bankruptcy and all operation coming to an immediate halt, it looked as if the days of ever seeing a new creation from Gemballa had gone.

Thankfully the company lives under the management of its new CEO Andreas Schwarz, and they have just released a new model, called the Tornado.

Named after the British fighter jet by the same name, the Tornado keeps with their tradition of naming their cars after fighter jets – like the Porsche Carrera GT variant called the Mirage and the Ferrari Enzo variant called the MiG.

Their newest model is based on Porsche‘s latest generation Cayenne model. Obviously it has a new body kit, which gives this SUV a very angry stance.  With its gaping mouth, vertical LED lights and huge nostrils, if you see this coming in your rearview mirror, just do the sensible thing and get out of its way.

But there is more to its looks than its looks suggests. Gemballa has used its knowledge in producing bits out of carbon-fiber, so as a result, not only does the Tornado look different, it weighs less too, and that is without compromising its safety features. In total, the Tornado is 154 lbs lighter than its Cayenne sibling.

Oh, and it has more power too. Gemballa says they are working on a stage two engine modification for this motor and will see a power output of around 700 hp and 738 ft-lbs of torque. Thankfully, upgraded Brembo brakes will also be available to stop all this fury.

Prices for the Tornado has not been announced yet, but if you want one you’ll need to hurry, only 30 are planned for production.

 |  Aug 20 2010, 4:16 PM

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Back in May, we thought it was the end of Gemballa when Uwe Gemballa went missing (in February) and his wife filed bankruptcy on the company. Most everyone believed that this would be the end of the beloved Gemballa brand but it looks like it won’t fade into the darkness that easily. What is interesting though is that this resurgence of the Gemballa brand will have nothing to do with its original owners and founders being that Uwe Gemballa is still missing.

Andreas Swartz and Steffen Korbach have stepped in, buying the rights to the Gemballa brand along with whatever was lying around. Swartz will be acting as the CEO of the new Gemballa and both plan on making announcements on Monday that will push Gemballa towards more of a true aftermarket manufacturer. They also have plans on tuning the Porsche Panamera and Cayenne in addition to Ferrari’s Enzo.

Instead of offering full out vehicles or stand-alone sets of wheels, Swartz and Korbach are aiming towards Gemballa-branded products that can be purchased as components so enthusiasts can build the cars themselves. Whether or not this is the best direction for Gemballa to go, it’s certainly the most profitable way. It’s easy to see much of the prestige will be diminished of owning anything Gemballa now that anyone can get their hands on it piece-by-piece, but hey – it’s the smart thing to do. We’re just more curious to see how the design of the products will look under new vision. Guess the drama of Gemballa continues…stay tuned!

[Source: Motor Trend]

 |  May 17 2010, 5:42 PM

 

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Well, we probably could have called this one. German super-tuner Gemballa finally closed up shop this week, ending a 30-year reign as one of Europe’s top tuners. Gemballa was known as one of the most outrageous tuners of Porsches and Ferrari’s, and with cars like the Mirage GT and Avalanche GTR800, have proven themselves absolutely bonkers when it comes to making fast cars faster. Their most recent project, the questionably-styled, Enzo-based Mig-U1, sought to show that the fastest of Ferrari’s was actually built in Germany.

Things went south for Gemballa quickly, the down economy in 2008 hurt Gemballa’s bottom line, and may have led to the strange disappearance of company founder Uwe Gemballa in Africa. The last known communication from Gemballa, he requested a transfer of a large sum of money, which pretty much says it all.