You expect to see young Luke in the passenger seat and his old man stepping out the driver’s side when you look at the Gemballa Tornado 750 GTS. And the rather breathy refrain of the Dark Lord’s voice booming in the ether. There is no doubt. If Darth Vader drove a car it would be the Gemballa Tornado 750 GTS.
Gemballa has produced some pretty extreme versions of Porsche cars over the years. And this latest version of the Gemballa Tornado – the Tornado 750 GTS – is up there with the most extreme. It not only looks like something from a sci-fi movie, it performs like one. Gemballa has managed to strip around 550lbs of weight from the Cayenne Turbo (on which the Tornado is based). Which is something of an achievement in itself. After all, most customisers manage to add weight by bolting on extra bits of body kit. But although Gemballa have done that, they have done it with carbon fibre, replacing much of the stock sheet metal in the process.
Hugely welcome though the weight saving is, it is the power jump that is most impressive. Gemballa has taken the Cayenne’s stock V8 and managed to coax a pretty astonishing 750bhp from it, along with a huge wave of torque of 775lb/ft. This extra power, together with the pretty substantial weight loss, translates in to a 0-60mph of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 184mph. Which is getting remarkably close to supercar performance in a still two ton SUV. Quite incredible.
Gemballa has also played with the Cayennes air suspension, and you can now change ride heights by up to 70mm. Huge 22″ wheels are shod with enough rubber to cover a football pitch (335×25) and a set of six-piston brakes and bigger discs makes sure you can bring this monster to a halt. You can also, if you wish, shove all that power just to the rear wheels if you really want to play.
The interior becomes a feast of Alcantara, with a massive centre console dominating. You even get grab handles in the back to hold on when the going gets hairy and you’re struggling to stay in your custom seat. But for quieter journeys the Tornado does come with a rear entertainment package.
Mad as a hatter, the Tornado GTS is a truly remarkable car. It’s also a truly remarkable price – €400,000. Which is just the base price. Gemballa are happy to do whatever you want, so you could end up spending substantially more. But even at the base price, that translates to around £415,000 once you add the VAT. Ouch! Just 50 Gemballa Tornado 750 GTS are being produced. Just enough for the Sith to get around.
May the force be with you.