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Road Test: Gemballa Avalanche GTR EVO-R 750
The Porsche 911 Turbo is one of the most balanced sports cars on our planet. It makes a great platform for tuners around the world to show their potential. One of those companies is Gemballa who released their first Avalanche tuning package in the mid-1980s. Since then, numerous masterpieces have hit the road and showcased the true character of a Gemballa car. The latest package, released in 2009, is the Avalanche GTR EVO-R program offering a range of power outputs up to 800hp.
The base for our test car was the 2010 Porsche 997 Turbo which Gemballa then fitted with a large variety of different aerodynamic, technical and body parts. They also added extensive upgrades to the interior. The black and orange theme may be familiar to some of you. At this year’s Top Marques Monaco we had a first drive in the powerful machine, and by the end, we were begging for more. So we find ourselves here, with a full day in the 750hp, twin-turbocharged sports car experiencing thirty years of Gemballa heritage near Leonberg.
Let’s start with the Avalanche styling package. At the front Gemballa have installed a new front skirt named from their ‘type GT’ range which features headlights borrowed from the Carrera GT and a front spoiler lip from the ‘type GT2 EVO’ range finished in black carbon fiber. The front lip channels cool air to the air intake vents and provides the car with a lowered appearance. The front vented bonnet from the ‘type GTR EVO’ range, is also made from carbon fiber and accompanies new front fender extensions.
The Avalanche receives a number of changes to its rear section, including new tail lights which fit and complement the redesigned rear skirt. The built-in rear air diffuser, which comes in a choice of varnish or naked carbon fiber, accommodates four exhaust end pipes. To finish it all off, Gemballa offer a massive rear wing which channels extra downforce to the rear axle. The exterior trim also features an orange and black matt paintjob and 20 inch Black Magic rims sizing 9.0/245 ET29 at the front and 11.5/325 ET06 at the rear.
The eccentric looking exterior is combined with an improved interior offering plenty of alcantara, leather and carbon fiber. The door entrance, sport seats and digital instruments receive carbon fiber finishes whislt the roof and dashboard get the alcantara treatment. The 340mm sports steering wheel which is equipped with a full-sized airbag and the sports seats of the Pole Position type provide additional seating firmness. Floor mat sets, alloy pedals with foot rest and a roll bar draped in leather finish off the interior package.
Besides the totally stunning form of the car, the power train is outfitted with powerful performance improvements linked to the serial gearbox. The increase of power is linear on paper producing 750hp which it attains at 6,500rpm and a top torque of 950Nm achieved at 5,000rpm. But in real life, the driving experience is one of a rather moderate buildup of power up until the moment the biturbo kit fully kicks in. The explosion of torque at 5,000rpm surfaces out of nothing and is so intimidating it scares the hell out of any driver. Before you know it the forward momentum is gone, you have almost reached the limiter and an upshift is requested via the racing short-shifter with it’s 40mm reduction. After the gear change the intimidating show of sheer performance repeats itself.
Once you have tuned yourself to the full scale and ferocity of the duo Garret T035 turbos, you are capable of reaching the acceleration rate of 0-100km/h in just 3.4 seconds continuing on to a maximum speed of +340km/h. The brutal performance is achieved by the installation of a racing-intercooler, racing crankshaft, a connecting rod made of titanium and forged pistons. Air supply is optimized by the aluminum induction pipe and a carbon air box equipped with sports air filter. The powerful sound from the rear is provided by a stainless steel, high-performance exhaust system that comes with racing headers that have been tuned for optimum performance.
Stopping power is realised through an improved brake kit with 405mm discs and six-piston calipers at the front and 380mm discs and four-piston calipers at the rear. Additional brake ventilation both front and rear is accounted for just in front of the wheels, in the front bumper and the side skirts. To improve the handling of this ferocious monster, sport-suspension with double spring system, front strut bar and rear unibal bearings are fitted to the stock suspension of the 997 Turbo.
While finding the words to conclude our road test, we were lost in memories. Somehow the eccentricity of the car’s exterior seems to entice, but the Gemballa Avalanche GTR EVO-R 750 does not appear to be for the faint of heart. The uniqueness of Gemballa is not only shown by its presence, but can only be experienced by finding the guts to drive one. Which in the end will leave you with too many words to describe what you have just witnessed. Just too many words for a single line.
So to properly characterize this unique sports car, we had to check a dictionary to find the proper definition for its name and manners. And we think that “a sudden appearance of an overwhelming number of things” fits the character of this orange/black Avalanche the best.
Do not forget to check out our video of the Avalanche in Monaco right here!