New Porsche 911-Based Off-Roader by Uwe Gemballa’s Son Will Pack a 750-HP Flat-Six by Ruf


Slightly beaten to the punch by Singer and Tuthill with their high-flying Safari-ready 911 ASC, young Marc Philipp Gemballa’s off-road supercar is still being developed under the name “Project Sandbox,” inspired by the iconic Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar. However, with its market launch set for spring 2021, the startup is now ready to reveal that its limited edition supercar will be powered by Ruf, not unlike some of the late Uwe Gemballa’s most famous tuning creations. Led by the founder’s 27-year-old son, the Marc Philipp Gemballa venture is not associated in any form with Gemballa GmbH, the team that bought the name after the original company went bankrupt.

As a manufacturer that designs and builds its own engines and gearboxes, Ruf should have no problem turning the already 640-horsepower 2021 Porsche Turbo S flat-six into a Ruf boxer peaking at 750 horsepower and 686 pound-feet of torque. Marc Philipp Gemballa says that the first batch of ten “Project Sandbox” vehicles has already been sold in advance, leaving only 30 of the planned 40 units available. Unsurprisingly, the 750-hp Ruf engine will also be available for regular Porsche 992 Turbo and Turbo S models.

According to technical director Moritz Renner, the new Ruf engine complies with the latest EURO 6 emissions regulations and “has been subject to the strictest WLTP and RDE tests.” That’s pretty much a given with Ruf products, yet what’s for sure is that with 750 twin-turbocharged horses on tap, the off-road capable Marc Philipp Gemballa “Sandbox” should be nothing like the air-cooled 450-horsepower Singer ASC, a stage rally wonder based on the classic 964 platform.

Having been an independent manufacturer since 1981, Ruf has also come up with its own dune-happy 911 concept quite recently, which is based on the naturally-aspirated SCR, styled to remind you of the country-western cowboy culture of Oklahoma. Perhaps not surprisingly, the 500-horsepower Ruf Rodeo remains a one-off show car for now.

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