German tuner Gemballa released sketches of a Porsche 911 put on seriously tall stilts that it plans to bring to production. Called Avalanche 4x4, and presumably named after the snow cascade rather than the versatile Chevrolet truck, the model will land in a class of one when it makes its full debut before the end of 2020.
This mutant off-roader shares represents a dramatic departure from the low-slung, rear-engined coupe it started life as. It's unusually tall, it's rolling on tires we'd expect to find under the new Ford Bronco, and every single one of its body panels has received some degree of modification. The front end gets a shorter bumper that improves its approach angle, a NACA duct, and deep vents. There are additional vents behind the doors and on the roof, while the back end is characterized by a chopped-up bumper, a new diffuser, and a huge wing.
The car shown in the sketches is based on the last-generation 911, which is known as the 991 internally. Gemballa explained it will be able to turn the current, 992-generation model into an Avalanche 4x4 as well.
Performance specifications haven't been released yet. The tuner pointed out it currently offers a package that bumps the 911's output to 818 horsepower, and it's working on raising that figure to 1,000 horsepower by summer 2020. The kit will be compatible with 991- and 992-generation variants of the emblematic Porsche. Regardless, the Avalanche 4x4's performance data will "outshine all comparable vehicles," the firm pledged.
Are there comparable vehicles on the market? The 700-horsepower Laffite G-Tec X-Road will come close, assuming it reaches production, as will the Lamborghini Steratto concept introduced in 2019 if it sees the light that awaits at the end of a production line. And, although the Avalanche 4x4 is strongly reminiscent of the lifted 959 that won the 1986 Paris-Dakar, Porsche hasn't built anything like it since. In other words, right now, the best way to put an off-roading supercar in your garage is to build it yourself, or to track down one of the five or six examples of the V12-powered Mega Track made by French firm Aixam between 1992 and 2000.
Avalanche 4x4 production will be limited to "an exclusive small series." Production will start by the end of 2020.
The announcement comes as Gemballa prepares to split its business into three divisions. Called Hypercar, the first will — you guessed it — work on a standalone hypercar with over 800 horsepower. The firm's Luxury Customization division will focus on making one- and few-off models, while the Classics arm will be responsible for maintaining and restoring vintage Gemballa vehicles. All three branches will be based in Germany.