Do you remember the spectacular Gumpert Apollo? That German supercar was an exciting project that ended in bankruptcy. A Hong Kong businessman named Norman Choi bought the remains of the company, now independent of its original founder, Roland Gumpert. With a large budget and a lot of passion for the car they have brought this new project to fruition, which only shares the Apollo name with that Gumpert of yesteryear. He Apollo IE It is Choi’s first creation, and it is in the words of its creator, “a nostalgic GT1 of the 21st century”. An impressive machine whose price will start at 2.3 million euros.
We could have used the classic “registrable race car” headline, but in this case we would be lying. The Apollo IE – whose IE stands for Intensa Emozione, by the way – is a car that You can only ride on a circuit, without the intention of being approved for the streets. If this project is successful and accepted, its creator could think of making a second street sports car, less radical and more “sensible””. The most abundant material of the Apollo IE is carbon fiber. It is built around a carbon fiber monocoque, with a body made of the same material.
Its design is unique, but it seems the result of a night of passion between a Le Mans prototype and a McLaren P1 GTR. Have you seen the huge size of its rear spoiler?
In fact, its body panels are supplied by the same supplier that supplies them to Pagani. The set weighs only 1,250 kilos And it was built with one requirement in mind: sensational downforce. No surface of its sharp and intricate bodywork is accidental, no fin, gill or spoiler is random. The result is a beast 1,350 kg downforce at 350 km / h – technically, at that speed it could ride upside down. The Gumpert Apollo claimed something similar, so we could consider it a nod to its spiritual ancestor.
Its running gear is at the highest level. Let’s start with its engine, a 6.3 V12 with 780 hp which has nothing to do with the AMG engine of the Pagani Huayra. It is truly a unique engine, developed from a 6.3 V12 engine of Ferrari origin, specifically the same one from the F150 project – the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta in its commercial name. The thruster was completely redesigned by an Italian company called Autotecnica Motori. This engine is naturally aspirated and develops its 780 hp at 8,500 rpm – with an injection cut-off set at 9,000 rpm – accompanied by a maximum torque of 760 Nm at 6,000 rpm.
Norman Choi did not want the unpredictability of a turbo engine or complex hybrid systems. He thinks that these types of engines dilute the driving experience, removing the passion component.
It transmits all its power to the rear axle through a Hewland signed six-speed sequential gearbox. Thanks to this and some Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 semi-slicks, he achieves a 0 to 100 km / h in just 2.7 seconds. The engine compartment is covered in gold leaf – an excellent thermal insulator – and the triple exhaust has been 3D printed and laser cut, costing almost as much as a brand-new BMW M4. The Apollo IE suspension is push-rod type and is fully adjustable. The braking equipment is carbon-ceramic and has been signed by Brembo, boasting 380 mm diameter front discs.
The Apollo IE has three different driving modes, a sport mode, a more comfortable mode and an automatic setting. Interestingly, its top speed is single 335 km / h. Partly it has been reduced with short developments for the gearbox, and partly because Norman Choi does not want to enter the war for maximum speed that companies like Bugatti or Hennessey are struggling. The Apollo IE experience is different, it’s that of exclusive track-days, it’s the maximum attention to detail, is that of state-of-the-art experimental materials.
Although it is a racing-client, its interior is luxurious, well finished and focused solely on the driving experience. Only a total of 10 units will be manufactured. I wanted to finish the article here, but I will confess that I’ve spent a good 15 minutes going over the intricate design of its bodywork, its exposed carbon fiber flats, the amazing engine cover. It’s just breathtaking, such a car inspiring such as a Bugatti Chiron or a Koenigsegg Regera.