Exclusivity; a key word in the world of high-roller automotive enthusiasts and super cars. Recently, there have been a handful of companies popping up with interesting and unique creations like the Marussia B2 and Pagani Huayra, but nothing comes close to being radical in all forms like Germany’s Gumpert Apollo. A former engineer with Audi, the companies owner Roland Gumpert, began his venture into the automotive world with Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH established in 2004. With a price just shy of $500,000 (USD) and fitted with massive gullwing doors, it is no doubt that the Apollo is the king of the hill for a reason.
If it isn’t obvious by now, the Gumpert Apollo isn’t the most attractive of vehicles with sweeping romantic body lines and subtle accents. Instead, the Apollo is all about aerodynamics that work and that can only mean a variety of louvers, slats and gaping holes that make the vehicle stick to the road like a suction cup. Powering this radical super car is an Audi 4.2-liter V8, that is paired to twin turbochargers for an output of 641hp and 627 lb-ft. of torque. A six-speed sequential transmission puts the power to the rear wheels allowing it to sprint from 0-60mph in a mere 3.1-seconds and a top speed edging 360km/h (223.9mph)!
The Apollo’s chassis is another piece of engineering marvel. The entire vehicle is comprised of a tubular frame made of chromoly steel and integrated with a carbon fiber monocoque. As such, the weight distribution on this 2,600lb super car is set at 42/58 percent.
Inside the cockpit, the Gumpert Apollo is all business with very minimal creature comforts aside from some leather and suede trimming. Moreover, the Gumpert team is so obsessed with even weight distribution that seat adjustment (driver and passenger) is not an option. It is key to note that many of the switches and accessories are taken from the Volkswagen and Audi parts bin, after all why re-invent the wheel – right? An in-dash DVD head unit comes standard on the non-race versions and can’t really be considered an option as it doubles as the rear view mirror. This car has no rear window! Furthermore, for the ultra-privileged, a full tailor-made trim program is available to suit anyone’s wishes and budget.
Out back the Apollo continues with its approach of an all-race attitude complete with a carbon fiber diffuser, gaping mesh filled vents, and twin exhaust exits. Every aspect of the suspension and aerodynamics is fully adjustable, but the Gumpert people know what they’re doing and messing with the settings can prove fatal if done incorrectly. Providing the traction for this unhinged beast, and adding to its overwhelming stance are massive front 255/35 ZR19 tires and 345/35 ZR19 at back matted to center locking wheels. With the way in which today’s top-speed benchmarks are set, the Apollo makes minced meat of most. The V8-TT giant might not be the most easy on one’s eyes, but it certainly makes any fan-boy drool with desire.
Words: Giancarlo Pawelec & Mark Harris
Photos: Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH