It’s been exactly three years after production began in Altenburg and today the 40th Apollo rolled out of the factory. And even in times of economic and financial crisis, Roland Gumpert, company founder and managing director, and his 45-man team, are looking at the coming year with optimism, as the Gumpert success story has only just begun. Next year there are 25 cars planned in production.
Just to fresh you up, the Apollo runs on a 4.2 liter V8 creating 650 bhp together with 850 Nm of torque making a topspeed of about 360 kmh (224 mph) possible. The sprint from standstill to 100 kmh (62 mph) is done in just 3 seconds. These performance figures together with it’s double wing doors, monstrous air intakes and a huge spoiler on the back make it look very aggressive, and somehow that is what we need from a supercar.
Roland Gumpert says:
From the first ideas to the start of production was a long and difficult journey. I returned to
Germany at the end of 2001, after over three years in China. As head of sales and marketing I was responsible for the development of the dealer network for the Audi-VW joint venture in China. Here once more, Roland Mayer (MTM) asked me whether, as a project engineer, I would like to assist in the building of a prototype sports car. With the approval of Audi and on the condition that, if we were to develop a new sports car, it would not be a prototype, but a series product that we developed, we began with the Apollo project. Roughly three years later, the first two prototypes were completed.
It has been confirmed to the Altenburg team more than once that the Apollo is not simply a supercar but nearer to being a racing car than any other car before. In many respects, the car is already designed for the racetrack. Since the beginning, we have placed especially great importance on safety. The tube frame of the apollo is made from chromium molybdenum steel which is also used in the building of aeroplanes. It already fulfils standard international design specifications of the FIA motor sport authorities. The fast car provided evidence of its racetrack capabilities at the “24 hours N�rburgring” in May. The “green hell” became the stage of a spectacular premiere. As F1 regulations will be allowing hybrid systems from 2009, a private team built around former F1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen took on the challenge a year earlier: the use of a hybrid racing car in the marathon in the Eifel. With the hybrid version of the Gumpert Apollo, Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur has broken new ground. Just three months went by between the first discussions and the finished apollo. The hybrid
racer, with its 3.3 Litre V8 bi-turbo engine and an electric motor providing roughly 100 kW, can move at up 630 hp. It wasn�t quite enough to win this time, but it proved that hybrid technology has a future in motor sports.