Its name is Italian for (surprise, surprise) “intense emotion”, so that should be a hint that this isn’t a car you’d take to the grocery store or a school run. It’s also US$2.7 million (approximately S$3.67 million), which is usually a price tag reserved for cars that either look extremely nice, or perform like a maniac. Alas, the brand new Apollo Intensa Emozione is the latter.
The new hypercar from Apollo Automobili is a limited edition of 10 examples set to pave the way for its future street-legal sibling, the Apollo Arrow, which was first launched as a concept at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Production dates for the Arrow are slated for 2019, but as with all exclusive car brands, Intensa Emozione owners will get priority for orders.
So, can you buy one? Sure, but you’ll have to be an extremely well-connected millionaire. Otherwise, just book a plane ticket down to Dubai and scour the high-rise parking complexes if you want to see one in the flesh.
Before you start looking for that cheque book, here’s all you need to know about the unhybridised, radical work of automobile art that is the Apollo Intensa Emozione.
Isn’t that the spaceship that brought mankind to the moon? Unless you’re a true gearhead whose accolades include a die-hard annual subscription of motoring magazines the past 10 years, you may not have heard of this badge. Technically, Apollo Automobili used to be Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH. The supercar manufacturer — headquartered in Denkendorf — was founded by Roland Gumpert in 2004, who dreamt of making a new generation sports car that would be race-ready yet street legal. The Apollo Sport was born shortly, but the company had to file for bankruptcy and went into liquidation. It was later bought over by Hong Kong consortium Ideal Team Venture, also owner of the De Tomaso marque. Gumpert was then renamed Apollo Automobili GmbH.
Naturally-aspirated, and very rev-happy. The 6.3-litre beast of a V12 was tuned by Apollo’s engine supplier, Autotecnica Motori to “only” provide 780hp. Stop pouting — the car weighs a mere 1,250kg, and that’s enough to push a top speed of 335kph and 2.7 seconds in a century-sprint. Go quick around the corners and you’ll experience 2g — any more and you’ll need a personal medic on the side.
Was this designed by adrenaline-addled robots? Maybe — but it’s actually the brainchild of a Joe Wong, a 27-year-old who only graduated in 2013, only to find himself at Apollo after a stint at McLaren, and he’s successfully made a Lamborghini look tame. Extreme lines and angles riddle the lightweight carbon body, which seamlessly integrate advanced aerodynamic functions too. The aggressive shark-like snout and F22 Raptor (fighter jet)-like rear wing mounts, which helps control the flow of air, are features that he borrowed from the Apollo Arrow. Of course, the doors open gullwing style.
Nothing about this car is normal, so don’t expect a “normal” mode. Alongside the V12 is a sequential six-speed gearbox with an electro-pneumatic paddle-shot system for 760Nm of torque. You’ll get three engine modes — Wet, Track and Sport — and 12 levels of traction are on hand for your relaxing drive down the neighbourhood track.
Beneath all that madness lies an all-carbon fibre monocoque chassis and subframes that weigh a negligible 105kg. Made by Manifattura Automoboli Torino, it supports the double wishbone pushrod suspension at the front and rear. At its lowest, parts of the car are just over two inches off the ground.