A-Z Supercars: Gumpert Apollo S

Devastatingly quick on track, the Gumpert Apollo S had ability to match its brutal looks

The brainchild of former Audi engineer Roland Gumpert, who was based in Altenburg in the far east of Germany, the genesis of the Apollo leaned heavily on his racing experience and his enduring links with the Ingolstadt manufacturer.

Gumpert Sportwagenmanufacktur was established in 2004, and the first customer Apollo appeared the following year. Using a twin-turbocharged version of Audi’s 4.2-litre 90-degree V8 – complete with lightweight internals – and mated to a six-speed sequential transmission, the Apollo was initially offered in three versions: the 690bhp S as tested by evo back in 2006, the 641bhp entry-level Apollo or the lighter and more powerful (789bhp) R. Even in S trim, it cost over a quarter of a million and promised a top speed of around 225mph, together with mind-altering race-car-for-the-road dynamics.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

It wasn’t all whiz-bang, OMG acceleration, though. Belying its intimidating looks, the Apollo is an easy and undemanding car to guide at sane speeds, with steering that is both light and linear, the front end responding directly but with encouraging feel. Massive reserves of grip, yes, but it far from dominates the experience. The Apollo’s chassis is talkative and reactive with the reassurance that the front tyres are the first to find their limit, the tail feeling supremely tied-down, even at the extremely elevated road speeds of which the Apollo is capable. On a track, it’s just mighty. Around evo’s test track the only supercars faster are the Caparo T1 and Ferrari 458 Italia.

In 2010, Gumpert announced plans to put a second model, the similarly rapid but more attractively styled Tornante, into production. Sadly Gumpert Sportwagenmanufacktur went into administration in 2012 and any further production is now in doubt.

Specifications

Years made 2005-2012Engine V8, 4163cc, twin-turbo Max power 690bhp @ 6300rpm Torque 675lb ft @ 4000rpm 0-60mph 3.0sec Max speed 220mph+ Price £275,000 new, c£200,000-£250,000 used

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/toyota/gt-86/202104/toyota-gt86-v-mazda-mx-5-v-abarth-124-spider-lightweight-sports-car-shootout
Toyota GT 86

Toyota GT86 v Mazda MX-5 v Abarth 124 Spider – lightweight sports car shootout

Three affordable sports cars from Japan and, er, Japan battle it out on the Yorkshire Dales
14 Jan 2020
Visit/news/202119/2020-geneva-motor-show-preview-what-to-expect-from-europes-most-important-auto-show
News

2020 Geneva motor show preview

Electrification will likely dominate proceedings, but Geneva will have plenty of performance metal to get excited about too
17 Jan 2020
Visit/ford/202122/ford-focus-rs500-v-audi-rs3-new-v-used
Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS500 v Audi RS3 – new v used

One’s an eight-year-old Ford, the other a brand new Audi. But which of these five‑cylinder superhatches deserves your £45k?
18 Jan 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019