Apollo Intensa Emozione: The antidote to all those boring hypercars you've been complaining about
Modern hypercars are boring. That's the contention of the team behind the newly-resurrected Apollo motor company: while turbos and hybrid powertrains are producing unprecedented levels of acceleration and planet-friendly emissions figures, they just don't tickle the trouser glands like those raging, roaring, naturally aspirated supercars of yore.
I'm not sure how many LaFerrari or Regera owners are looking wistfully off into the distance wondering why nothing seems to excite them any more, but to Apollo's credit they've put their effort and a significant chunk of change where their mouths are and created … Well, probably the wildest looking thing on four wheels.
The Intensa Emozione looks like some bizarre unlockable Easter egg from a Playstation game. I mean, look at it. There are passenger aircraft with less wing area than this thing. The gull-wing doors look like they break physics when they sit open, and the depth and layering of the design is outrageous. The front wheel arches are so wickedly high they'll actively block your view, and you will love them for it.
The unique 3D-printed trident exhaust, which apparently costs more by itself than an entire BMW M4, makes one heck of a visual signature, and in a perfect world, it would visibly pucker whenever you go into a corner too fast.
Look at the interior. It's obscene. Brothel-red leather meets brothel-red LED lighting. The seats are literally bits of cushion laid straight onto the car's lascivious carbon monocoque frame, which, stripped of all bodywork, is enough of a work of art in its own right that just looking at it causes me some pretty Intensa Emoziones.
The steering wheel, also carbon, and the cartoonish dash look like they were yanked straight out of some rich kid's expensive living room video game rig.
Don't get me wrong. I think this thing looks absolutely sensational. It approaches, and in fact even exceeds Lamborghini Veneno levels of visual excess. It's unabashedly young, energetic, extravagant and loud, the work of a youthful team ready to show a vehement middle finger to the hypercar establishment.
And does it back it up with performance? Well, that sort of depends what you're after. Remember, the Apollo team believes forced induction and crazy electric torque take the fun out of berserker hypercars, trading acceleration for involvement.
Thus, the powerplant here is old-school, from Autotecnica Motori. A naturally aspirated V12 screamer displacing 6.3 liters, mated to a longitudinal Hewland sequential 6-speed+Rev paddle-shift gearbox.
The banner numbers are 780 horsepower and 760 Nm of torque, and the motor revs to a stratospheric 9,000 rpm redline. Those figures are certainly enough to get you into trouble, but a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time of 2.7 seconds and a top speed of 335 km/h (208 mph) won't buy the Intensa Emozione a ticket to party with the big kids in its class.
Those who get the concept won't give a hoot. If you want outright performance figures, this is not the car for you. In fact, it's hardly the car for anybody anyway, as only 10 will ever be built. So who cares what you think?
What's more, none of them will ever see road use. Presumably due to emissions regulations among other things, the Intensa Emozione is a track-only special. Hence the giant rear wing, which generates enough downforce that it'd drive upside down at 180 mph, if you could find a long enough upside down road.
That downforce, plus a very fat set of Michelin tires, makes this thing stick to the ground hard enough to develop 2G of cornering force. The suspension is electrically adjustable Bilstein gear offering three modes, as well as custom adjustments. There's also a hydraulic lift system that causes the car to rise up by 2 inches when you need to get it on and off the trailer.
As a car designed to eliminate "any emotionally dilutive technological systems" and "deliver a modern, yet nostalgically pure, unadulterated sensory experience," it's interesting to note that the Apollo IE runs a 10-stage ABS system, three different engine modes and a 12-stage traction control unit. These would appear to have been installed to dilute the emotion of fear, which is in my mind definitely an emotion.
But I think we can let them get away with that. You can switch it all off and free-ball your way around the racetrack, or dial in a setting that'll let you get loose and silly without excessive risk to your €2.3 million motor car. That's 2.72 million dollars worth of shouty boy toy in American money, a sum that's probably worth bearing in mind when you go choosing your ABS settings.
The Intensa Emozione will act as the flagship for Apollo. A second model, the Arrow, will follow in 2019, and anyone lucky enough to pick up one of the ten IEs to be built will automatically become a consultant on the design of future Apollo machines. That's a nice touch.
Your chances (and mine) of ever seeing one of these beasts in the flesh are minuscule; here's hoping this outrageous statement of a thing finds its way into a Gran Turismo download pack where we can all have a go at it. Here's a video in the meantime: