February 26, 2007 German manufacturer Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur is one of several new supercar makers to emerge in recent times. The first road car was shown at Geneva last year and a significantly revised version of the barely disguised racecar will emerge at this year’s Geneva show in early March. The EUR 295,500 (US$390,000) Gumpert apollo has an eight cylinder Biturbo Mittelmotor of Audi heritage that catapults the 1220 kg racecar from 0 to 100 km/h in only 3.00 seconds and with 800 bhp available, it accelerates very quickly to its 360 km/h top speed. The acceleration afforded by such a light vehicle and such a powerful motor is at the outer limits of current four-wheeled performance. Its power-to-weight ratio of 0.66 bhp/kilogram is bested by only a handful of cars – such as the Koenigsegg CCX (0.68) and the current world record holder for 0-100-0 mph, the Ultima GTR. That puts it ahead of the Pagani Zonda F, Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari Enzo, Saleen S7 and Porsche Carrera GT and for some perspective, the apollo is almost twice as good (each horsepower has half as much weight to move) as the the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Ford GT and Lamborghini Murcielago.

The car uses a chrome molybdenum space frame with an integrated composite monocoque to achieve its remarkable weight and the stiffness to keep 800 horses under control. The provocative sporty design developed from the company’s intention to build a racing car with all the safety requirements covered so it could run on the road. Extensive work has been done to ensure stringent German crashtest requirements are exceeded, and though the first model was criticised for its interior being a little too race oriented, the Alcantara makeover of the two-seater interior includes air conditioning, CD-Player, navigation system and rear camera. More details when the car is released.

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