by Michael Butler
Apollo Automobil might not be the best-known car manufacturer around, but its cars sure make one hell of a noise. The German manufacturer, whom you may remember as originally being named Gumpert, has been building supercars such as the Apollo, and concepts such as the 2.5-liter Explosion since 2004 and has raced in numerous motorsports events including the 24 Hours Nurburgring. The Intensa Emozione (IE) is the result of a collaboration between Apollo Automobil and HWA AG, the same company responsible for the legendary Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, and feels as radical to drive as it looks. Power is provided by a naturally-aspirated 6.3-liter V12 engine producing 780 hp and allows the Intensa Emozione to top out at 208 mph. This is a gorgeously designed race car for the road and is every bit as exotic as its name would suggest. The Intensa Emozione goes up against the likes of the Lamborghini Sian in the limited production, ultra-exclusive hypercar realm.
The IE is a racecar built for the road which incorporates numerous GT1/GT3/LMP features such as a carbon-fiber monocoque and carbon-ceramic brakes and offers the rare thrill of a high-revving naturally aspirated V12 - sourced from the Ferrari F12berlinetta. The IE captures the essence of pure performance driving that Apollo says is missing from modern rivals, which is why the manufacturer partnered with AMG spin-off, HWA AG - the company responsible for the legendary Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, to build it.
6.3-liter V12 Gas
6-Speed Dual Clutch sequential manual
The IE is possibly the most aggressive-looking hypercar we've seen. There are tons of radical body surfaces, sculpted lines, and exotic materials that go into the design of this car, and the end result is nothing short of breathtaking. According to Apollo, the IE was inspired by everything from jet fighters to sharks and raptors. The massive rear wing offers over 2,976 lbs of downforce at 186 mph, and the rear is finished off with a trident-style triple exhaust exit. The IE rolls on a set of 20-inch front and 21 inch rear forged aluminum BBS rims.
The Apollo Intense Emozione is a rather lengthy car at 199.4 inches and rolls on a 106.3-inch wheelbase. It sits 78.5 inches wide and 44.5 inches tall. Ground clearance is 4.3 inches, dropping to 2.4 inches in race mode, and when lifted to its max height will ride 6.3 inches off the ground. Curb weight is an impressive 2,756 pounds.
The Apollo IE laughs off the idea of a hybrid gas and electric powertrains and instead goes for a rather old-school, but highly effective naturally-aspirated V12 engine. This 6.3-liter unit produces a massive 780 hp at 8,500 rpm,and 561 lb-ft of torque. At full tilt, the IE sounds like a purebred racecar, thanks in part to a lightweight exhaust system that costs as much as an entry-level sports car. Power is shifted to the rear wheels through a six-speed Hewland racing pneumatic transmission. This thing offers lightning shifts up and down the range. Nail the start, and the Apollo Emozione Performance will get to 62 mph in only 2.7 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 208 mph.
The Apollo IE was designed around a carbon fiber shell with the lightest materials on offer, and in line with actual GT1 and GT3 race cars, so it's clear from the start that the IE was set up for racing. Its curb weight of only 2,756 pounds means that the Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes don't have to work as hard to bring things to a halt. Bilstein dampers fill the corners of the Apollo IE, and grip is provided by Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires all around. The result is a car that borders on near racecar handling performance. The only thing holding it back being the road-biased tires, but Apollo does offer a set of 18-inch slicks for the more dedicated track driver. Apollo Automobil claims that the IE can manage a G-force reading of greater than 2.0 G around the bends, and provide close to 3,000 pounds of downforce at 186 mph.
Apollo Automobil doesn't even bother with official gas-mileage features, and neither does the EPA. By simply looking at the IE, you can tell that it's not going to be a fuel-sipping econo car, so don't expect great numbers. In the heavier Ferrari F12berlinetta from which the V12 is borrowed in base form, it consumes 12/16/13 mpg city/highway/combined, but since all ten units of the IE are expected to be driven hard and on track, expect single figures and frequent visits to the gas station. The IE is fitted with a 26.4-gallon fuel tank.
The interior of the Apollo Intensa Emozione is about as racy as you're going to get: it's a sea of carbon fiber and Alcantara, and wouldn't seem out of place in a sci-fi film. Due to the low stance of the IE, even when raised to its maximum height, and the hinged doors, getting in and out of the car can be difficult. But once in, the racing carbon fiber seats offer great support, and taller drivers should be able to squeeze in. The quick-release steering wheel also helps with entry and exit.
Simply put, the IE doesn't offer any official trunk or cargo space. You'll need to keep the passenger seat open if you plan on carrying any groceries or track day clothing.
The Apollo Intensa Emozione is a no-nonsense driver's car that cares little for creature comforts, all in the name of weight saving. The exterior features LED headlights, carbon-ceramic brakes, Bilstein dampers, as well as height-adjustable suspension. The interior gets a set of carbon fiber shell seats, a detachable steering wheel, as well as air conditioning, a windshield defroster, LED interior lighting, and a pull start lever finished off in anodized Ergal.
There's no infotainment system to be found onboard the Apollo Automobil Intensa Emozione, but who needs one when you have the pleasure of listening to a V12 engine at 9,000 rpm? A five-inch touch display includes controls for heating, ventilation, and interior lighting, and the driver gets a 12-inch main display through which the driver can access the 12-stage traction control system and view essentials like whether they'll be landing in the state penitentiary or maximum-security prison for their transgressions.
The Apollo Automobil Intensa Emozione has not been recalled. Only ten of these cars will ever be built, so great attention is paid to every car. Apollo Automobil offers owners the chance to fine-tune their cars on the track and to take part in the future development of Apollo cars. Maintenance is done on a request only basis.
The Apollo IE has not been tested by the NHTSA or IIHS, but Apollo Automobil has been built to exceed FIA safety requirements, so you can rest easy knowing that the IE will keep you safe in case of an on-track spill. Standard safety equipment includes bespoke front and rear carbon fiber crash structures, mono-cell rollover protection, an integrated fire suppressant system, as well as kevlar-wrapped fuel cells. Driver assistance features, such as blind spot monitoring are not included.
A clear distinction should be made between hypercars built for driver enjoyment and those created with the intention of setting records. Cars such as the Bugatti Chiron push the boundaries of what gas-powered cars can achieve, but aren't as fun to throw around a set of corners. That's precisely where the Intensa Emozione shines. It weighs next to nothing and is built like a GT racer, so it goes around corners just as well as it can bolt down a straight line. Its naturally-aspirated engine makes it feel more race car than anything else and single-handedly puts this car in a different class in terms of driver involvement. We appreciate the IE's ethos and hope to see these types of vehicles continue to enjoy a long and prosperous life.
The Apollo Automobil Intensa Emozione will set ten lucky owners back a stiff $2,670,000. Yes, only ten of these unique cars will ever be built, which sort of justifies the exorbitant asking price. For only $330,000 more, you can get your hands on a Bugatti Chiron, while the Lamborghini Sian will add another $700,000 to that price.
With only ten of these cars being produced, unfortunately, only an extremely limited amount of people will ever get to get behind the wheel of one of these, so you'd better join the second-hand waiting list. If we had the money, we would get one in a heartbeat, purely for bragging rights.
The Chiron is famous for holding the road-going top speed record (in slightly modified form) and is one of the fastest things on four wheels. The Chiron takes over from the acclaimed Veyron and follows an evolutionary design. Power is provided by an 8.0-liter W16 engine with four turbos strapped to it. Power is sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The zero to sixty sprint takes only 2.4 seconds, and it will continue on to a top speed of 261 mph. The Chiron is the more refined and comfortable car to drive, and is more practical too, but lacks the same thrill provided by the IE. If you want a truly visceral experience, stick with the IE.
The Sian is Italian supercar builder Lamborghini's first-ever hybrid vehicle, but more importantly, it is their most powerful road car ever. It is powered by a naturally-aspirated V12 engine producing 774 hp, and an electric motor contributes to its final power figure of 808. The 0-62 mph sprint takes only 2.8 seconds, and you'll top out at over 217 mph. Only 63 of these cars will be built, and cost $3.6 million a pop. We think it is rather special and would pick it over the Apollo any day.
Check out some informative Apollo Automobil Intensa Emozione video reviews below.