Trust us, these guys are the real deal.
I've always had a thing for boutique supercar and hypercar companies. These are the guys who take the biggest chances; success is far from guaranteed. Those who do succeed often go on to set new standards and shatter old records. Koenigsegg and Pagani should immediately come to mind. And it's the Geneva Motor Show where determined new companies hope to make lasting impressions. After all, this is the venue where Horacio Pagani first displayed his original Zonda, the C12, back in 1999.
Few believed then the former Lamborghini employee would be where he's at today. This year's show was no different with several new boutique brands on display, all hoping to replicate both Pagani and Koenigsegg's success stories. Apollo Automobil, the company formerly known as Gumpert, was one of them, and it brought its first all-new model, the Arrow. To be clear, the Arrow is built on a new platform separate from the revised and updated ApolloN, formerly known as the Gumpert Apollo. The latter is the Top Gear track and Nurburgring record-shattering beast of a thing from original company founder Roland Gumpert. Never heard of the guy?
Gumpert is a former Audi engineer who led development of the Quattro all-wheel drive system. Unfortunately, Gumpert GmbH filed for bankruptcy back in 2013, but late last year, along with De Tomaso, it was bought by a Hong Kong-based consortium called Ideal Team Ventures. They immediately got to work (Mr. Gumpert still remains head of the company), and the 1,000-hp Arrow is the result. I spoke with Bailey Xu, Managing Director of Apollo Automobil, about the new Arrow and its huge potential. For starters, that 1,000 hp and 1,000 Nm (737 lb-ft of torque) is made possible by an Audi-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. Apollo's engineers went a little nuts.
With a 0-62 mph time of 2.9 seconds and top speed of 224 mph, the Arrow is built on a stiff steel frame with an integral carbon monocoque and F22 Raptor fighter jet-inspired body made of carbon fiber. The Arrow that'll go on sale will weigh no more than 1.3 tons, or 2,600 pounds. Do the math for the power-to-weight ratio. Another interesting engineering accomplishment is how the exhaust is located on top of the engine. This will help, among other things, to give the Arrow a deeper, more aggressive exhaust note. The interior design is still being finalized (hence the fully tinted glass), but Mr. Xu said a 2017 launch date is targeted.
Engineering, testing, and production is all done in Germany in a brand new facility staffed by former Gumpert employees. Only around 100 Arrow examples are planned at a price just under 1 million euros each ($1.1 million). Considering the sheer amount of technology and expertise involved, that's a solid deal. Mr. Xu's enthusiasm for the reborn boutique hypercar company was contagious, as was Mr. Gumpert's. The Apollo Arrow is undoubtedly special and the team behind it can't wait to let it loose on the track. So will Apollo join the ranks of Koenigsegg and Pagani as the world's greatest hypercar companies? We hope so. Greatness has to start somewhere and the Apollo Arrow has it in abundance.