2007 Gumpert Apollo Sport

Gumpert? Apollo? – The Who, What, Where, When & Why

Gumpert is a German boutique automaker, remembered best for its remarkable foray into the supercar segment with the release of the 2007 Gumpert Apollo Sport more than a decade ago.

Named after the former chief engineer and head of Audi Motorsport – Roland Gumpert – during the 1980s , the company was founded and run by the same with the goal of creating a new generation of sports cars. After being hugely responsible for numerous World Rally championships during his run as the gaffer, the now retired motorsport icon was itching to take on this unique challenge.

The primary concept of his business model was to produce cars which were would provide groundbreaking performance on the racetrack, with the equal importance of being completely road legal. After a stint working some corporate gigs at Audi-VW in the early 200s, he proposed his ideas to the higher-ups at the company and was eventually given the green light to undertake the building of a new supercar with an arms-length collaboration with the german automaker.

The most symbolic aspect of this partnership would be the use of Audi’s twin-turbocharged 4.2L V8 engine for the first production wave, which was derived from the C5 generation Audi RS6. 

In 2004, Gumpert would found his new company under the corporate name of GMG Sportwagenmanufaktur Altenburg GmbH, and have it headquartered in Altenburg, Germany. He would go on to garner business relationships with the Technical University of Munich and the Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences, who would both provide assistance with the production processes, computer simulations and wind tunnel testing. 

This ensemble of resources and technical know-how would fastrack the development of their first production car – the Gumpert Apollo Sport – and a 1:1 scale model and two prototype cars were built within a year, with commercial production beginning in the fourth quarter of 2005.  

The production version of the Gumpert Apollo Sport would be unveiled at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show, where it epitomized the company’s philosophy and purpose – to create the fastest road-legal car in the world. Capable of 0-60 mph in just 3 seconds and a top speed of 224 mph, the Apollo Sport was certainly checking off all the right boxes in that regard.

The New German Supercar On The Block 

The Gumpert Apollo Sport is said to be named after one of the gods in Greek mythology, whose namesake takes the human form of an athletic olympian figure, not unlike this new German supercar. In fact, its deity-like appearance is hard to ignore through its almost alien combination of curves and edges. 

Its function would not be undermined by its physical stature, with an uncompromising attention to dexterity, strength and versatility. Completely road-legal, the Apollo Sport was setting a new bar for the everyday supercar – a synthesis of unadulterated performance and desirable street mannerisms. 

The chassis and aerodynamics on the Apollo Sport were state-of-the-art, and allowed the car to be enjoyed in all matter of circumstance. Its powerplant was capable of producing up to a remarkable 800 PS, but remained civil enough for a leisurely drive on public roads. 

The first fully road-legal cars debuted and were sold in Gumpert dealerships across Europe. Automotive journalists would be lavishing praise for Apollo’s speed and cornering during tests. Matt Prior of Autocar magazine stated in his review of the Apollo Sport that it “recalibrates the meaning of pure speed and driving feel”. 

The Apollo Sport was never just going to be judged on sentiment alone, as it looked to set the record straight so to speak, when it came to its capabilities. The German supercar would end up lapping the Top Gear test track in 1:17.1 – which would hold the title of fastest time for 2 years, until the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport would best it. 

Before the Nürburgring Nordschleife had become the popular battleground it is today, in 2009 the Gumpert Apollo Sport set a lap time of 7:11:57 with race driver Florian Gruber, which made it the fastest production car at the Green Hell. That record has of course, been broken by newer makes and models since then, but the Apollo Sport is still an objectively quick automobile. That very car in fact, went up for sale in 2018 with an asking price of around $400,000 USD. 

Engine & Performance

The Gumpert Apollo Sport was also available in 2 different engine trims, which were also based on its 4.2L twin-turbocharged Audi V8 engine. The Sport remains the most recognized and documented version of the car, with most publicized benchmarks set by the same. 

  • Base: 650 PS
  • Sport: 700 PS
  • Race: 800 PS

The mid-mounted V8 engine has a 90° position and featured a closed-deck light metal crankcase with dry sump lubrication. The power plant is also configured with five valves per cylinder and four overhead camshafts which benefit from Porsche’s (and ultimately, the Volkswagen Group’s) VarioCam variable valve timing technology. Mated to the engine is a 6-speed sequential transmission with sends power to the rear-driven wheels.

The Apollo Sport is able to sprint from 0-60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and achieve a top speed of 224 mph. 

Chassis & Handling

At the forefront of the Apollo Sport’s chassis design was its emphasis on safety, which features a tubular space frame in chrome-molybdenum steel. The integrated carbon-fibre monocoque adds another sturdy layer of protection (with an extra dose of weight reduction) and is able to pass even the most strict crash-test regulations with aplomb. 

The pushrod suspension is the figurative and literal centerpiece of the chassis, which allows for an extremely low center of gravity and a minimization of body roll. The car is reassuring in its communicative steering feedback and turn-in is confidence inspiring even at high speeds. An infinitely variable traction control system keeps the car stable and predictable during those more lead-footed moments, while vented discs and six-piston calipers on all four corners bring a car to a potentially black-out-inducing-screech.

Gumpert also claims that the aerodynamic design of the Apollo is optimised to a level that would allow it to drive upside down in a tunnel at speeds over 190 mph. Sadly, and most likely thankfully, this has not yet been verified. Perhaps MythBusters, Top Gear or The Grand Tour should take on this challenge?

Design, Styling & Interior

The design elements of the Gumpert Apollo Sport are a bi-product of its insane aerodynamic proficiency, most notably represented by its massive rear wing. Its silhouette is an amalgamation of straight edges and exaggerated curves, which gives the car more of a militaristic and perhaps alien profile, than a traditionally exotic one.

The combination of materials used is certainly that of a space-grade ilk, as the Apollo Sport weighs in at only 2,400 lbs, or a bit more with options. The interior is predictably spartan in order to keep things light, but as a street-legal machine, manages to do so while still offering air-conditioning, infotainment and a back-up camera as standard fare. Novelty, but also useful, is an air-jack which comes with the car.

Getting in and out of the car presents challenges that are not of the everyday kind, as you navigate and contort your body under the gullwing doors and eventually, into the leather/alcantara racing buckets. The no frills approach becomes even more apparent once you are seated in what can best be described as a “GT racing position”, as your front-facing line of sight is provided through an extremely narrow windshield. 

While not exactly comfortable in the Rolls Royce sense of the word, the ergonomics and relative placement of all the instruments is ideal for a heightened level of focus and driving accuracy – something that is necessitated by the Apollo Sport’s formidability. Th pedals and the sequential shift-lever are within the optimal reaching distance while the rest of the features are functionally cohesive.

Even some of the most hardcore automotive enthusiasts expect a car in this price range to be sexy, no matter its transgressions. In my opinion there is certainly something inherently attractive about the car, though in a more unconventional way. Afterall, as a supercar, performance should always be the most appealing feature, and the Gumpert Apollo Sport has this in droves. Based purely on aesthetics, I’ll just default by saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Pricing

The Gumpert Apollo Sport was originally for sale exclusively in Europe and started at the equivalent of around $400,000 USD when brand new. Soon after the initial rollout, Gumpert established a distribution channel for the North American market, partnering with Evolution Motorsport to oversee the import process and final assembly at their location in Tempe, Arizona.

Production numbers and sales for the hand-built supercar are nevertheless extremely low, and the car remains an exclusivity in that regard. Every so often, a used example comes up for sale on one of the various auction platforms, where we have seen examples – such as the Nürburgring record-setting car and the car as seen and driven by the Stig on Top Gear – asking for at least $300,000 USD.

Performance & Specifications Summary

Engine

Configuration Audi 90º V8
Location Mid, longitudinally mounted
Construction aluminium block and head
Displacement 4,163 cc / 254 cu in
Bore / Stroke 84.5 mm (3.3 in) / 92.8 mm (3.7 in)
Valvetrain 5 valves / cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feed Motronic Fuel Injection
Aspiration Twin Turbo
Power 650 bhp / 485 kW @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 850 Nm / 627 ft lbs @ 4,500 rpm
BHP/Liter 156 bhp / liter

Drivetrain

Body Carbon fibre panels
Chassis Chrome molybdenum spaceframe
Suspension (fr/r) Double wishbones, push-rod actuated coil springs over shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
Steering Rack-and-pinion
Brakes Ventilated discs, all-round, ABS
Gearbox 6 speed Sequential
Drive Rear wheel drive

Dimensions

Weight 1,100 kilo / 2,425 lbs
Length / Width / Height 4,460 mm (175.6 in) / 1,995 mm (78.5 in) / 1,105 mm (43.5 in)
Wheelbase / Track (fr/r) 2,700 mm (106.3 in) / 1,670 mm (65.7 in) / 1,598 mm (62.9 in)

Performance Figures

Power to weight 0.59 bhp / kg
Top Speed 360 km/h (224 mph)
0-60 mph 3.0 s

Pictures & Videos

Image Gallery

See the full Gumpert Apollo Sport Gallery and watch Gumpert Apollo Videos

Videos

In-car footage of race driver Florian Gruber during his record setting lap of 7:11.57, at the Green Hell.

Tiff from Fifth Gear reviews the Gumpert Apollo S.

Gumpert Apollo S on Spa Francorchamps with Gran Turismo Spa and GTBOARD.com.

Jeremy Clarkson commentary on the Gumpert Apollo S (Forza Motorsport).

The Stig drives the Gumpert Apollo S around the Top Gear test track.

Reviews – What They Said At The Time

Evo – 4.5/5

“German supercar maker Gumpert has unleashed the production version of its Apollo supercar. It might not be pretty but, by gum, it’s fast.” – Richard Meaden 

Click here to read the full review.

Car Magazine – 4/5

“Ugly it may be, but I can see the appeal of a Gumpert Apollo – buy one and get comfortable with its hyper performance, and you’ll soon be the daddy of any track day you care to attend, eating Lamborghinis and Ferraris for breakfast.”Mark Walton

Click here to read the full review.

Autocar

“It might not zing off the tongue like an Italian, but the name Gumpert has credibility where it counts: motorsport. This is a racing car for the road.” Chris Harris

Click here to read the full review.

Full Technical Details

type Series Production Car
released at 2007 Geneva Motor Show
built at Altenburg, Germany
price $ $ 344,200
price £/td> £468,000
engine 90° Audi V8
position Mid Longitudinal
aspiration Twin Turbo
valvetrain DOHC, 5 Valves per Cyl w/Vario Cam
fuel feed Sequential, Multi-Port Injection
displacement 4163 cc / 254.0 in³
bore 93 mm / 3.66 in
stroke 84.5 mm / 3.33 in
power 529.4 kw / 710 bhp @ 6300 rpm
specific output 170.55 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 645.45 bhp per tonne
torque 915.2 nm / 675 ft lbs @ 4000 rpm
body / frame Carbon Fibre Body over Chrome Molybdenum Steel Frame & Integrated Carbon Fibre Tub
driven wheels RWD w/Torsen LSD, Adj ASR
wheel type Cast Aluminum w/Center Lock
front tires 255/35R19
rear tires 345/35R19
front brakes Inner Ventilated Discs w/AP 6-Piston Calipers
f brake size 32 x 378 mm / 1.3 x 14.9 in
rear brakes Inner Ventilated Discs w/AP 6-Piston Calipers
r brake size 32 x 378 mm / 1.3 x 14.9 in
front wheels F 48.3 x 25.4 cm / 19 x 10 in
rear wheels R 48.3 x 33.0 cm / 19 x 13 in
steering Rack & Pinion w/Electro Hydraulic Assist
f suspension Double Wishbones w/Inboard Shock Absorber Units, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension Double Wishbones w/Inboard Shock Absorber Units, Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight 1100 kg / 2426 lbs
wheelbase 2700 mm / 106.3 in
front track 1680 mm / 66.1 in
rear track 1590 mm / 62.6 in
length 4460 mm / 175.6 in
width 1998 mm / 78.7 in
height 1114 mm / 43.9 in
transmission CIMA 6-Speed Sequential
tran clutch Sachs Twin-Plate Clutch
gear ratios 2.87:1, 1.77:1, 1.26:1, 1.00:1, 0.83:1, 0.71:1
final drive 4.09:1
top speed ~360 kph / 223.7 mph
0 – 60 mph ~2.9 seconds
fuel capacity 120 litres or 31.68 gal.

Legacy Article

It is one of only a handful of super sport cars and after its debut at Geneva’s international Motor Show in 2006 it was clear: the apollo is a synthesis of dynamic and design with pure driving pleasure and unique performance. On the road it speeds like a god and on the race track it cries out to be challenged by an opponent that can match its breathtaking acceleration and incomparable handling. Now, it is due to get a worthy competitor out of its own stable. At the 77th Geneva Motor Show, the Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur will present the apollo sport to the wide public.

The apollo sport is the rebel amongst the super sport cars. Its bodywork combines sexy curves with potent edges and angles and aims for uncompromising aerodynamics. A clear demonstration of the principle form follows function. Its challenging sporting design derives from the requirement to built a street legal racing car, whose number one priority is to provide extraordinary performance on the circuit, but at the same time embodying a vehicle suitable for daily use.

The highest importance was attached to safety: the tubular space frame in chrome-molybdenum steel with integrated safety monocoque fabricated in carbon-fiber passes all crash-tests regulations, while a cashbox offers additional protection. The gaping air intake stub over the roof and on the rear signals power, dynamics and superiority. The eight cylinder, bi-turbo mid-engine with up to 800 horsepower is capable of catapulting this 1200 kg missile from 0-100 km/h in only 3 seconds.

The apollo sport is equipped with an extended aerodynamic package and, in contrast to the three part spoiler of the apollo, possesses a racing wing which gives even more down force and pushes the Apollos’s maximum speed up to 360 km/h.

As you can guess, it is not for nothing that this cars is named after the fierce Greek God.

The two-seater also convinces from the inside, with its sporty and elegant alcantara interior, and offers air-condition, CD-player, navigation system and reverse view camera as standard equipment. A two-layer metallic finish available in any conceivable color, gives this bolide a particular luster. As a special accessory the apollo is equipped with an air-jack, a pneumatic jacking pad.

The standard version of the apollo sport costs 240 00 Euros.