2018 Apollo Intensa Emozione
Modern hyperspeed, old school rawnessby Jonathan Lopez, on
How do you go about competing with the best of the best in the world of hypercars? Apollo thinks it’s got an idea, as evidenced by this, its new flagship. Dubbed the Intensa Emozione, Italian for “Intense Emotion,” Apollo is seeking to bridge the gap between pilot and machine with an old-school, raw, and unbridled approach to making speed. Making its debut after just a year in development, the IE’s primary focus is on being “lightweight, aerodynamically efficient and connected, yet unimpeded by any emotionally dilutive technological systems.” Incredibly, in addition to pounding out lower and lower lap times, this spaceship-for-Earth also has what it takes to be a road car. However, don’t look for any hybrid system or turbos here – providing the power is an atmospheric, 6.3-liter V-12, which motivates a mostly carbon fiber body and chassis with nearly 800 horsepower on tap. So then – does it have it takes to get your blood boiling? Read on to find out.
Continue reading to learn more about the Apollo Intensa Emozione.
2018 Apollo Intensa Emozione
Horsepower @ RPM:780 @ 8500
Torque @ RPM:561 @ 9000
0-60 time:2.7 sec.
Top Speed:208 mph
- Design inspired by jets, sharks, raptors
- Trident-shaped exhaust
- Carbon fiber everything
- Race car-levels of aero
- 3,000 pounds of downforce at 186 mph
The whole thing was crafted as a blank-sheet design, created by a 27-year-old designer who also spent a little time at McLaren.
First things first – this thing is simply jaw-dropping, a vision in raw, bare carbon fiber. The composite weave is on full display and works well to enhance the IE’s otherworldly shape and design. It truly is an insanely complex thing to pick apart, with shapes and structures that jump out at you from just about every single angle.
Apollo says the look was inspired by such exhilarating sources as fighter jets, sharks, and raptors. Not bad, eh? To us, though, the IE looks like what you’d get if Batman decided to hit the track on the weekend.
The whole thing was crafted as a blank-sheet design, created by a 27-year-old designer who also spent a little time at McLaren. We can definitely see a little McLaren in there (in the front end in particular), but overall, we’d argue this is a unique car in terms of aesthetics.
The IE looks to utilize race car-spec wings and downforce makers similar to contemporary GT and prototype cars
That fresh-start approach also lent Apollo some leeway in terms of aerodynamics, especially when incorporating a new, custom carbon chassis under the body panels. Indeed, the IE looks to utilize race car-spec wings and downforce makers similar to contemporary GT and prototype cars, managing an incredible balance between slicing through the air, generating more stick, and looking dead sexy, all at once.
The nose was most definitely influenced by sharks, while a teardrop shape helps smooth out the air over the greenhouse. The large, flared-out fenders cover the meaty tires in front but show off the tread with rear-facing exposed sections that feed atmosphere through the side aero fins. In back is a dramatic Trident-shaped exhaust, mounted centrally as a major influencer in the diffuser section. Running the length of the rear is a large “spine” that connects to a sizable rear wing, adding additional lateral stability and supporting an incredible amount of downforce.
How much downforce? Go fast enough, and it’s like you’ve got an entire Subaru BRZ with a driver to help push the chassis down into the ground.
“How incredible,” you might ask? How about more than 1,350 kg (2,976 pounds) when traveling at 300 km/h (186 mph). That’s basically like having an entire Subaru BRZ with a driver to help push the chassis down into the ground.
All that extra stick is distributed in a staggered fashion, with 44.5 percent in front and 55.5 percent in the rear. Not only that, but Apollo claims an aerodynamic efficiency close to that of an LMP2 race car.
- Lots of bare carbon fiber
- Several functions placed on the steering wheel
- Harnesses and bucket seats
Once inside, you’ll find sharp lines and a variety of different shapes
With so much awesome stuff going on outside the vehicle, it should come as no surprise that the cabin is almost equally as wild in its appearance. Ingress and egress are assisted by way of gullwing doors, adding loads of drama while enabling some very tricky side sill aero. Once inside, you’ll find sharp lines and a variety of different shapes, all of which flow together to create a sense of excitement for those fortunate enough to call themselves passengers.
Bare carbon fiber is everywhere, encapsulating the passengers in a tight embrace. The seats are fixed-back buckets, with harnesses used to keep folks from flopping around when exploring the IE’s stratospheric performance limits. The steering wheel gets a small diameter with a flat bottom made from carbon and no top section. A variety of buttons are placed at thumb’s length, operating stuff like the lights, the blinkers, the horn, the windshield wiper fluid sprayers, and the suspension lift system, not to mention Reverse and Neutral drive modes.
Bare carbon fiber is everywhere, encapsulating the passengers in a tight embrace.
Behind the wheel, there are some very slick digital gauges, which remind us of what you get from Lamborghini. The Apollo logo is placed in prominent locations where appropriate, while the shifter paddles are placed on the steering wheel. Further switches are placed in an overhead panel, giving it even more of a jet fighter vibe.
While this debut example is bathed in red and black, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apollo offered extensive customization options to any and all interested buyers. New color schemes, a plethora of high-end materials, and maybe even some basic infotainment are all likely culprits here.
- NA 6.3-liter V-12
- 780 horsepower
- 561 pound-feet of torque
- 9,000 rpm redline
- 0-to-60 mph in 2.7 seconds
- 208 mph top speed
- Six-speed sequential gearbox
Mounted in the middle of this beast is a naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V-12 engine
Let’s just get straight to the good stuff, shall we? Mounted in the middle of this beast is a naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V-12 engine. Press firmly on the loud pedal, and it’ll unleash as much as 780 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 760 Nm (561 pound-feet) of torque. It’ll also spin to up to crazy heights, redlining at an ear-busting 9,000 rpm.
And, might we add, what a soundtrack it creates. The exhaust note is similar to something we’d expect out the back end of a Le Mans prototype race machine, and as such, it does a good job complementing the otherworldly exterior. The acceleration figures are equally impressive, with the 0-to-60 mph sprint done in 2.7 seconds, and top speed rated at 208 mph.
The exhaust note is similar to something we’d expect out the back end of a Le Mans prototype race machine.
Developed in conjunction with Autotecnica Motori, an Italy-based speed shop that specializes in high-performance engine applications, the IE is a welcome break from the usual forced induction and battery-assisted systems that seem to be more and more commonplace these days. “The decision to refrain from using any emotionally dilutive technological systems, such as hybridization, was made to deliver a modern, yet nostalgically, pure, unadulterated sensory experience,” IE says. The sound, throttle response, and power band are all part of that experience, and traditionalists are sure to appreciate the effort.
Interestingly, there are still several onboard electronic systems that help to harness all that output, so it would be unfair to characterize the IE as a totally “analog” experience. More on that in a bit.
It would be unfair to characterize the IE as a totally “analog” experience.
Routing the output to the pavement is a sequential six-speed+Rev transmission from Hewland. Features include electro-pneumatic paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel and “interchangeable” gear ratios for further performance customization. Compared to a modern double-clutch unit, the six-speed in the IE is lighter, although it’s said that a new seven-speed DCT is also in the works.
Finally, a pair of semi-axles from Pankl Racing Systems AG, a speed shop based out of Austria, helps to put the power to the ground. Made from a lightweight “superalloy,” it’s a fitting complement to the rest of the low-weight drivetrain set-up.
Chassis And Handling
- Lightweight at just 2,755 pounds
- Carbon fiber monocoque
- Electronically adjustable dampers
- Air jack for quick pit stops
- Up to 2 G’s in the corners
The Apollo Intensa Emozione seeks to combine big racing-spec aerodynamics with huge mechanical grip for tons of cornering speed.
When it comes to tackling some apexes, the Apollo Intensa Emozione seeks to combine big racing-spec aerodynamics with huge mechanical grip for tons of cornering speed. However, as you might imagine, reducing the IE’s curb weight was also a major focus.
Apollo calls the IE a “superleggera” (literally “super light” in Italian) and used loads of exotic materials to keep the thing as feathery as possible. Under the body panels is a custom carbon fiber chassis for improved torsional rigidity, with a carbon fiber monocoque, as well as carbon fiber construction for the front and rear subframes. All told, the chassis is just 105 kg (231 pounds), and that includes the combined weight for the monocoque and both subframes.
All told, the chassis is just 105 kg (231 pounds), and that includes the combined weight for the monocoque and both subframes.
To keep it safe, the IE incorporates custom carbon fiber crash structures in front, a design that’s similar to what’s used in Formula 1. Further Formula 1 inspiration was used for the suspension, where the IE receives double wishbones with push rod and rocker arm architecture, as well as adjustable anti-roll bars. Both the front and rear use this type of set-up. The adjustable, electronic dampers are from Bilstein, and offer up to three different driving modes, including “Comfort,” “Sport,” and “Auto.”
The suspension was designed for further customization as required by the buyer. “We allow our clients the ability to develop their own bespoke suspension setup,” says Apollo. Additional tuning can be made via the multiple driving modes, which include “Wet,” “Sport,” and “Track” modes, all of which are selectable by way of an Engine Map menu accessed on the primary display.
The IE seems to offer a certain purity in terms of driving experience
So then, the IE seems to offer a certain purity in terms of driving experience, while also equipping enough modern tech to keep it in the running against its contemporary competitors.
To keep it relatively streetable, an electro-hydraulic lifter system is used to manually raise the vehicle by as much as 50 mm (1.97 inches) at speeds up to 30 kph (18.6 mph). The IE also includes a quartet of air jacks that allow for easier access in the pits while participating in various high-performance driving and racing events.
To help haul it down, Apollo partnered with Brembo for the brakes, equipping carbon ceramic discs at all four corners. Up front, these are measured at 380 mm (14.96 inches) in diameter and 34 mm (1.3 inches) in thickness and come mated to six-piston calipers. The rear discs are identical in terms of dimensions but utilize smaller four-pot calipers.
The car weighs just 2,755 pounds, which means that with 3,000 pounds of downforce generated at 186 mph, the IE could theoretically drive upside down.
Wrapping the mammoth wheels are tires from Michelin, which help the IE achieve up to 2 G’s in lateral acceleration. What’s more, the car weighs in at just 2,755 pounds, which means that with 3,000 pounds of downforce generated at 186 mph, the IE could theoretically drive upside down. And you know what – we aren’t surprised. I mean, this thing looks like it came straight out of a video game. Why shouldn’t it drive like that too?
Apollo says it has a Time Attack race program in the works, to which each IE owner will be given exclusive access.
Apollo says it’s only gonna build ten examples of the Intensa Emozione, making it rather exclusive. Each will offer as much customization as requested by the buyer, but will also include an opportunity to fine-tune future development of the IE, as well as future Apollo projects and models. And that involves participation in various private test sessions on the track.
What’s more, Apollo says it has a Time Attack race program in the works, to which each IE owner will be given exclusive access. The competition opportunities will be held at various European racing circuits. What’s more, IE owners will be given priority should they elect to purchase Apollo’s forthcoming Arrow model, which is scheduled for a debut in 2019.
Between the owner-based development program, competition opportunities, and priority buying, Apollo is starting to remind us of Ferrari and its XX program. And I’m sure the German supercar maker doesn’t mind the comparison.
Oh right, the price. So then, what’s the damage? Try $2.7 million.
I think it’s safe to say that we’re suckers for gorgeous Italian supercars, and truth be told, Pagani is certainly known for ticking every one of our boxes. The latest Huayra BC is one good example. Making its debut in 2016 at the Geneva Motor Show, the Huayra BC is draped in stunning exterior bodywork that’s both attractive and highly functional. Inside, Pagani’s penchant for detail is on full display, down to the exposed shift linkage and an orchestra of instrumentation. And of course, the Huayra BC has enough go to match the all that show, rocking as much as 739 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque from a 6.0-liter V-12.
Read our full review on the 2017 Pagani Huayra BC.
The Swedes are another major force in this segment, with the latest version of the Agera challenging the best of the best from around the world for supreme velocity domination. Dubbed the RS, this slab of speed gets revised aerodynamics for even more stick, generating up to 1,000 pounds of downforce when traveling at 155 mph. Making it go is a mid-mounted 5.0-liter V-8, which is stuffed by twin turbochargers to produce as much as 1,160 horsepower. Opt into the 1 Megawatt package, and that figure rises to an astonishing 1,341 horses.
Read our full review on the 2017 Koenigsegg Agera RS.
The IE is a little more refined because of tech like traction control and adaptive dampers, but Apollo shouldn’t scare away customers just for the sake of making the IE more brutal.
Apollo makes it pretty obvious what it’s trying to do here with the Intensa Emozione, and overall, we approve. Basically, Apollo contends that in the never-ending march towards the utilization of complex technology, the emotional connection between pilot and machine was left behind, sacrificed in the name of more efficiency, bigger numbers, and more speed.
“All the automation that is meant to make the driver’s job ‘easier’ has taken something fundamental away,” Apollo argues. “Something that made up the roots that created the passion, drive and automotive culture and history that we have all learned to love. That pure, raw, emotional connection that binds driver and car.”
In some respects, we agree, despite the inclusion of programmable traction control and adaptive dampers. True, the IE is a little more refined because of tech like that, but Apollo shouldn’t scare away customers just for the sake of making the IE more brutal.
But the question is – does the IE properly harness those raw feelings?
Well, the exterior certainly manages to elicit some raw emotion. This thing looks like rolling speed incarnate, and that’s something anyone can appreciate. The naturally aspirated engine is another vital piece of the puzzle. The suspension and handling systems should also offer that unbridled, direct-connection experience Apollo is talking about, given the proper settings, of course.
So yeah, overall, we’d say Apollo managed to accomplish its goal. But amongst all the other hypercars on the market today, will the IE manage to steal buyers away from Bugatti, or Koenigsegg, or Pagani? That one we’re not so sure about.
History And Background
Apollo Automobil’s history starts in 2004, when founder Roland Gumpert founded the supercar manufacturer with the intention of creating a road-legal performance machine that could hang with the very best on the track. Back then, the company went by the founder’s last name, and its first model was dubbed the Apollo. Equipped with a mid-mounted, twin-turbo, 4.2-liter V-8, the original Apollo had more than enough performance to meet Gumpert’s goal, managing to set a new fastest lap time on Top Gear and even competing in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.
Unfortunately, Gumpert went bankrupt in 2013, but the company was acquired in 2016 by Hong Kong-based Ideal Team Venture, and was consequently renamed “Apollo.” Following the rebranding, Apollo unveiled its upcoming Arrow at the Geneva Motor Show.
Read our full review on the 2006-2012 Gumpert Apollo.
Read our full review on the 2016 Apollo Arrow.