Exciting news from Apollo, the Chinese-backed marque that’s constructing ten insane-looking carbon fibre track cars, inspired by the GT1 racing class of the 1990s and powered by a naturally aspirated V12 good for 769bhp. Apollo’s got a new tech partner on board – with serious GT1 pedigree.
Apollo has joined forces with HWA AG, the German motorsports outfit that developed the Mercedes CLK-GTR which dominated the FIA GT1 class in the 1990s. HWA was originally a spin-off of AMG itself, richly decorated not just in GT1, but DTM too.
Apollo said: “The scope of this [HWA] partnership will focus on development areas such as safety, reliability, powertrain calibration, and thermal dynamics, including computational fluid dynamics work to assist Apollo with its ‘Race to Road’ strategy that involves the application of learnings from the race track into the development of the dual purpose nature of the Apollo IE. This partnership gives Apollo access to HWA’s globally renowned engineering expertise, technologies and world-class facilities.”
This means that the original partnership with Manifattura Automoboli Torino – makers of the New Stratos – has been terminated. An Apollo spokesman told Top Gear this was a decision based on HWA’s experience in building championship-winning racing cars – and turning them into road cars. Because, of course, HWA built the 25 road-going CLK GTRs too. Some pedigree.
Each of the ten cars – all sold, to buyers in the US, Asia, Europe and the Middle East – will be consulted over how they plan to use the car, and if it’s feasible to make their €2.3m example street-able in their country of residence without decimating the IE’s incredible bodywork in the name of legality. It’s possible several could become registered road cars. The rest of the lucky ten will have to stick to circuits. Circuits with generous noise limits…
Meanwhile, Apollo has confirmed to Top Gear that while it has no current plans to race the IE, it believes the FIA’s recent consideration of a reborn GT1 series featuring hypercars like the Aston Martin Valkyrie and McLaren Senna is “a really positive move” that’s exciting for the sport and one it’s watching with interest. Can you imagine this tearing down the Mulsanne straight in the middle of the night? It’d wake the dead. We approve.
Apollo maintains its priority for the Intensa Emozione is a showcase for what it can do when freed of road legal shackles, to create perhaps the last pure GT1-inspired hypercar. There’ll be future models after this with a more road-focused bent, but the strictly limited run of ten IEs will remain the burgeoning company’s ultimate flagship. We’re watching this space with interest… and salivating. Pass a knapkin, would you?