20 August 2009

Gumpert Apollo: a new ‘Ring record?

700bhp German hypercar beats Viper’s ‘Ring record by a full 11 seconds. And they’ve got the video to prove it

See more pictures of the Gumpert Apollo Speed

It may have a daft name and look like an enraged, steroidal cyborg, but hell, the Gumpert Apollo Speed is fast.

So fast, in fact, that Gumpert claims to have just set a new Nurburgring production lap record, smashing the existing record by nearly 11 seconds.

In the hands of 26-year-old Florian Gruber, the Apollo Speed lapped the 14-mile Nordschliefe in 7m11.57s, punching a great big hole in the Dodge Viper’s record of 7m22.1s.

Of course, the Radical SR8 set a 6m56s lap back in 2005, but there’s some dispute over whether the British lightweight can be considered an internationally viable production car.

Maybe Gumpert’s astonishing time isn’t surprising – the Apollo Speed is motivated by a twin-turbo version of Audi’s 4.2-litre V8 putting out a giant 700bhp. And don’t forget that the sedate, standard, 650bhp non-Speed Apollo set a Top Gear lap record last year, too.

But jeez, 11 seconds is a lot, even on a circuit as long and complex as the Nurburgring. Don’t forget that all Nurburgring records are unofficial… but thankfully Gumpert has posted a video showing the lap in all its apex-clipping, Green Hell-taming glory. Take a look.

Anyone reckon he could take a few more seconds out of that record?

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