BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
View the latest news

Apollo gets a new tech partner for its 769bhp Intensa Emozione

The team behind the Mercedes CLK-GTR will develop Apollo’s mad V12 Batmobile

Published: 12 Jun 2018

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.

Advertisement - Page continues below

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.

Does this mean we can expect Apollo’s crazy Batmobile to become fully road-legal too? The company has revealed to Top Gear that this is being considered on an individual customer basis.

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…

Advertisement - Page continues below

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?

Top Gear

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

More from Top Gear

See more on Supercars

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine