Gumpert Apollo

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The Gumpert Apollo is a supercar produced by German automaker Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH in Altenburg. In 2001 Roland Gumpert proposed a new generation sports car. One of the first concerns of this car was that it be a street-legal car, ready for the race track. Gumpert returned to Germany at the end of 2001, after more than three years in China. There he was the head of sales and marketing, responsible for the development of the dealer network of the Audi-VW joint enterprise. Just after he returned to Germany, Roland Mayer asked him if he would assist him in building a prototype sports car. Audi approved Gumpert's involvement in this project, on the condition that, if they did eventually develop a new sports car, it would not be a prototype, but a series product. The company, located in Altenburg, Germany, was founded in 2004 under the name GMG Sportwagenmanufaktur Altenburg GmbH. The technical guidelines were defined and the first designs of the car were drawn by Marco Vanetta. Upon Vanetta's completion of this process, the first 1:4 scale model of Gumpert's car was produced in 2002. Gumpert continued with the development of the Apollo, along with the Technical University of Munich and the Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences. They have assisted with the constructional work, computer simulations, and wind tunnel tests. This research and development helped forming the blueprint for the first 1:1 scale model. Finally, two prototype Apollos were constructed. The production of the Apollo started in October 2005. The Apollo is a 1,100 kg (2,400 lb) to 1,200 kg (2,600 lb), street-legal race car. It is a mid-engined, rear wheel drive two-seater constructed on a tubular chromoly frame, with fiberglass or optional carbon fiber body panels. The manufacturers, Gumpert, claim the design of the Apollo is optimized so that the car could drive upside-down in a tunnel if driven at sufficiently high speeds (over 190 mph), though this remains to be tested. Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond claims that Gumpert have already found a suitable tunnel and have made all the preparations necessary and are simply waiting for a volunteer driver willing enough to do the test. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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