2007 Gumpert Apollo Sport

"It has always been a dream of mine," Roland Gumpert declares on his website, "to have a car that has so much downforce, such aerodynamic efficiency that you could drive on the roof of a tunnel at high speed--and this car can." We have to believe him, because Gumpert is the ex-competitions chief of Audi's Quattro division, and helped lead the four rings to the victories that got the Coupe Quattro banned from competition. The Gumpert Apollo uses a 4.2-liter V-8 sourced from the bossman's old company, but two massive turbochargers help it breathe a bit better in this application. The engine's 650 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque are routed through an F1-style sequential six-speed, and the 2420-pound supercar will hit sixty mph in three seconds and 124 mph in just under six more. But it's not all about pure power; the engine has been tuned for strong low-range torque for "connoisseurs who don't necessarily connect driving enjoyment with maximum motor performance and ultimate acceleration," says Gumpert.

Styling for the Apollo is similar to that of Chrysler's ME412 that won over Detroit crowds a few years back. It's low, mean, and proudly shows off its mid-engine configuration and 42/58 percent front-to-rear weight bias. It's engineered to the highest race car safety standards, and the interior looks the racing part, too. That is, other than the aftermarket CD/DVD stereo with an integrated rear camera for showing "how quickly overtaken cars disappear from view." Roland, you could probably just say that it's to help drivers back up. It's not an easy task with a five-point harness and no rear window.

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