Apex AP-0 EV Supercar Emerges From the Ashes of the Geneva Show
We would have loved to see this 650 hp electric sports car in person.
There's been such a flood of electric and gasoline-electric hybrid sports car debuts lately that you'd be forgiven for arching an eyebrow at the Apex AP-0. But take a closer look: its sharp lines are somewhat generically futuristic but fit the bill perfectly, and its single-motor rear-drive layout makes it somewhat unique among high-performance EVs. It's also relatively lightweight, at just about 2,645 lbs (of which its lithium-ion battery pack makes up 1,213 lbs).
Like many ambitious startups of late, Apex is based in Asia (with locations in Hong Kong and Shenzhen City, China) but with development and alleged manufacturing in the U.K., according to press materials the company released. The company previously produced an open-topped car for Hong Kong, the AP-1, which is related to (or derived from) the Elemental RP1. The important point is the AP-0 isn't the first experience this new company has in the automotive space. That said, it's radically different from the 2.3-liter EcoBoost powered AP-1.
That's because the AP-0 rides on a unique chassis, with a central carbon-fiber tub attached to modular spaceframes. Apex says the central spine, a major design element, is also a structural component and helps with rigidity. The subframe-tub unit is wrapped in carbon-fiber body panels. The prominent and aggressive chin of the AP-0 serves an aerodynamic function, channeling air underneath the car to a flat undertray and eventually to a large rear diffuser. No downforce figure is claimed, although the company says it's sufficient to negate the need for a large rear wing or spoiler.
The lithium-ion battery pack has a 90-kWh capacity, and while no detail is given about the design of the motor (or motors), we know the AP-0 features rear-wheel drive. The company claims a total system output of 650 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque, which should be good for a sprint to 62 mph of 2.3 seconds. Maximum speed is a claimed 190 mph; ambitious given that most EVs use a single-speed gear reduction drive. There's no mention of a two-speed transmission like the Taycan uses, but perhaps Apex will utilize one. As for range, the claim is equally ambitious—320 miles on the WLTC cycle. A Combined Charging System plug will let the AP-0 charge to 80 percent in just 15 minutes.
The suspension design is interesting, as it uses pushrods, which allows Apex to bring the springs and dampers inboard. This design, common in motorsports, helps with weight distribution and aerodynamics. Grip comes courtesy of staggered tires that mount on 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels. Braking is provided by 14-inch discs up front, with slightly smaller rear units.
Interestingly for a car with a performance focus, the AP-0 includes a LiDAR sensor mounted on the roof. The sensor can identify and warn against various road hazards. Who developed the system or its operating software is unclear, as are its capabilities, but it's at least a unique talking point. The AP-0 also uses the LiDAR sensor for Level 3 driver assistance, which includes adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, according to the company. This level of functionality almost guarantees it's an off-the-shelf system; it's far too much for a startup to tackle solo.
The AP-0 will start at $174,619 when it goes into production in late 2022 in the U.K. No word on whether it will be legal to use on U.S. roads, but it's early days yet for Apex and we'll see where things land.