We're not sure where to begin with Apollo Automobili's Intensa Emozione, or IE for short. Do we start with the sharp, almost butcher-cleaved angles and downforce generators? Or do we start with the massive naturally aspirated V-12 engine?
What about the almost comic-book-movie interior? We're just not sure. It's a supercar that causes your eyes to dance from surface to surface trying to comprehend the visual onslaught Apollo engineered. Let's dive in.
The Apollo IE is built by many of the same people behind the Gumpert Apollo.The Gumpert used an Audi-sourced 4.2-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine and was a supercar built around one main principle: downforce. When the people behind Apollo made the decision to return, the company seemingly took that emphasis on downforce and amplified it in the IE.
According to Apollo, "The Apollo IE embarks on a new chapter to ground an intensively striking design language that symbolizes the brand." The body is said to "narrate" how air should naturally flow around a car. That said, the entire car has been sculpted to produce staggering amounts of downforce.
When Gumpert debuted the Apollo, the company stated it had enough downforce to drive upside down. The IE likely can as well as it produces over 3,000 pounds of downforce at 186 mph. It's a race car driver's wet dream.
The chassis consists of a carbon-fiber monocoque with carbon front and rear sub-frames. The car's entire spine weighs a scant 231 pounds, with the car's total weight coming in at a few hundred pounds under 3,000. Connected to the chassis and sub-frames is a Formula 1-inspired suspension with full push-rod and rocker arm architecture.
Twin adjustable anti-roll bars are included, as well as adjustable Bilstein-sourced dampers with three different drive modes, (Comfort, Sport, and Auto). Customers will also be able to further customize their suspension setup with personal tuning and modification for each client.
There's also an electro-hydraulic lift system for curbs and speed bumps. Apollo stated that "The development of the suspension system was designed to achieve maximum performances, but also carry a targeted level of refinement in order to provide a capable, yet reliable driving experience."
Brakes are handled by a bespoke set of carbon ceramic Brembos with 6-piston calipers at the front, 4-piston calipers at the rear. While tires are a special set of Michelins designed to allow the IE to achieve lateral g-forces in "excess of 2g." Now let's get to the good part: the IE's engine.
Apollo says the IE uses a 6.3-liter naturally aspirated V-12 engine co-developed with Autotecnica Motori. Given that Autotecnica is just a hop, skip, and jump away from Modena, we believe that the V-12 is a Ferrari-derived engine, likely the same engine that was found in the F12, and is currently being used in the Ferrari GTC4Lusso.
In Apollo guise, however, it produces 780 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque, and has a 9,000-rpm redline. According to the company, the IE's engine has three distinct engine modes, including Wet, Sport, and Track, that can be accessed through the car's main display.
Coupled to the IE's V-12 engine is a Hewland sequential six-speed gearbox with rev-matching and fully interchangeable gear ratios. The gearbox itself is operated through an electro-pneumatic paddle shift action that provides lightning fast gear changes. The gearbox then sends that power to the rear wheels alone through a Pankl Racing Systems differential.
The interior is as wild as the car's exterior and method of propulsion. Inside the teardrop cabin are two fixed-position race seats with four-point Apollo-branded harnesses. Like other supercars and hypercars with fixed seats, the pedal box moves, and each seat will be custom built for each owner.
The cabin itself is sparse and features only two materials: leather and carbon fiber. The dash and display resemble that of a fighter jet, angling all information toward the driver who operates everything through a C-shaped steering wheel reminiscent of a current prototype racer.
Now comes the brass tacks. Apollo states that the IE will have a hyper-limited run of just 10 cars, and each car can be customized to the Nth degree by its owners. The price tag starts at $2.7 million, but given the amount of customization available, that number is likely to increase by the time you've spec'd your perfect IE.
Customers will also be enrolled in the company's own Time Attack program held on Europe's most relevant racing circuits and will be given "priority" to order the IE's future sibling, the Arrow, which is scheduled for debut in 2019, according to Apollo.
"We felt that all the technological advancement and automation in today's supercars took away the pure, raw emotional connection between driver and car," said Norman Choi, Apollo's Chairman, in a release. "We wanted to build a car that would fill that void separating car and driver. So we built the Apollo IE."
We can't wait to get behind its funky wheel.