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File: Gumpert

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Uploaded:
01.12.11
Modified:
01.12.11
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474
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GumpertGumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH is a German, Altenburg-based company manufacturing supercars. The first model produced was the Gumpert Apollo, followed by the Apollo Sport in 2007. Gumpert also offer the Apollo Race.  The founder and owner of Gumpert is Roland Gumpert, former Director of Audi Sport. Under his management, Audi won a total of 25 World Rally Championship races and 4 World Rally Championship titles.

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 Meyer 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 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 construction 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.

On July 27, 2008 an Apollo Sport was featured on the UK show Top Gear. Richard Hammond and The Stig drove the Apollo Sport. With a lap time of 1.17.1, the Apollo Sport became the new leader on the Power Lap Board, 0.2 seconds faster than the former lap leader, the Ascari A10. The Apollo was faster than Bugatti Veyron and Pagani Zonda around the Top Gear track. The Ferrari FXX, later broke Apollo's record with a lap time of 1.10.1. However, the time was not kept due to the FXX's slick tires, which are not allowed under Top Gear rules (as all cars on the board must be legal for street use).

The Gumpert Apollo, Apollo Sport and the Apollo Race are currently only available in the European, Middle Eastern and U.S. markets. Gumpert also plans to export the Apollo to Australia, the Asian region and Russia.

Since October 2005, a total of 45 employees, both from the production and administration departments, have produced and delivered the first cars. For 2009, an annual production of 30 cars is planned. The base price for the Apollo, with its 4.2 Liter V8 engine with bi-turbo delivering 650 hp (480 kW) is €301,600 excluding VAT. The Apollo sport is available at an extra €77,910, and the Apollo race at €125,320 more. The waiting list is approximately four to five months.

During April 2005 the Apollo made its racing debut in the Divinol Cup. This Apollo was driven by the Belgian race driver Ruben Maes. Maes finished third on the Hockenheimring race track.

Three years later Gumpert announced that they would enter a hybrid electric version of the Apollo in the 2008 24 Hours Nürburgring, driven by 2004 winner Dirk Müller and ex Formula One Racer Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Three months passed between the first discussions and the finished hybrid Apollo. The Apollo was driven in the 24 Hours Nürburgring in May 2008. The hybrid Apollo can deliver up to 630 hp (470 kW), powered with a 3.3 litre V8 bi-turbo engine coupled with a 100 kW (136 PS; 134 hp) electric motor. The car has the ability to recharge the battery under braking.

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