Showing posts with label 2000s German Sports Cars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2000s German Sports Cars. Show all posts

Porsche Carrera GT

Porsche Carrera GT 2000s German sports car

The Porsche Carrera GT was shot through with motorsport. Nominally a roadster, number-plates were about as far as it went! It started as a Le Mans prototype - one that was subsequently shelved. The roots of its V10 engine were in F1. Porsche had built it for the Footwork team, in the early '90s. The Carrera GT concept car was launched at the Geneva Show, in 2000. It set off a tsunami of excitement. Showgoers jostled to get out their cheque-books. Porsche knew they had hit pay dirt. A limited-edition run was swiftly announced.

The Carrera was chock-full of competition-calibre components. The monocoque chassis was carbon-fibre. Diffusers and venturis were the stuff of F1. Wheels were super-light magnesium. So were the seats - with added carbon-fibre. Stainless-steel push-rods compressed the suspension - rigorously developed for rock-solid strength. The clutch was ceramic - as were the disc brakes. Natch, there was a 6-speed 'box.

The Carrera GT's bodywork was streamlined - to say the least. Huge ducts cooled the engine and brakes. Rear wing action kicked in at 75mph. The cockpit was moved forward - adding to the dynamism of the design, among other things. Porsche's brief to self was to create a cutting edge supercar. The Carrera GT was proof they had delivered!

Gumpert Apollo

Gumpert Apollo 2000s German supercar

Roland Gumpert - developer of the Apollo - was a man on a mission. He had previously been Audi's Director of Motorsport. Engineering-wise, then, the Apollo was in the surest of hands. Indeed, few cars could hold a candle to it, technically. Visual design was by Marco Vanetta. The jury has long been out on the Apollo's looks. Its shape has been critiqued as a bit 'boxy' by styling pundits. And even as downright odd, by some supercar observers!

Configuration-wise, the Apollo was, in fact, far from radical. Its two-seater, mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive set-up was pretty much par for the supercar course. But the Apollo wrung every last drop out of the layout. Its tubular steel frame was rock-solid. The fibre-glass bodywork light as a feather. Suspension was double wishbone all round - with the dampers fully adjustable. They were joined inboard by 6-piston ventilated disc brakes. The Apollo was impressively aerodynamic. On top of its wind-cheating shape, it sported a subtle rear spoiler. Beneath, lay a finely-hewn undertray. Two venturis stretched the length of the car. They generated huge amounts of downforce. The Apollo's engine dictated that. The turbocharged 4.2-litre Audi V8 produced 641bhp in base form. That was upped to 690bhp by the sport version of the motor. There was a third engine option - tuned specially for racing. Top speed - even in standard trim - was 224mph. 0-60 appeared in just 3s.

The Apollo, though, did have its docile side. Controls were power-assisted. The V8 grunt was manageable for most drivers. And cruising was a breeze. Supercar-style gull-wing doors allowed easy access. Compared with many a highly-strung rival, the Apollo was user-friendly. Its cabin was roomy and relaxing. Four-point safety harnesses were standard. So, in many ways, the Gumpert Apollo was a real-world runabout, rather than a star-chasing retro rocket. Albeit, one in a suitably space-age skin!