Click to view more of the Gumpert Apollo in hi-res
Gumpert intends to give new meaning to the term "the green hell", the nickname given by race drivers to the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife. The German supercar-maker has announced that it will be racing at the 24-hour endurance race there next month with a race-prepped hybrid version of its Apollo supercar.
To supplement the 630-hp Audi-sourced twin-turbo V8, Gumpert will employ a 100kW electric motor recharged by captured brake energy. The system is similar to the KERS mechanism being phased into Formula One, and to highlight the F1 connection (and hopefully score some points in the process), Gumpert has solicited the services of former F1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who will share driving duties with veteran endurance sportscar racer Dirk Müller.
Check out the images in the high-resolution gallery below and the press release after the jump.
Hybrid Gumpert to Race at 24 Hours Nurnburgring
Driven by Heinz-Harald Frentzen
A green car for the Green Hell, Gumpert will be entering an electric-petrol hybrid race car into the next 24 Hours Nurnburgring this May. The race car is based on the Gumpert Apollo and will be piloted by ex-Formula 1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Dirk Muller.
The Hybrid Apollo uses both an 100 kW electric motor and a 3.3 liter V8 bi-turbo petrol engine and produces 630 hp. The electric motor will be recharged when the car brakes. On its maiden race, the hybrid-concept will be taking on race cars like the Porsche 911 GT3, Dodge Viper, Lamborghini Gallardo, BMW Z4 and Chevrolet Corvette.
Gumpert is fully aware of the 2009 Formula 1 rule that teams must use hybrid engines and has therefor formed a team around the former F1 driver Frentzen. "Motorsports can not ignore the necessity to save energy. I see a chance that our sport will go back to the forefront of technical development, making cars outside of the ractrack much more energy efficient," said Frentzen.
The 24 Hours Nurburgring will take place on 24 - 25 May 2008.