Apollo Automobil Partners With Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Creator HWA to Finish the IE Hypercar
The Apollo IE was created as an homage to the 1990s GT1 race cars, and now one of the most iconic DTM teams has its hands on it.
Despite having been seen driving around on public roads, the Batmobile-like Apollo Intensa Emozione hypercar isn't finished yet. The 780 horsepower track monster still has a ways to go before it can be legal for road use, and Apollo has recruited a seemingly unlikely ally to help with that, HWA AG, the masterminds behind the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR homologation special.
Apollo announced the partnership with HWA in a press release Tuesday, stating that the Mercedes-AMG spin-off company will provide resources and a testing platform to make the Intensa Emozione ideal for the road. HWA will help improve the car's reliability, heat management, and safety systems. The IE is meant to be a race car for the road, so HWA will find the IE's balance between street and track optimization.
“When working on a project for such a long period of time it is difficult sometimes to articulate the scope of the project itself," explained Ryan Berris, general manager and chief marketing officer at Apollo Automobil. "I feel that this partnership will further depict how serious we are about being a true player in the segment for the long-term and the IE is just the first step. HWA’s legacy going back over 20 years has a strong reputation and offers engineering competencies that align well with our brand and vision for the future.”
While the Apollo-HWA partnership may seem strange, this is a match made in heaven. HWA was founded by Hans Werner Aufrecht (one of AMG's founders) and was responsible for building the 26 road-legal CLK GTRs that the FIA required for its GT1 motorsport class, as well as managing Mercedes-AMG's Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) team. Furthermore, the Apollo IE was created as a tribute to GT1 race cars like the CLK GTR. This is a relationship we can definitely get behind.
“In the spirit of staying true to the ethos of Apollo and to the philosophy of the IE, in its efforts to pay homage to the old GT1 days, we have created a strategic technical partnership for the final development of the IE," said Norman Choi, chairman of Apollo Automobil. "I have admired HWA and their accomplishments for many years and wanted to leverage the strong synergies between our teams and utilize the 20+ years of experience and competencies of HWA to make certain that the IE will properly carry on the torch as the only modern day GT1 inspired car. It will really add to the story and history of the IE.”
With the most successful GT1 enthusiasts now working on it, the IE will now be able to properly capture the spirit of these motorsport icons from the late 1990s. Apollo and HWA will develop the car until later this year, and begin delivering the 10 customer cars in 2019.