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German supercar shakes ugly tag

2011-03-02 07:30

PERFORMANCE POTENTIAL: Powered by 515kW of forced induction Audi V8, this is the only view most other road users will mostly see of Gumpert’s new Tornante…

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Gumpert
Model Tornante
Engine 4.2l twin-turbo V8
Power 515kW @ 6 500rpm
Torque 900Nm @ 4 400rpm
Transmission Six-speed auto
Top Speed 300km/h
Tyres F: 265/35 ZR19, R: 345/30 ZR20
Roland Gumpert builds some of the most beautifully engineered supercars in the world.

Unfortunately though, his small company drains all its resources into the engineering side of the business, leaving scants funds for design.

The result of this is Gumpert’s Apollo – massively fast and, well, dreadful unattractive.

Gumpert launched the car back in 2005 and although it shattered the Nurburgring lap record for production cars and even managed to woo Top Gear’s presenters, it remains a bizarrely ugly car.

This has always been quite an unfortunate state of affairs for petrolheads, especially considering the hugely rewarding dynamic driving experience Gumpert’s technical team has managed to engineer into the Apollo.

Apollo's second landing?

Fortunately, after nearly six years of research and development, it would appear that Gumpert’s Apollo sales have managed to improve the company’s cash flow position to such an extent that it will soon be able to market a new model.

This new car, called the Tornante, even has proper styling, courtesy of Italian design consultants Touring Superleggera.

One of the most striking debutants at this week’s Geneva auto show, Gumpert’s Tornante (the name is ostensibly Italian for hairpin corner) retains a quintessentially German visual presence (it looks heavy, as if machined from a single piece of material) but features infinitely better proportions than its Apollo sibling.

Although the split rear window is a rather brazen copy of Chevrolet’s Corvette styling heritage, the remainder of the car’s detailing is very neat.

Despite Gumpert not willing to divulge exact performance figures for its new charger; the new car's technical details are pretty comprehensive.

APOLLO BE GONE: Almost impossibly good looking for a Gumpert, the Tornante manages to blend Italian design intuition with a touch of geometric German proportions…

All the best bits in a prettier package

The company says its Tornante is a high-performance two-seater touring car, more in the GT than pure supercar tradition.

Tornante’s chassis combines classic and contemporary construction techniques.

Most of the car’s structure is supported by a light chrome-molybdenum steel space frame, formed around the driver and passenger section’s composite monocoque.

Gumpert’s quoting a dry licensing mass of only 1 300kg for the new Tornante.

Drivetrain technology for Gumpert’s new offering migrates from the Apollo. That means 515kW of twin-turbo Audi 4.2-litre V8 driving the rear wheels courtesy of the Gumpert’s in-house refined TT40e six-speed automatic transmission.

Featuring e-gear electronic shift actuation, Gumpert claims shift times of only 40 milliseconds. With a torque-sensing limited slip rear differential providing traction security, Gumpert expects Tornante to be good for 0-100km/h times in the low three-second bracket.

Keeping the car tracking true are double-wishbones at each wheel corner, managed by horizontally arranged pushrod dampers housed inboard.

Set to go on sale at a yet unspecified date during 2012, Tornante is finally a Gumpert you can actually drive around without having to hide behind a helmet to disguise your identity.  


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