Three of the Greatest Supercars that Never Made it to the Road


Regardless of appearances, designing a automotive is a particularly difficult proposition. Corporations like Ford, Honda, and the behemoth that’s the VW Group fairly actually spend tons of of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} annually of their design departments alone. Taking that to the subsequent stage, since they’re a a lot decrease quantity product, supercars are much more troublesome to design and produce. In truth, a few of the biggest supercars and hypercars which have made it to the highway are, regardless of costs starting from the tons of of hundreds to a number of million {dollars}, promoting at a loss.

Generally, nevertheless, studying the market and the indicators about their automobiles have led some producers to desert a mission just because it wouldn’t promote or could possibly be a fiscal catastrophe for the corporate in another means. These automobiles are sometimes shuffled into the vault, at no matter stage they’re at, and locked away, out sight, out of thoughts.

There are some, nevertheless, that learn the market proper however wouldn’t be capable to be bought as a revenue, and which influenced later automobiles that did succeed. At present, we’re going to have a look at three supercars that have been shelved throughout design however began the concepts rolling for supercars that have been later made.

The Ford GT90: An Train in Mismanagement

Within the Nineteen Sixties, the Ford Motor Firm, after being rebuffed by Enzo Ferrari once they have been attempting to purchase the corporate, produced the most effective supercars that the world had seen up till that time: the unique Ford GT40. It was each a big center finger to Ferrari and an train in what occurs once you put the proper folks in control of the proper departments to make an unbelievably quick and lovely automotive.

Quick-forward a bit to the mid-Nineteen Nineties, when Ford subsidiary Jaguar had spent hundreds of thousands of {dollars} growing after which producing the XJ220. This was a jewel in Ford’s crown, as they wished to stay the pleasant and reasonably priced household automotive and truck producer whereas additionally producing supercars that have been “Ford” in all however title. Across the center of 1994, a secret mission group was fashioned, making the primary Ford supercar in many years.

Wanting by their historical past, the GT moniker stored coming to the forefront, with each the unique GT40 and the extraordinarily restricted Ford UK GT70 displaying that there was a client market, nevertheless small, for a Ford-branded supercar. One of many causes that the mission group was put collectively was {that a} new design language was going to be launched in 1996—Ford’s New Edge. This was most famously displayed by the unique Ford Focus, however Ford wished a halo automotive to paved the way.

As such, the staff determined to go for a brand new iteration of the GT, the GT90. Regardless of being given an extremely brief timeframe of solely 6 months to design and prototype the automotive, the staff by some means managed to drag it off. The one GT90 to ever exist was unveiled on the Detroit Auto Present in January of 1995, and it grabbed everybody’s consideration.

1995 Ford GT90 Concept
Picture Through: Wikimedia Commons.

What most individuals didn’t see, nevertheless, was the turmoil that had erupted behind the scenes at Ford. The advertising and marketing division wished to have photos of the automotive all over the place, and even licensed it out to online game firms so they may have “The Ford of the Future” of their video games.

In the meantime, the manufacturing division was complaining that a completely new manufacturing line would must be constructed, with particular instruments for dealing with aluminum honeycomb and carbon fiber. The gross sales division was trying on the growth prices already and setting the GT90 as much as be probably the most costly automobiles ever made by Ford.

In brief, it was a automotive that wanted the identical smooth-flowing operation that the unique GT40 had, the place the top of design reported on to Henry Ford II himself, and will bypass the committees and different departments. Ford, by the Nineteen Nineties, had grown to be so huge and so unfold out that whereas the GT90—with its 720 HP 5.9L quad-turbo V12, unique physique and chassis, and exhaust so scorching it might soften the resin within the carbon fiber panels round it—might realistically have been made, it was choked to demise by committee.

1995 Ford GT90's infamous white hot exhaust configuration
Picture Through: Wikimedia Commons.

When it was ultimately canceled in the midst of 1995, the one idea was despatched to the Hajek Motorsports Museum in Oklahoma, and all of the plans, drawings, concepts, and the like have been put into Ford’s vault. This upset lots of people, particularly those that have been rich sufficient that they have been going to purchase one when construct slots opened. What the GT90 did handle to do, regardless of the mismanagement that killed it off, was reintroduce the considered Ford making highly effective, glossy, all-American supercars.

That very same secret mission staff was stored collectively, and this time was given a way more cheap timeframe (measured in years) to design a supercar worthy of being known as a Ford. Simply 7 years after the GT90 sputtered and died, the 2002 Detroit Worldwide Auto Present bore witness to the disclosing of the Ford GT.

As a substitute of attempting to be the Ford of the Future, with unique supplies, a massively complicated engine, and white-hot exhaust, the staff had this time appeared again.

It was due to the mismanagement of the GT90—the truth that they have been attempting to create a halo automotive on a timeframe barely lengthy sufficient for many producers to even end their idea drafts—that the automotive by no means made it to the highway. However, due to its wild look, extreme advertising and marketing, and with Ford truly investing in constructing a high-performance car manufacturing line, the Ford GT was ultimately in a position to be made, and was wildly profitable.

2005 Ford GT
Picture Through: Wikimedia Commons.

The Volkswagen W12: The Automotive that Began the Veyron Challenge

Generally, a automotive is barely ever designed to be an idea automotive and by no means severely meant for manufacturing. That is how the VW W12 mission started, but it surely quickly morphed right into a mission that had a severe probability of being made, particularly with the economic would possibly of the VW Group behind it.

In 1997, Ferdinand Piech, grandson of 1 Ferdinand Porsche and CEO of the VW Group, tasked Italdesign and their head designer, Giorgetto Guigiaro, with drafting up a VW supercar. Being the exacting and really German man he was, he set out the foundations that the automotive should be made to accommodate an engine of 12 cylinders in a W format, be mid-engined, and incorporate VW’s Syncro AWD system. It additionally needed to be a automotive that folks would wish to purchase, and it had to have the ability to cool its engine with out creating an extreme quantity of cabin noise.

1997 Volkswagen W12 Syncro concept
Picture Through: Wikimedia Commons.

The automotive that resulted was the 1997 Volkswagen W12 Syncro, which is usually known as the VW Nardo W12 due to the Nardo take a look at monitor in Italy that it was demonstrated on. The automotive was a masterpiece of Italian strains mixed with German engineering, and that W12 engine that Piech wished to suit into the automotive was slotted in completely. The engine itself was a 5.6L naturally aspirated W12, producing nearly 420 HP, and thru a collection of switch instances it powered all 4 wheels, simply as requested.

Two extra W12’s have been made, one being a roadster model of the W12 Syncro in 1998, and the final being the one “manufacturing” W12, often known as the W12 Nardo, which was used to acquire a world document for all pace lessons in a 24 hour run on the Nardo Ring. This “manufacturing” automotive is quoted as such because it was a bespoke race automotive, and was not technically highway authorized.

Nonetheless, it did cowl 7,740.576 KM (4,809.8 miles) at a median pace of 322.891 KPH (200.6 MPH) in these 24 hours. The W12 Nardo was additionally essentially the most highly effective of the bunch, with its W12 engine producing 591 HP and a whopping 458 lb-ft of torque, all naturally aspirated.

2001 VW Nardo W12 that achieved the Nardo world record in 2002
Picture Through: Wikimedia Commons.

The automotive was all however prepared to start out manufacturing—nevertheless, Ferdinand Piech was the one who shut down the mission himself. This was as a result of, with the proof {that a} automotive could possibly be made with a W12 engine, be sporty, and obtain excessive speeds, he laid out the Phaeton mission as an alternative.

The VW Phaeton did make it to manufacturing, and it met all ten of his “unattainable standards,” with essentially the most well-known instance being that the automotive ought to be capable to be pushed all day at 300 KPH (186 MPH), with an exterior temperature of fifty C (122 F), whereas the inside might by no means rise above 22 C (72 F). As nicely, the top-of-the-line Phaeton carried a 6.0L W12 engine that produced practically 450 HP.

It was by the shelving of the W12 Syncro, and the conclusion of the Phaeton, that Piech’s closing order, earlier than he retired as CEO of VW, was utilizing the Bugatti model that had been acquired by VW Group in 1998 to make a supercar like none that had ever been seen earlier than. Once more, it was his record of unattainable standards that drove the mission, such because the engine producing 1,000 HP, brakes that might cease the automotive from 250 MPH to 0 MPH at full pressure, with out locking up or fading, and that the automotive can be powered by a W16.

2005 Bugatti Veyron 16/4
Picture Through: Wikimedia Commons.

The Bugatti Veyron 16/4 met all of these standards, after which some. Thought of by some to be the primary true instance of a hypercar, it had a most high pace, in velocity max mode, of 254 MPH, utilizing an 8.0L W16 quad-turbocharged engine that produced 1,001 HP. By no means thoughts that the automotive had 10 radiators to forestall the engine, transmission, differentials, and intercoolers from melting!

The Apollo Arrow: A Valiant Effort that Revived an Complete Firm

These of us which have been round for some time bear in mind a ridiculously-ugly-but-ultimately-extremely-capable supercar known as the Gumpert Apollo. This was as a result of the person behind Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH, Roland Gumpert, had the design standards that the Apollo be highway authorized however made for the monitor. Audi truly helped out with the design of the automotive, as Roland had headed up their huge push into the Chinese language market from 1997 to 2000 and had earned the respect of the bigwigs.

2007 Gumpert Apollo
Picture Through: Wikimedia Commons.

As such, the largest contribution that Audi offered was a model of their eponymous 4.2L V8 TDI engine, besides with one other turbo added to make it bi-turbo. This roaring beast was pushing out 641 HP, however with switching out the ECU for the Sport or Race variations, it might immediately be boosted to 690 and 789 HP respectively. This was vital as a result of the Apollo additionally weighed slightly below 2,600 lbs if you happen to added in all of the choices, and all of the gaps, holes, wings, and such on the automotive have been there in order that it produced as a lot downforce as a LeMans Prototype race automotive.

The Gumpert Apollo did discover its means into some very rich garages, with an MSRP of €620,000 in 2005 (equal to €845,100 or $888,500 USD in 2022), however after just a few failed ideas and with a significant investor backing out, Gumpert filed for chapter in 2013 and was liquidated. Surprisingly, 3 years later in January 2016, the rights to the corporate, the title, and all earlier fashions from the chapter submitting have been purchased up by the Hong Kong-based Preferrred Staff Enterprise, the identical firm that purchased the DeTomaso model in 2014.

The corporate was renamed Apollo Automobil GmbH quickly afterward, Roland Gumpert was introduced again in as CEO, and work started instantly on a automotive that will respect the historical past of the model but in addition be ultra-modern and highly effective. In simply three months, the Apollo Arrow was unveiled in March 2016 on the Geneva Motor Present. This was potential as a result of a metric ton of cash had been shoveled into the coffers of Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, who did many of the design work whereas the Apollo Arrow was assembled in its prototype type in Germany.

2016 Apollo Arrow concept that was designed and built in just three months
Picture Through: Wikimedia Commons.

The SCG collaboration went deeper, because the Italian firm MAT, who builds the SCG 003S and the 007S, and is at present producing their FIA WEC Hypercar, was tentatively introduced in to fabricate the Arrow. It had the seems to be to entice, and it had the ability that was promised, with an Audi 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 producing 986 HP.

There was, nevertheless, a disagreement between Roland Gumpert and the brand new homeowners as to what the corporate ought to give attention to, which ultimately led to Roland resigning from Apollo Automobil on the finish of 2016. Along with his departure, his new automotive, the Apollo Arrow, was additionally shelved.

Fortunately, the possession didn’t let a few wasted years get them down. That they had gained quite a lot of data, skilled the ups and downs of automotive manufacturing, and had fashioned a robust bond with SCG out of America. In addition they had an ace up their sleeve, and as soon as Gumpert had resigned, they performed it.

That ace was a mission known as Titan. You don’t name a possible automotive Titan until you might be damned certain that it’s going to be a smash hit. To say the least, Apollo received a grand slam with what Titan turned out to be.

The 2019 Apollo Intensa Emozione "Golden Dragon" customer requested paint
Picture Through: Wikimedia Commons.

The blinds have been pulled again in on October 24, 2017, with the disclosing of the Apollo Intensa Emozione, a hypercar meant to evoke emotions of pace and depth even when standing nonetheless. Breaking from Audi historical past, the automotive is as an alternative powered by a Ferrari 6.3L F140FE V12 pushing out 780 HP.

If that engine code sounds a contact acquainted, it’s the identical engine that’s the inside combustion engine a part of the Ferrari LaFerrari hypercar—besides within the Intensa Emozione, they’ve turned the wick up a little bit, took out a few of the exhaust baffles, and let it free to make its signature unbelievable howl.

Solely 10 Apollo Intensa Emoziones are to be made, and they’re all bought. Half haven’t been constructed but due to the worldwide pandemic, however manufacturing has restarted, and Apollo is teasing that one other automotive is within the works already!


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