Gumpert detonates a 420-hp Explosion


March 12, 2014

Gumpert debuted the Explosion at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show

Gumpert debuted the Explosion at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show

Image Gallery (16 images)

We don't usually expect to see niche hypercar marques like Gumpert come back from the near-dead to offer "entry level" models, but that's exactly what the German manufacturer has done. At the Geneva Motor Show, it introduced the Explosion, a more humbly styled and powered sports car than its past offerings, with a price just a touch north of €100,000. Despite drawing power from a modest 2.0-liter engine, the Explosion still shoots off the line to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a mere three seconds.

Gumpert is best known for several Apollo iterations, absolutely brutal pieces of world-beating machinery that once scorched the Nurburgring in 7:11.57. After it showed the 700-hp Tornante "fast tourer" in 2011, it looked like the company's next car would be another big, hammering supercar, albeit overhauled for a more refined look and road ride. Then, it looked like its next car wouldn't come at all, as it scraped closely with insolvency last year.

It would appear that Gumpert's money troubles have been put behind it (at least for the moment), as the next car has come, and it's not the Tornante, but the all new Explosion. For a company that specializes in huge road-racers that make the Bugatti Veyron look gaunt in the face, the Explosion is a shockingly simple design. Upon quick inspection, it could be mistaken for a new sports coupe from the likes of BMW or Lexus.

What the Explosion's plain face and torso conceal is a rather dynamic, rally-inspired build. The new model represents a sort of back-to-basics for Roland Gumpert, who made his name in four-wheel-drive and rally cars at Audi in the 1970s and 80s. The Explosion is powered by a front-mounted 2.0-liter engine wrenched to the tune of 420 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. That output is routed to all wheels via a 4WD system.

The infrastructure around the virile powertrain includes a lightweight tubular frame and body work comprising carbon, glass fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum. Gumpert has not offered up a curb weight just yet, but we assume it's fairly low based on the materials involved and the claimed 3-second 0-62 mph time. That's a tenth of a second quicker than the 641-hp Apollo and a tenth slower than the more powerful Apollo S and R variants. The company also teases that the top speed begins with a "3," so it's somewhere around or north of 300 km/h (186 mph).

"We want to convey to all those drivers who love motor sports what it feels like to sit behind the wheel of a rally car," Roland Gumpert says of the design.

Still, "road" is every bit as much an inspiration for the Explosion's design as "rally," and Gumpert explains that the car is born to excel on twisty stretches of scenic pavement, its "brake lights disappear[ing] from our field of vision as if they were never there."

The Explosion that rolled into Geneva was the first handcrafted pre-series model, and Gumpert plans to begin production later this year. Pricing will start at €105,000 (US$145,000). We're not so sure about the name, particularly for a company that nearly blew up in financial ruin, but we like the car's modest look and race-inspired design. We're glad to see Gumpert on the comeback trail.

You can see more of the Explosion and compare it to the Apollo S in the photo gallery.

Source: Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

When it comes to mobile electronic devices, this site goes into great detail about the technical specification. But when it comes to motor cars, all we get in the main are some of the performance figures. I would love to know how they managed to squeeze 420 bhp out of a two litre ICE. And what about the fuel consumption measured to an industry standard? If it has variable valve timing, what is the mechanism that does the varying? And so on.

There is probably not enough room to go into great detail about everything, but some things are standard and can be said to be such. But others are new technologies and require description. If the manufacturer refuses to devolve the secrets of how certain things are achieved, then say so.

To give an example, in a recent item about a new Range Rover (I think) it was stated that the torque applied to the two wheels on an axle could be varied. I know how it is possible to mechanically vary the torque between front and real axles, but not between the wheels on a single axle, not in any manner that makes sense, anyway. Perhaps if some effort had been made to explain the statement, it might have revealed it to be the error that I have assumed it was.

As for electric vehicles, there is a whole forest of technological information that could be provided: motor configuration; what form of hybrid system is used, if any; what form of power control ('throttle') is employed; battery type and location; number of motors; their location and drive system; etc. etc.

I imagine that it might be possible to devise a chart(s) with tick boxes for most of the missing information, so it needn't be too onerous a task to provide it.

Mel Tisdale

Looks more practical than previous offerings. I'd say the wild vehicles made before just cost too much to make and then did not sell well enough to make a profit. Going back a bit to the rallying roots and making a strong and lightweight - and a bit cheaper - machine hopefully will rescue the company by selling enough to make "limited" editions of the others.

The Skud

Just went through the photo gallery - Story says front-engine, but one of the photos looks more like rear-engine to me! However, I have been known to miss details before. Sorry, but that steering wheel would be a FAIL in most countries now wanting as many airbags stuffed in as possible, for insurance purposes!

Think you're looking at the photo of the Apollo S - Ed. The Skud

looks like an LFA to me

Michael Wilson
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