- The Apex AP-0 is an electric sports car with rear-wheel drive and a single 649-hp motor.
- It’s claimed to weigh just 2645 pounds and to have 300-plus miles of range and a 190-mph top speed.
- The company claims it will be out in 2022, is coming to the U.S., and is projected to cost $195,000.
Another of the new-car debuts denied to us by the cancellation of the Geneva auto show has just been officially unveiled at an event in London. The Apex AP-0 is an all-electric sports car that its maker says will go into production in late 2022. The company behind it intends to sell it in the United States as well as other global markets.
While Apex will likely be an unfamiliar automotive brand, the company has already produced a modest number of cars. The company previously launched the ultra-lightweight AP-1 in its native Hong Kong market, a car based heavily on the U.K.-built Elemental RP1 that we drove in prototype form back in 2015, but now using a 2.3-liter Ford EcoBoost engine tuned to 400 horsepower. Apex says that all engineering and design functions for the AP-0, which sits on an entirely different platform, will be carried out in Britain, and is also planning to make cars there with the ambition to build up to 500 a year when production starts.
The AP-0 concept is a closed two-seat coupe with styling reminiscent of a baby Koenigsegg, especially the longitudinal vane that runs the length of the car’s body, and which incorporates a lidar sensor at the front. Both bodywork and underlying structure are made from carbon fiber, with Apex claiming the car will have a weight of just 2645 pounds, nearly half of which is the floor-mounted 1213-pound lithium-ion battery load with 90.0 kWh of charge. The company says this will deliver a range of up to 320 miles on the European WLTP testing protocol.
The official images shown here don’t include a shot of the interior, beyond exterior images showing red seats, but the official release describes it as “clean and simple.” It does have gullwing doors, as every good sports-car concept does.
The minimalist ethos extends to the powertrain. While most high-output EVs use all-wheel-drive systems, the AP-0 will be a pure rear-driver, with a single electric motor turning the rear axle, delivering up to 649 horsepower and 427 lb-ft of torque. The company claims it will be able to dispatch the zero-to-62-mph benchmark in just 2.3 seconds and go on to 190 mph. We’re told that the car is currently being developed using a single-speed reduction gearbox, but the team is also considering use of switchable rear axle ratios to help achieve that ambitious top speed.
In terms of exterior dimensions, the AP-0 is at the smaller end of the sports-car segment, overall length of 172.4 inches being identical to that of the Porsche 718 Cayman, although the 104.3-inch wheelbase is 6.9 inches longer. The official images make clear a very low ride height—just 3.7 inches of ground clearance—with motorsport-style pushrod suspension. Brakes are carbon-ceramic with six-pot calipers gripping the front discs. The lowness of the body also allows for what are claimed to be ground-effect aerodynamics, although the company hasn’t released any downforce numbers.
Given Apex’s hopes for success in the Far East, there is no surprise in seeing the prominent lidar sensor, which is claimed to be able to create an ultra-accurate map at more than 300 feet of range; the company also claims the car will support Level 3 autonomous operation from launch and will also feature a holographic augmented-reality display that will be able to gamify the driving on a racetrack. You know, like a game.
Apex certainly isn’t lacking in ambition. We’ll fully understand if your first reaction to the AP-0’s unlikely combination of virtues is to see it as vaporware, but the company insists that production will be beginning in just two and a half years, that it will be fully federally approved for U.S. sale, and that it is projected to cost $195,000.