While the world is on pause, the content for future cars continues. This is especially convenient for those who are making niche products that probably won’t go into production till 2022. So, global race-car brand APEX recently unveiled its latest track car — the AP-0 concept.
The AP-0 is the brand’s first in-house designed model and it focuses on the connection between driver and machine. Its looks are a dead giveaway for its track-oriented use with aggressive aerodynamic elements. The front fascia looks like a historic battle helmet with its jagged lines and the character line of the front fenders integrating into the profile. Its bonnet has a large vent in the centre with strong lines along the sides to channel the airflow around the body of the car. The AP-0 even features a shark fin extending from its roof to the tail section. Its LiDAR system (that uses laser pulses) is housed at the front-end of the shark fin for numerous safety systems and accurately detect potential hazards up ahead. The rear end of the APEX AP-0 is its most distinctive visual element. Its taillight design seems something like an emblem from the Halo lore, sweeping across the width of the car and rising in the centre to integrate into the shark fin. The taillamp unit also includes the element housed in between the M-shaped rear diffuser.
Borrowing a phrase I learned from McLaren, the APEX AP-0 is a case of form follows function. The polarising design of its carbon fibre panels emphasises on lightweight construction. Its composite monocoque tub features modular spaceframes and a centre spine to link the front and rear ends of the car. The carbon-fibre chassis houses its 90kWh battery pack on the front and rear floors of the platform. The APEX AP-0 has a kerb weight of 1,200kg of which the battery only accounts for 550kg.
The AP-0’s all-electric RWD powertrain is rated to deliver a performance of 650bhp and 580Nm. APEX claims a 0-100kph sprint time of 2.3 seconds and onto a top speed of 306kph. If driven calmly, the AP-0 claims a range of 515km. Its battery is compatible with various fast charging tech and can be charged up to 80% in 15 minutes using a CCS charger while a Type 2 connector would take around 8 hours. For an engaging driving experience, the AP-0 features a race-derived push-rod suspension system with automatic ride-height adjustment, adjustable coil-over shocks and dampers. It rides on 19-inch wheels up front and 20-inch wheels at the back with carbon-ceramic brake discs. You’d need the ride height adjustment since the AP-0 is designed to be as low as possible with a ride height of 95mm. APEX has used underbody aerodynamics to generate the necessary downforce for fast cornering.
Inside the cabin of the AP-0, it’s hard to not scoff at it for the obvious concept car cliches. But to give it the benefit of the doubt, by the time it goes into production, the AP-0 could feature many of the design traits seen in the concept. Climb in through the butterfly doors to cosy into its two seats that are also made entirely out of carbon fibre composite and you can enjoy exposed carbon around the dashboard as well. The steering wheel mimic racing cars in its compact, squared-off design with rotary dials to toggle between drive modes and regen settings. It has a fighter jet style instrument cluster that features a holographic Augmented Reality and a gamified race instructor to help drivers learn new race tracks. The AP-0 can receive over-the-air software updates for enhancing its features and functionalities. Thanks to the LiDAR system, it also features Level 3 autonomy and its system is futureproofed for Level 4 autonomy once it is reliable enough.
While the AP-0 concept was expected to make its global debut at the 2020 Geneva motor show, APEX launched it in London a few days ago. It is expected to go into production in the final quarter of 2022 with a starting price of £150,000 and bookings are open.
The Apex AP-0 is an interesting prospect but it just doesn’t seem to have anything memorable about it. I’m not looking for over insane performance figures but the AP-0 lacks in character, not taking into account its driving capabilities that I won’t ever get to experience anyway. What do you make of the Apex AP-0 concept? Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for more cool updates from the car world.