The 2020 Geneva Motor Show’s cancellation robbed startup Apex of its big day to debut the AP-0 concept, so it readied a backup. At a standalone event on Friday in London, the company showed the electric sports car concept and detailed what to expect from a production version down the road.
Apex, based in Hong Kong, calls England its second home, with a design and manufacturing hub there, and although everything you see here is conceptual, Apex promises production in two years.
The AP-0’s basic bones start with a fully composite structural monocoque tub, modular space frames and a center “spine” to link the front and rear of the car. The body wraps these bones in a carbon-fiber chassis. At the bottom sits a 90 kilowatt-hour battery pack that sits deep within to help improve the center of gravity. Altogether, the AP-0 concept weighs 2,645 pounds and it’s about 10 inches longer and wider than a Mazda Miata.
Apex didn’t provide specifics on the powertrain, but this is a concept, after all. All it said was to expect 650 horsepower, a 0-62 mph time of 2.3 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph. How many motors and where the power flows is a mystery for now. On European testing standards, the company also expects a range of 320 miles.
The design seems rather production-friendly overall and I particularly dig the fin at the rear along with the lighting cluster. Funnily enough, the fin actually houses lidar for driver-assistance systems. For an EV sports car ready for the track, I’m a tad puzzled as to why lidar, promised Level 3 partial autonomy and active safety systems are a big part of the package, but perhaps Apex has other plans down the road.
Where things get a tad more optimistic is the cockpit. Apex said this car will feature augmented reality to create an AR race instructor. The company said the instructor will help drivers learn on the track through gamification and help create an even more immersive experience. The AP-0 will also get new functions via over-the-air updates to boost the instructor’s abilities. Otherwise, the cabin’s full of carbon fiber, aluminum, leather and some seriously futuristic looks. The display features three panels for the driver and a center screen that hardly looks production-ready.
Now, it’s full speed ahead for Apex. The company said production should start in the final quarter of 2022, so we’re a little shy of three years away. If Apex can deliver a production AP-0 like this concept, it’ll be pretty wild, but not cheap. The estimated starting price is around $185,000 at current exchange rates.
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