Eterniti Motors, the London-based boutique luxury carmaker, unveild the engineering prototype of its first car at Beijing’s Auto China 2012 international motor show. The car, named Artemis, is the world’s first Super-SUV – a term created by Eterniti for a new class of vehicle providing the higher levels of luxury, performance and exclusivity.
The vehicles on display are in-use, running prototypes so do not represent the final finish quality but do closely reflect the definitive interior and exterior styling. The car has a limousine-like rear cabin featuring up to 100mm of additional legroom, twin reclining rear seats with heating and cooling, iPad-ready holders with electronic reveal, and a drinks chiller. This satisfies a specific need, particularly in Asian markets, for a car suitable for both being chauffeured in and driving for pleasure. An SUV’s relatively compact footprint and wheelbase, ride height, four-wheel drive and dynamic performance mean that it can offer driver appeal which a limousine cannot, practicality a supercar can only dream of, and everyday usability beyond the reach of both. This is especially true in many Asia-Pacific markets, where road quality outside the major cities can be poor and a rugged SUV is the only real option.
The Artemis is based on the most dynamic version of the latest generation of Porsche’s Cayenne Turbo. The Artemis is the result of a chassis-up rebuild, including the new, re-packaged interior, additional engine performance, carbon-composite body panels and carbon fibre aerodynamics features, and suspension tuning. The skin of the Hemera is almost completely new, with only the pillars and the roof line being original.
With a width of 2055mm at the rear wheel arches, the Artemis has real physical presence, complemented by bespoke 23” wheels and 315/25 tyres. The length 4876mm and height of 1680mm combine with the width for a low, purposeful stance but with the ability to increase ground clearance by 110mm through the air suspension system, which also provides active management.
The 4.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine produces over 600bhp (441kW) and 750Nm (553 lb ft) torque, can accelerate from 0-100kph in 4.5 secs and can exceed 290kph. The transmission features an 8-speed semi-automatic gearbox with active all-wheel drive, electronically variable multi-plate clutch, automatic brake differential and anti-slip regulation. Performance and handling have been developed by a race-bred British engineering team led by Alastair Macqueen. Macqueen previously developed to production the Jaguar XJ220, then the world’s fastest road car, and has engineered three outright Le Mans 24 Hour race wins for Jaguar and Bentley. The car has been test-driven by F1 Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert, who will play an ongoing role in product development as well as being an ambassador for the brand.
The interior is lavishly handcrafted, with a specification also including the finest leathers, quilted undercarpets and boot trim, lambswool rugs, veneers including natural woods, piano black and carbon fibre, a choice of sunroofs and starlight roof lining, and a state-of-the-art audio system.
With a similar specification to the Beijing show vehicles the Eterniti Artemis is priced at the local currency equivalent of £210,000 plus local taxes in all markets except China, which will have a unique pricing strategy. A fully bespoke service will also be offered for customers wanting complete personalisation. Cars will be covered by a full two-year, 100,000-mile warranty including servicing. The car will be in production by summer 2012, deliveries starting in autumn 2012.
Eterniti was started in 2010 to help satisfy a growing demand for additional luxury and personalised specifications among wealthy car buyers, particularly in major cities, global wealth centres and emerging markets ranging from London to the Asia-Pacific region. Uniquely, it is located in London and builds its vehicles there. Eterniti Motors made its first public appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) 2011, presenting a prototype named Hemera. However, for Eterniti the IAA was as much about presenting the company face-to-face for the first time, as introducing some key Eterniti people, notably multiple winner of the Le Mans 24-hour race Alastair Macqueen and ex-Formula 1 driver Johnny Herbert.