Eterniti Motors, the London-based boutique luxury carmaker, officially launched its first showroom yesterday. At a party at the 10,000 sq ft facility in Park Royal, north-west London, the company also showed the production-specification version of its first model, the Artemis Super-SUV. The Artemis was previously shown as an engineering prototype at Beijing's Auto China 2012 international motor show in April.
The event was attended by over 100 media, business figures and VIPs including Grammy and Brit award-winning music producer Steve Levine, who has worked with artists from the Beach Boys to the Clash. The guests witnessed the unveiling of the car which features a previously unseen mega-luxury interior, in an ultra-modern showroom environment. The facility includes an atelier and design studio where customers can have consultations to develop their own vehicle specifications. In addition there is a sister build facility close by, making Eterniti London's only carmaker.
The 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 demanded by today's wealthy car buyers. It comes to the market ahead of projected luxury SUVs from Bentley, Lamborghini and Maserati.
The car has a limousine-like rear cabin featuring standard-setting legroom, twin reclining rear seats with heating and cooling, iPad-ready holders with electronic reveal, and a drinks chiller with crystal glasses. This satisfies a specific and growing demand, particularly in Asian markets, for a car suitable for chauffeured transport but also driving for pleasure. Unlike a conventional limousine, an SUV can offer excellent handling and driver appeal, and the ride height and ruggedness are suitable for poor road surfaces which can make limousines and conventional high-performance cars completely impractical. With all these attributes in one package, the Artemis is the ultimate crossover.
The interior is lavishly handcrafted in Britain, with a specification also including the finest leathers, quilted floor coverings and boot trim, lambswool rugs, veneers including natural woods, piano black and carbon fibre, and the no-cost option of starlight roof lining. Thousands of combinations of exterior and interior trims mean that every car can be made unique.
The body panels are carbon composite and also hand-built, and finished in a large choice of paint colours, complemented by different chrome trim styles. Ultra-low profile 315/25 tyres sit on dedicated 23" super-lightweight forged alloy rims in a variety of styles.
The 4.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine produces at least 600bhp (441kW) and 750Nm (553 lb ft) torque, can accelerate from 0-100kph in 4.5 secs and can exceed 290kph, making it the fastest large SUV available. 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.
"With its 600 bhp, active anti-roll system, massive grip and controlled dynamics, I believe that this is an SUV with the heart and soul of a supercar," says Head of Engineering Alastair Macqueen. "And with more space and luxury we think that makes it a true Super-SUV."
Interior trim and personalisation is headed by Alan Mobberley, who was previously at Land Rover for 20 years, with responsibility for development of Land Rover interior design including the iconic Range Rover and the Discovery, for which he won a Design Council Award.
The Eterniti Artemis is priced at the local currency equivalent of £210,000 plus local taxes in all markets except China, which has a unique pricing strategy. A fully bespoke service is also offered for customers wanting complete personalisation, for which cars are priced on an individual basis.
Eterniti is establishing a network of wholly-owned showrooms in key centres. London, where the cars are hand-built, is the headquarters. Eterniti-owned showrooms will open in Asia in 2013, beginning with Hong Kong, which will serve as the company's Asia-Pacific hub. The company is actively looking for retail partners to develop representation in China during 2013. Cars will be covered by a full two-year, 100,000-mile warranty including servicing, and UK customers will have access to finance and insurance.
Eterniti was conceived to help satisfy a growing demand for additional luxury and personalised specifications among car buyers, particularly in major cities, global wealth centres and emerging markets ranging from London to the Asia-Pacific region. It is unique in being located in London and building cars there.
Although Eterniti is basing its business case around meeting market needs, its people have a passion for cars. The team has extensive experience in retailing some of the most prestigious British and European luxury and high-performance car brands, including Aston Martin, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Bentley and Ferrari, in markets from the UK to Asia-Pacific. It has further experience in motor sport, with an FIA championship-winning record in GT series in both Europe and Asia, as well as Head of Engineering Alastair Macqueen's three wins in the Le Mans 24 Hour classic.