Currently reading: Artega to hit UK next year
Right-hand-drive Cayman rival is coming; expect 300bhp, 170mph and £50,000

Artega, the all-new German sports car firm aiming to build a “serious” £50,000 alternativeto the Porsche Cayman, has confirmed that it will start building right-hand-drive cars early next year, and it has already begun establishing a UK dealer structure.The company, spun off car components giant Paragon, has a team including ex-BMW engineering guru Karl-Heinz Kalbfell. It is putting the finishing touches to an all-new factory in the Westphalian city of Delbruck where production will start this summer at a rate of about two cars a day, with a view to eventually hitting about 20 a week within two years.Kalbfell says Artega intends to remain exclusive, building no more than 1000 cars a year, and admitted an open-top version is planned.The Artega, designed by ex-Aston Martin design chief Henrik Fisker, was revealed at the 2007 Geneva Show as a coupé, but it will eventually be available as a convertible too. The chassis is an aluminium spaceframe with a supplementary frame made of high-strength steel to support the carbonfibre body.The transverse, mid-mounted engine is a 3.6-litre V6 unit from the VW family, with 300bhp driving through a six-speed, twin-clutch, paddle-shift gearbox.The car has several eye-catching properties that will prevent it being seen as “just another sports car”, Kalbfell claims. The first is a target weight of 1100kg, undercutting rivals by at least 250kg to the benefit of agility and performance (170mph, 0-62mph below 5.0sec).The other advantage is the car’s size; at 4010mm its overall length is barely more than a current Ford Fiesta’s. Its cabin is designed to be more spacious than rivals’, to make the biggest drivers comfortable.Its big doors allow unusually easy access despite a height of 1180mm, which makes it one of the lowest coupés on the road.

Steve Cropley

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Overdrive 7 May 2008

Re: Artega to hit UK next year

Lotus Man wrote:

..Had to sell the '03 111s as my back gave way and so I am resigned to driving a Porsche Cayman S. ..

lol, it can't be that bad driving a Caman S, can it?. :D

It sure sounds like a lot of TLC involved in driving/owning a Lotus, but I guess, as long as you reap the rewards it's worth it. Thanks for the post.

Lotus Man 7 May 2008

Re: Artega to hit UK next year

Had my first 120bhp Series 1 back in 1999 and then swapped that for a Series 2 111s in 2003. Both cars were a hoot to drive. Don't believe the much vented "usually loads of trouble" rubbish, both cars mechanically were more reliable than my '03 Mercedes E Class which was sent back for 2 gearboxes and engine management problems!

Lotus need attention, i.e. tyre pressures need checking every week, oil needs topping up, don't thrash them when the engine or tyres are cold. Give a little TLC and it'll put the biggest smile on your face this side of a 911 GT RS. If you can't be bothered with that buy an Xbox. ( Read : Z4, MX5, SLK )

Had to sell the '03 111s as my back gave way and so I am resigned to driving a Porsche Cayman S.

Loved every minute I drove the Lotus's ( Lotusii ) and would recommend it be on the NHS for true enthusiasts. You have to own one before you die!

Overdrive 7 May 2008

Re: Artega to hit UK next year

Lotus Man wrote:

I've just been on the phone to Germany to see when I can get my hands on one...mid 2009 apparently...tried putting a deposit down but no go until they confirm RHD drive deliveries.

Been driving Lotus for years but needed something a bit bigger so I bought a Cayman S, love it's performance, handling is great, build quality superb ( compared to a Lotus ) but where is the soul? Character? Hethel has promised a sportscar one up from the Elise for years ( I have totally ignored the sorry Europa on purpose) and couldn't wait any Porsche it was.

I am hoping the Germans can make something with a soul. Bring on the Artega!

Lotus Man, I'd be interested to hear about you experiences of driving Lotuses (Lotuii?), if you care to share.

The Artega looks real good and well finished. I wonder how it compares to the Cayman.