From £89,785
Mid-engined and lightweight two-seater is pitched as a rival to the Porsche Cayman S
Steve Cropley Autocar
18 July 2008

What is it?

A direct challenger to Porsche’s brilliant Cayman S, produced by a German company that you’ve almost certainly never heard of.

A tough assignment: but bear in mind that the Artega is backed by the multi-millionaire owner of a major motor industry component supplier, it’s been designed by Henrik Fisker (late of Aston Martin) and the bloke bringing it to market is Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, the guy behind BMW’s best M-series cars, plus Mini, Rolls-Royce and lots of other important (and successful) projects.

The Artega GT is a compact but roomy mid-engined two-seater coupe, with full safety equipment. The production aim is for 500 units a year, all for sale in Europe, though America is a longer-term objective.

The GT is a mid-engined car built with an aluminium space-frame and powered by the same 297bhp, 3.6-litre Volkswagen V6 engine that fires-up the range-topping Passat CC.

The GT’s compactness makes it light: it’s tipped to weigh around 1170kg at the kerb and undercut a Porsche by around 10 per cent.

What’s it like?

To judge from the near-production prototype that we drove, the omens are extremely good.

The GT has a six-speed DSG twin-clutch gearbox that works brilliantly with the mid-mounted V6 engine. Indeed, the motor’s crisp exhaust note makes it sound like a little V8.

Thanks to the low weight and the engine’s wide power-band, the car feels fast: it won a fair drag race with a Mitsubishi Evo X. The way it gets off the mark is particularly impressive, courtesy of its relative lack of mass and excellent traction.

The best part of the experience is the way it copes with the ruts, ripples, bumps and uneven cambers that are typical of British backroads.

The suspension has a remarkable ability to absorb the bumps quietly while maintaining sporty poise. The steering is light, accurate and uncorrupted: you hold the wheel to feel it, rather than grip it.

Other parts of the GT’s dynamic repertoire are similarly impressive. The brakes are powerful and quite light, with a kind of self-energised feel.

Taken all round, it looks like a fine road car, though naturally we’ll need to try the full production version before going firmly on the record.

Should I buy one?

That’s the big question. Many potential punters will find it hard to choose a newcomer, however good, over the well-established excellence of Porsche.

But the Artega GT is good enough to justify serious consideration against a Cayman – it will be far more exclusive and we reckon it’s better-looking too.

The GT will have to battle to earn its place in this tough market, but from what we’ve seen so far it certainly deserves to succeed.

Join the debate

Comments
17

21 July 2008

Well it looks good and is over 200kg lighter than the lotus eagle. I love Lotus and the whole small light cars with smallish engines to go as quick as the bigger sports cars, but it looks as though these guys have beaten them. Be intersting to see the sale price, if it comes in right hook and also the proper reivews.

But although it's got a naff colour (is that magnolia??) in these shots, it does look very nice.

21 July 2008

We need more sports cars named after South American revolutionaries!

21 July 2008

Very, very impressive. Now, where's that waiting list...

www.eco-trainer.net

21 July 2008

[quote Autocar] it’s been designed by Henrik Fisker [/quote]

Fisker, please tell me he's not the same guy who grafts those bloody awful noses on to the front of BMW 6 series and the like?!?!?

If it is, then run for cover when face lifted model comes out!!!

That said, I do like it!

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

v8

21 July 2008

Why can Lotus nat make a car like this rather than a bigger plastic elise

21 July 2008

[quote TegTypeR]

[quote Autocar] it’s been designed by Henrik Fisker [/quote]

Fisker, please tell me he's not the same guy who grafts those bloody awful noses on to the front of BMW 6 series and the like?!?!?[/quote]


Glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like some of Fisker's designs. So saying, the Karma looks pretty damn good overall - apart from front grill treatment - and the Artega looked terrific in all previous pics apart from these, where the pale yellow, or 'magnolia' or a shade of beige makes it look.... hmmmm. But in all previous pics it's always looked better than a Cayman. Or Lotus Eagle..... I'd go for it if it was as good to drive as look at. Roll on the full review.....

21 July 2008

This goes to show that a group of talented decently backed ($) engineers can get together

without killing themselves and build a better (at least by indications) car than just about anyone. Why is this? Because some industry insiders have figured out that if you don't need a multibillion dollar investment in thousands of workers in design, aero, engines, marketing etc that it just comes down to designing a brilliant chassis. And this is where an independent can out do a mainstream maker. Better design, materials and build in the area where it counts most.

Hopefully this will be the future of the sports car. We need not any longer have Ferrari, Lambo, and Porsche as our only choices. Really its taken too long.

21 July 2008

[quote memyselfandi]But although it's got a naff colour (is that magnolia??) in these shots, it does look very nice.[/quote]

'vanilla yellow'.

http://www.artega.de/index.php?a=127

21 July 2008

[quote RobotBoogie]We need more sports cars named after South American revolutionaries![/quote]

Daniel Ortega(President of Nicaragua)? Central American, sí ?

21 July 2008

[quote Beowolf]Artega looked terrific in all previous pics apart from these, where the pale yellow, or 'magnolia' or a shade of beige makes it look.... hmmmm. But in all previous pics it's always looked better than a Cayman. Or Lotus Eagle..... I'd go for it if it was as good to drive as look at. Roll on the full review.....
[/quote]

Magnolia(Vanillegelb) colour limited to 'Intro 2008' 99-off series. Artega GT 'volume' model(500 tops a year) has red, blue, black, white and grey: http://www.artega.de/index.php?a=132

"Roll on full review:

'PDF's of recent auto mag reviews: http://www.artega.de/index.php?a=143

'Autobild' 4/7/2008 http://www.artega.de/uploads/_dokumente/04072008_AutoBild_Voltreffer.pdf

'Auto Motor und Sport' 3/7/2008 http://www.artega.de/uploads/_dokumente/03072008AutoMotorSport_Flunder_schoen.pdf

'Autocar' 16/7/2008 http://www.artega.de/uploads/_dokumente/AUTOCAR_16072008.pdf

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