Artega SE and GT at the Geneva

Artega SE and GT at the Geneva

Mar 4, 2011

Artega SE and GT at the Geneva

German sports car maker Artega brought the current GT and the SE, an electric version of the obscure man’s Cayman, to the 2011 Geneva motor show.

Artega… remind me who they are again?

Artega was founded in 2006 in Dalbruch, Germany with the involvement of Karl Heinz Kalbfell, a well-known industry executive formerly of BMW, Rolls-Royce, Alfa Romeo and Maserati (he’s now at Lotus).

VW supplied Artega with their 3.6-litre V6 engines and DSG transmissions. Henrik Fisker was involved in the design of the GT, which appeared in concept form at Geneva 2007, before the production version was released in Frankfurt that year. Georg Kacher drove the GT in 2008 and came away extremely impressed.

But then the global recession hit, and demand for well regarded but little-known sports car brands tumbled. Artega is currently owned by the Mexican private equity firm Tresalia Capital. You may have heard of another firm they have a stake in: Modelo Breweries, makers of Corona beer.

Artega SE – the electric Artega

The familiar body and aluminium spaceframe remain on the Artega SE, but the VW engine disappears, replaced with two electric motors generating a total of 280kW of power.

A 37kWh lithium ion polymer battery pack provides a claimed New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) range of 300km, with a minimum of 200km under ‘normal driving conditions’.

Artega has maintained a 43:57 weight balance with the EV coupe, in spite of the 115kg weight penalty over the GT model thanks mainly to the battery packs. The Artega SE goes from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds - half a second faster than its V6 stablemate - and top speed is quoted as ‘over 155mph’.

At least you won’t have much time to worry about range anxiety at those speeds.

Artega’s sales plan

Artega has capacity to build up to 500 of the electric sports car a year, at a cost of €140,000 (£119,000). That’s ambitious – Tesla has managed to sell 1500 roadsters between 2008 and 2010, and Artega is only beginning to expand its dealer network, initially in Europe.