It must be difficult to come up with a name for a new car. Think about it. There you are in a room full of marketing gurus and somebody has to come up with a name that could either make or break the success of a car – no matter how good (or bad) it is. The name must translate well into other languages too. Ford came a cropper with the name Pinto years ago because it meant ‘small willy’ in most Portuguese-speaking countries. Oh dear.
The name must surely suit the car too. Who would argue that ‘Aventador’ could be used on any other car apart from the LP700-4? Or that ‘Testarossa’ just sounds like it should be the badge on a Ferrari even if you didn’t know what it meant in Italian.
Our personal favourite of all time has to be Jensen Interceptor. It was created in the 1960′s but even today the name sounds so cool and whatever car it ends up being applied to it had better be damn fast and good-looking.
And so we come to the Artemis from Eterniti Motors.
Eterniti are very much a newcomer to the world of building cars having only been set up two years ago but they have some very big plans. Their funding mainly comes from a group of Far East investors who have a clear idea of where their cars will ultimately be sold. In other words, in the fastest growing market with the biggest buying potential in the world – China.
The company’s ambitions are clear from the outset. The team behind the creation of the Artemis have references from Aston Martin, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Land Rover and Jaguar sprinkled amongst their curriculum vitaes. Let’s face it, if you wanted to start building the best cars in the world you want to make sure you have the right people on board.
The Artemis is their first offering. As a name they may have carried it off since it has the necessary gravitas for a car that will cost in excess of £250,000. It is a safe choice because Artemis was the mythical daughter of Zeus who was the God of all Gods back in the day. In other words, it is not a made-up name that could have some unfortunate secondary meaning in another language on the other side of the globe. That’s a good start then.
The car itself is based on Porsche’s Cayenne which most car-buffs could spot a mile off looking through a pane of frosted glass. Ok you can buy a Cayenne for an awful lot less money but that is not the point. The company needed to hit the ground running with their first car and the Cayenne just happened to offer a decent chassis, transmission and powerplant to play around with.
With a little bit of tuning to the chassis and the 4.8 litre twin-turbo V8 the Artemis produces 600 bhp and because a certain Johnny Herbert had a hand in the development of the car it actually goes around corners without rolling over on its roof which is very good news too.
Of course it doesn’t look exactly like a Cayenne because Eterniti have removed a lot of the original panels and hand-crafted their own carbon-composite substitutes. Generally-speaking most cars are instantly recognised from their front and rear ends which give them their ‘brand identity’. At the front end of the Artemis there are shades of Jaguar and Bentley in the mesh grille designs to add a bit of ’Britishness’ to the car. The rear end could be described as a better-looking version of the Cayenne’s backside. The wide rear wheel arches add a good deal of presence and the rear tail-lamps are a neat design that have cost the company a fortune in tooling costs but that is an insight to the company’s commitment to this project. Overall it is a design that is pleasing to the eye.
At the launch, the phrase ‘Super-SUV’ was very much part of the presentation script. The point being made was that this is a vehicle that is essentially a cross-over between a luxurious limousine and a high-performance sports car. Any buyer of the Artemis is able to create an interior that is truly bespoke to their personal choice and preferences – within reason of course. Whatever the colour choice you get a good deal of rear legroom with twin reclining rear seats, iPads that disappear into the seat backs of the front seats (very neat) plus drinks chiller and crystal glasses. There is too much more to mention but you get the gist.
Eterniti will be building their cars in London – which is good for UK plc but most of their customers are likely to be well-heeled individuals mainly from the Asian ‘tiger economies’ and mainland China. In fact they already have the dealer network in place to support the Artemis from the minute it starts to be shipped to the first customers.
The Artemis will eventually be judged on its own merits when examples become available for road-test reviews but until then it should be viewed as a bit of a practice run for those highly-qualified designers and engineers who we sincerely doubt have been employed just to produce expensive variants of mainstream products. We suspect they are already working on their next project which might have the name of another Greek Goddess but may also be a little bit more exclusive to the Eterniti brand.