Eterniti launches the 180mph Artemis. The world’s fastest SUV, for now..

So what will people make of the new Eterniti Artemis? The new London-based car maker set out two years ago to produce ‘The World’s First Super-SUV’, but have they managed to achieve anything more than a tuned Porsche Cayenne?

That’s the question Eterniti must answer, especially since their new SUV is to be priced at £210,000 plus local taxes – except China, which will have a unique pricing strategy.

The company is targeting the ‘super-wealthy’ in fast developing nations, and competing against the likes of Aston Martin, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Bentley and now cars such as Lamborghini’s new Urus.

The Artemis was initially showcased in 2010 as the Hemera, and is based on a Porsche Cayenne platform. The 4.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine produces over 600bhp (441kW) and 750Nm (553 lb ft) of torque and can accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.5 secs before topping out at more than 180mph.

Performance and handling have been developed by a race-bred British engineering team led by Alastair Macqueen, who previously developed the Jaguar XJ220 and engineered three outright Le Mans 24 Hour race wins for Jaguar and Bentley.

Body panels are hand-built carbon composite and finished in a large choice of paint colours, complemented by different chrome trim styles. Ultra-low profile 315/25 tyres sit on bespoke 23-inch super-lightweight forged alloy rims in a choice of styles.

The Artemis has a limousine-like rear cabin featuring up to 100mm of additional legroom, twin reclining rear seats with heating and cooling, iPad-ready holders with electronic reveal, and a drinks chiller. This satisfies a specific need, particularly in Asian markets, for a car suitable for both being chauffeured in and driving for pleasure.

The interior is lavishly handcrafted, with a specification which includes the finest leathers, quilted under carpets and boot trim, lambswool rugs, veneers including natural woods, piano black and carbon fibre, a choice of sunroofs and starlight roof lining, and a state-of-the-art audio system.

As has already been proven by Porsche, BMW and Mercedes, an SUV can offer excellent handling and driver appeal, with the ride height and ruggedness more suitable for poor road surfaces which can make limousines and conventional high-performance cars completely impractical. The Artemis is therefore billed as the ultimate crossover for the super-rich.

The Eterniti Artemis will be in production by summer 2012, beating Bentley, Lamborghini and Maserati’s luxury SUV offerings to market. Orders can be taken now through Eterniti’s sales operations in London, Hong Kong and Taipei, for deliveries starting in autumn 2012.