The world of Artega

The Artega concept

A sports car for day-to-day driving – is that possible? It most certainly is! The Artega GT was built with precisely this type of use in mind, and it was soon appreciated by people in the car world. The shapely, spellbinding curves of the Grand Tourismo attract not only the looks of enthusiasts and professionals; they also appreciate the asphalt-centred performance that comes from its compact dimensions, tried and tested mid-engine layout and balanced lightweight construction.

paragon AG (based in Delbrück in the east of Germany’s Westphalia region) proved in its innovative 2007 model that 300 horsepower delivered by a V6 engine is more than enough to confer supercar status. This is confirmed by various comparison tests carried out by leading car magazines, where the period after 2008 saw the Artega GT top-placed in several classes. No wonder then that an aluminium space frame and carbon-fibre-reinforced body should let the car tip the scales at a comparatively low 1,285 kilos. The power of the transverse, rear-mounted V6 engine is precisely dosed for optimum road performance via a dual-clutch transmission. Both items are tried and tested components supplied by Volkswagen. Thanks to this well-balanced approach to design, the Artega GT offers both the dynamic track-day performance of a thoroughbred sports car and day-to-day reliability equivalent to that of a small hatchback.

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The story of Artega

The original idea was to develop a technology platform for our own products. Months before it was actually given a name, the Artega GT was being used to show off the innovations of paragon AG, a renowned supplier of electronics to the car industry. But the company’s CEO and initiator of the Artega project had higher objectives for the now technically-perfected and fully-developed Grand Tourismo: a low-volume production run of an own sports car. The successful debut of the Artega GT at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show helped the car win the first round by gaining the respect of the automotive sector right from the start. The impressive nought-to-sixty time of under 4.8 seconds soon gave rise to press reports of the “Porsche-killer from the backwoods”, which has in fact since been amply proven by a series of comparative tests. The car was ready for type-approval by 2009, when it successfully went into production at the newly built-plant in Delbrück.

However, the brakes were put on the project shortly afterwards by a wealthy investor from Mexico, who had initially been welcomed with great celebration. With a new CEO at the helm, and after a long production stoppage, the now-modified Artega increasingly began to run into difficulties from 2010 onwards, and the planned electric model failed to get off the ground on time. The crunch came in September 2012, when the financial tap was turned off and the company became insolvent. The “new star in the sports car firmament” and former bearer of the company’s high hopes had never really been given a chance to shine. An interview with Artega's founder Klaus D. Frers gives a further insight into the ups and downs of the company’s history, culminating in its relaunch as Artega GmbH.