The Eterniti Hemera is ‘an SUV that meets BMW M5’, according to the chief engineer of this luxury vehicle. This is the first unit to be offered by British car maker Eterniti Motors. The testing program for the Eterniti Hemera is underway. Alastair Macqueen, who used to engineer cars for Jaguar, is supervising the development of the 600bhp super-SUV.
From the rendering, it appears that the car's final styling is taking shape. However, this image isn’t the final version. Reportedly, there will be changes made to the front lights and splitter area. Just last week, former F1 driver Johnny Herbert, a brand ambassador and test driver, rode on the machine for the first time at a test venue in Warwickshire. This model is based on the same underpinnings as a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S.
Macqueen commented that he was surprised an SUV would be able to maneuver through a go-kart track so well. He said that the Hemera’s responsiveness is something that he has never felt before in an SUV. The final specification of the Hemera is around 80% complete. Powering the car is the 4.8-litre V8 from the Cayenne Turbo S but its engine had been tuned to offer about 600bhp.
There are three prototypes in existence. There’s one each to evaluate interior and exterior trim options while the third is a test mule that Macqueen uses for his daily drive. The Hemera is lower, wider and its centre of gravity is lower due to the use of a ground-up chassis rebuild of the Cayenne base vehicle.
Moving the rear seats upwards and backwards extends the rear legroom by 120mm. The downside is that the boot space is affected but then Eterniti thinks that its customers won’t use the vehicle for load-lugging. The Hemera is fitted with a set of super-lightweight 23-inch wheel rims covered with low-profile tires as standard.
But Macqueen asserts that the ride will still be refined. He said that its ride won’t be like a limo but rather, it is more similar to that of a sports saloon. He said that Eterniti is aiming to attract the younger buyers and won’t be trying to take away the target market of the S-class and long wheelbase A8, which is typically used by older people in China.
The Eterniti Hemera will be seen in its final production form in April 2012 at the Beijing motor show. It’s expected to arrive at showrooms before luxury SUVs do, such as Bentley and Maserati. On the first full year of production, the Hemera is expected to sell 50 units. About 90% are expected to go to China while the rest would be distributed throughout Russia, Europe and the Middle East. It’s believed that it will be priced higher than £150,000 but there will be various bespoke options available. Eterniti has a plan to build a Far East operations hub in Hong Kong, similar to the one being constructed in Park Royal, London.