Despite a lot of noises to the contrary, a high-end exotic SUV has yet to be offered by any of the major manufacturers. Lamborghini produced the LM002 between 1986 and 1993, but nothing has come to fruition since then.
Eterniti Motors, a British auto manufacturer, is aiming to be a pioneer of this segment. If you haven’t heard of Eterniti before, we can’t fault you – the company appeared out from out of nowhere in August, announcing its intentions to bring a concept to the Frankfurt Motor Show.
New car company launches don’t occur everyday, but usually when they do we are treated to years of teasing and vaporware before an actual product arrives. That isn’t the case with Eterniti, which aims to have its vehicle on the road by 2012.
The vehicle in question is dubbed the Hemera. Eterniti says it is the world’s first “Super-SUV”, providing a heightened level of SUV luxury, space and performance. That luxury comes by the way of a “limousine-like rear cabin, including twin reclining seats, iPads and a drink chiller.” Basically, something like a Maybach on stilts.
The idea holds a lot of potential for well-heeled customers in the Middle East (which is where the LM002 was primarily sold) as well as developing markets in Asia and around the world. Something with off-road capability and ruggednesss, yet not sacrificing any luxury is appealing for countries with more undeveloped road networks. Its an idea that Aston Martin explored with its ill-received Lagonda SUV concept.
The Hemera being shown in Frankfurt is a concept, but deliveries are expected to begin next year. The SUV is based off a platform of an existing SUV, but it is to receive a complete working over that includes a new interior, carbon-composite body panels and added performance.
It will be interesting to see what SUV Eterniti selected to form the basis. In case you’re wondering if Eterniti is just vaporware, the company has some big names on board, as well as the backing of a group of international investors. The engineering team is headed up by Alastair Macqueen, who developed the Jaguar XJ220 and was a Formula One race driver for Jaguar and Bentley, winning the Le Mans 24 hour race.
Another person on the team is F1 driver Johnny Herbert. In London, Eterniti’s home base, a showroom, build and service center will be opening later this year. Besides a lone photo and a sketch, that’s all we have to go on for now. The wait won’t be long though: the Hemera will make its debut on September 13th.