Eterniti Hemera SUV Supercar to Rival Bentley and Maserati

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'SUV meets BMW M5' will be the world's first super-SUV.

Having materialized prior to Frankfurt 2011 proclaiming it would make the world's first super-SUV, London-based automaker Eterniti is well on its way to delivering on their promise. As a rival to upcoming models from Bentley and Maserati, the newly modified Hemera, which was originally dismissed as a Porsche Cayenne with a body kit, has a new front fascia and bespoke headlights although the definitive version has yet to take shape.

Ex-Jaguar engineering maestro Alastair Macqueen, responsible for the XJ220, is overseeing the super-SUV's development and former F1 driver Johnny Herbert is the brand ambassador and test driver. "Johnny said he didn't realize an SUV could go around a go-kart track that well," said Macqueen. "The Hemera has a responsiveness that I've never felt in an SUV. The immediacy is tremendous. A 'sporting-luxury SUV' might sound like an oxymoron, but I'm confident we can achieve what we set out to do." Based on the underpinnings of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, the Hemera's final specs are now 80% complete.

With a 4.8-liter V8 tuned to deliver 600hp, a 180mph top speed and 4.5-second 0-62mph time of less than 4.5 seconds is expected. As a result of a ground-up chassis rebuild of the Cayenne, the Hemera stands lower, wider and with a lower center of gravity. Boot space has been compromised to accommodate an extra 120mm rear legroom, and super-lightweight 23-inch alloys have been fitted. "We want Hemera buyers to be able to sit in the back and be chauffeured, but occasionally get behind the wheel and enjoy the car.

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"The ride won't be limo-like, but in the realms of a sports saloon," said Macqueen. Expect to see the final production form of the Eterniti Hemera at the Beijing Motor Show in April and in showrooms shortly after. 90 percent of the 50 Hemeras Eterniti are planning to shift in their first full year are heading to China with a price tag 'above £150k;' and the remainder earmarked for Europe, Russia and the Middle East.

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