2008 Artega GT

If the Artega name is unfamiliar to you, that's because it didn't exist before the 2007 Geneva show. The brand was created by a team of engineers at Paragon, a German electronics supplier. They were fed up with the sports car market becoming watered-down and unfocused. The Artega GT you see here will be the first model, set to go on sale once the construction of production facility and sales center in Delbrck, Germany is complete.

Designed by Henrik Fisker (the man behind the BMW Z8,) the Artega's aim is to "break the mold." With a front end inspired by the Porsche Carrera GT and rear fenders reminiscent of the Ferrari F430, we can't say that statement is completely true, but it doesn't matter. This is one beautiful little toy and the proportions--just look at the side profile--are perfect. What's more, Artega even promises that there's plenty of room for two passengers and enough luggage for a romantic weekend in the countryside, thanks in part to an engine that's mounted horizontally behind the seats.

That engine--a 3.6-liter V-6--is sourced from Volkswagen, as is the GT's direct-shift transmission. With 300 horsepower, the VW drivetrain is estimated to get the 2425 pound sportster from 0-60 mph in under five seconds. The lightweight chassis is all aluminum, with a body sculpted from carbon fiber-reinforced composites. Artega's mission statement is "to enrich the sports car world rather than provide extra competition," but we're not sure what that means beyond the realm of marketing speak. To "enrich" the world, the Artega GT will have to be nimbler than a Lotus Elise, rawer than a Chevrolet Corvette Z06, more awe-inspiring than a Ferrari F430, and less expensive than all three. That's going to be quite a task.

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