Comparative test: Artega versus Porsche – a duel on equal terms

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Artega versus Porsche – a duel on equal terms

Comparative test: Artega versus Porsche - a duel on equal terms-test

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Deep in the Westphalian province, the Artega GT is a serious opponent for Porsche. WELT ONLINE asked the sports car to be shown for the first time with the Porsche Cayman S. The handmade newcomer can keep up with the Porsche in many ways – and above all, it is more exclusive.

D.elbruck, Westphalia. 30,000 inhabitants. The town’s landmark is a leaning church tower. The city is known for being known for nothing. So not exactly the hub of the automotive world. But before Porsche, Zuffenhausen didn’t sound like a big, wide world of sports cars. And so one of the most interesting German cars of recent years is being built in Delbruck: the Artega GT. Can the newcomer hold a candle to a Porsche Cayman S? WELT ONLINE tested the two sports cars.

The head of the Artega GT project is Klaus Dieter Frers, a medium-sized entrepreneur who founded the Paragon supplier over 20 years ago. Now Frers is building a sports car. To show what Paragon, specializing in cockpit systems, can do. He says. But thinks that he is fulfilling a lifelong dream with the GT. Building your own car, who can say that of themselves?

Frers is taking a calculated risk with the Artega project. He not only relies on his own ability, but has teamed up with everything that has had rank, name and success in recent years. The design of the GT comes from Henrik Fisker – ex-Aston Martin and BMW Z8 designer. Fisker supplied four designs to Frers. He combined one design with the stern of another, Fisker thought the composition was good, and so the GT is now there, ready to go.

Artega versus Porsche, that’s David versus Goliath. Artega wants to build 500 vehicles in the coming year, and Porsche is rapidly approaching the 100,000 mark. And so a trip to Delbruck and with the Artega is like traveling back in time. The sports cars are assembled incredibly slowly, surprisingly and completely by hand.

At the moment, only one car leaves the assembly line every day. If the two sports cars are next to each other, you will notice how big a Porsche has become in recent years. Wide, beefy, flat – the GT is as short as a Polo, as wide as a Corvette and as flat as a Lamborghini. This is of course at the expense of the space available. While the Porsche fits like comfortable training pants, the Artega gives the cycling shorts – tight like a second skin, but not uncomfortable. There is enough space here as there for two people and luggage.

The sports seats fit perfectly on both of them, the small leather steering wheels fit perfectly in the hand. The driver can see superbly, to the front over the short dashboards and the fender landscape, to the rear through the deep rear window. The quality is at a high level – even with the GT, nothing rattles or rattles. Not a matter of course in small series production. Nevertheless, the Cayman’s maturity in large-scale production can be seen, it just looks a bit more grown-up.

The instruments, Paragon’s core competence, are a weird mix of old school and future music in the Artega GT – the classic speedometer is pinched by two TFT monitors with displays for tank content, cooling water and oil temperature as well as for the G-forces when accelerating and braking taken. And so the Artega offers enough individual handwriting to distract from the high-volume parts. We already know the ignition lock, air nozzles, steering levers and keys from various Volkswagens. Like the 3.6-liter V6 above the rear axle.

But what awakens in the rear when you start it is by no means reminiscent of the Passat R36 organ donor. The direct injection thuds so much with the first throttle that the Cayman turns red with envy. No wonder – Artega tuned the engine control and the exhaust system itself and combined it with a powerful exhaust.

The Porsche is much quieter, sounds like a 911 that has eaten chalk. Both engines are combined with a dual clutch transmission. Seven gears in the Porsche (PDK) and six in the Artega (DSG) result in the probably contemporary way of shifting. No interruption in tractive power when accelerating, when downshifting before corners there is a powerful double-declutching fanfare.

The driving behavior of the two fits in with this. The Porsche is hand-tame, and the fine-tuning of the active PASM chassis (surcharge 1547 euros) has eliminated the classic Porsche comfort weaknesses. Fortunately, without any false compromises. The steering is as pure as ever.

But the information does not only come via the steering wheel, the Cayman also sends the driver the latest information on road conditions via cables and feet. The Artega can do that too. Only much more nimble, more direct, unfiltered. Brake, turn in, accelerate. This is how a sports car should drive.

The Artega treats itself to the sharpest handling beyond the Lotus Elise. No wonder, given the empty weight of just 1150 kilograms, which the GT owes to its plastic body – the Porsche is 260 kilograms heavier. The GT has to take criticism for its brakes. The pedal feel is spongy, the brake itself could show more bite. How it should be, shows the optional ceramic brake (for a surcharge of 8033 euros) of the Cayman.

Frers calls for 79,950 euros for his first work. The equipment is almost complete with dual clutch transmission, xenon headlights, navigation system, 19-inch wheels and sound system. A similarly equipped Cayman S is a few thousand euros cheaper – but not nearly as exclusive.

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