No, this isn’t one of those articles that highlights the great and not-so-great features of a really old model. The picture you see before you is actually a brand-spanking new vehicle, and the first model to leave the Liege workshops for more than 50 years. This is the Imperia GP which illustrates what one can do if they pick the right retro style and give it a modern twist, kind of like the Morgan Aero SuperSport , but hybrid and slower.
Imperia Automobiles set out to revive their Belgian brand with a new sports car created with PowerHybrid motorization technology developed by Green Propulsion. This lead them to a 1.6 liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with an output of 210 hp and 250 Nm of torque, plus a 136 hp electric motor. The GP can go up to 70 kilometers on pure electric mode, while taking five hours to fully charge the batteries.
The Imperia GP will go on sale sometime this year with a starting price of 89,950 euros (or $122,934 at the current rates). Imperia Auto will also offer a GP "First Edition" model that will go on sale with a price tag of 120,360 euro (or $164,496 at the current rates).
Hit the jump to read more about the Imperia GP.
Exterior and Interior
The design for the Imperia GP speaks for itself and reiterates the idea that retro fashion can always be revived. Imperia used the success from other models in the industry that have brought forth a retro look for the modern age - the New Beetle, the Mini , or the Fiat 500, to name a few - as inspiration for the resurrection of their brand. This idea morphed into a Neo-Retro Design as found in the sports car’s smooth, sweeping lines.
The Imperia GP is distinguished by wings separated from the engine hood, fluid lines, a distinctive vertical radiator grille, and a mobile inlet device that regulates the flow of air into the vehicle. This sporty character is also evident in the interior of the GP, as Imperia has replenished the inside of the vehicle with leather, Alcantara, and many aluminum insertions.
Using information gathered by Green Propulsion, Imperia chose to power the GP with a 1.6 liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with an output of 210 hp and 250 Nm of torque, plus a 136 hp electric motor. The thermal engine allows for an unlimited range and, in hybrid mode, the batteries can recharge themselves while the car is in motion.
The Imperia GP will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds, with a slower 0-60mph time of 6 seconds in hybrid / electric mode. Still not bad considering the fact that anyone looking at this car would think it would get to 60mph in 4.5 minutes.
The Imperia GP will go on sale at the end of this year with a starting price of 89,950 euros (or $122,934 at the current rates). Imperia Auto will also offer a GP "First Edition" model that will go on sale with a price tag of 120,360 euro (or $164,496 at the current rates). There will only be 50 units built.
The Wiesmann MF4 is powered by a 4.8 liter V8 that produces 367 HP and is mated to a either a traditional automatic transmission or a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Clearly, the MF4 is faster than the Imperia GP, but it is also not environmentally friendly and it costs more too. The MF4 is priced at $163,000.
Morgan is preparing a more elegant and luxurious model that will be prepared to take on the Imperia GP, but it will be more expensive than the Belgium sports car, not to mention slower. The Eva GT is powered by a BMW Twin Turbo straight six engine that develops a total of 306 HP and 400 NM of torque and is mated to a 6 speed manual or automatic gearbox. The car sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 170 mph. This vehicle also lacks in the "good for the environment" category.
Overall, it seems that Imperia Automotives have hit themselves a homerun with the new GP sports car.
- Retro design is always in fashion
- Impressive "go green!" engine setup
- Quite fast for a hybrid model
- Retro design isn’t for everyone
- It’s a tad expensive