Erich Bitter turned to importing various Italian cars into Germany after a brief racing career. After his biggestcustomer Intermeccanica slowed down production, Bitter decided to produce cars under his own. He had already helped Intermeccanica to create the Opel based Indra a few years earlier, which formed a perfect basis for the Bitter range. Between 1973 and 1989 a variety of two and four-door sportscar were produced, all of them using General Motors sourced bits and pieces. Since then, Bitter developed several prototypes to explore a return into the market, but it took until 2007 before Bitter production recommenced.
At the 2003 Geneva Motor Show Bitter looked set to make a full fledged return with a Holden Monaro / Pontiac GTO based coupe. Dubbed the CD II, the new Bitter featured a heavily revised design compared to the General Motors machine it was based on. Production was rumoured to begin in 2005 and the speculations concerning the powerplant were as wild as a Cadillac V12. In 2004 and 2005 revised versions of the prototype were shown, but neither the V12 engine or the CD II ever entered production and the Bitter name soon faded to the background again.
That was until the fall of 2007 when Erich Bitter gathered the media and a group of Bitter enthusiasts in his former hometown of Schwelm. There he took the wraps off the Bitter Vero; a virtually production ready four-door grand tourer. As with the CD II, the underpinnings were sourced from GM’s Australian arm Holden. This time the larger Statesman model formed the basis for the new Bitter. The company also unveiled their new philosophy; ‘Bitter Horsepower’. The best news for the enthusiasts was no doubt that production would begin as early as December 2007.
Compared to the Statesman, the biggest visible modification is the brand new nose. All attention is grabbed by a very large, low mounted grille that sports a massive Bitter logo. Under the carefully sculpted hood sits GM’s six litre V8 engine, which produces just over 360 bhp. The all aluminium powerplant is mated to a four speed automatic and from May 2008 a six speed automatic will become optional. Bitter has modified the suspension and brakes to bring the Vero up to the standards of the high-end market, the car is intended for. Inside the Vero is luxuriously appointed with the finest materials used throughout.
At this time there is no distribution network yet, so the Vero can only be ordered directly from Bitter in Germany. In its native country it is priced close to the much acclaimed Maserati Quattroporte, making it around 20 – 30 thousand Euro more expensive than similar models from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Whether the added exclusivity and luxury will be sufficient to lure the customers away from the more mainstream manufacturers remains to be seen. We commend Erich Bitter greatly for trying his luck once more, especially in this competitive and brand dominated market.
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