Carthago has been building premium motorhomes for more than 30 years, and is available in the UK through Nottingham-based dealer Lowdhams, which has represented the brand here for 12 years.
Carthago majors on high-quality, premium priced A-class and low-profile models, and is enjoying growth right now: its sales for 2010-2011 were up nearly 30 per cent on the previous year. It also won the ‘low-profile over €50,000’ category in leading German motorhome magazine Promobil’s annual awards, with the Chic C-Line.
Carthago has focused on affordability this season, with the launch of a new, mid-market range called C-tourer. Its Chic C-line range benefits from a few exterior tweaks, while its Chic E-line/S-Plus range goes largely unchanged. Two all-new models unavailable to view at the press preview were the Chic C-Line XL on an AL-KO tag axle chassis, and the eye-catching (on paper at least) all-new Mega Liner, which will take its public bow at August’s Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf.
What you need to know
The floorplans in the new C-tourer range are available within low-profile (T) or A-class (I) bodyshells, and there are two T-Plus models (denoting the fashionable ceiling bed over the front lounge – you can tell them apart from the standard low-profiles by the bulkier, squarer roof mould). They’re all offered on the 3500kg chassis as standard, with the option to upgrade to 4250kg.
The C-tourers are considerably less expensive than the premium Carthago ranges, but benefit from the same high quality build standards. The body is a wood-free, cage construction, that gets thick, alloy clad sides which curve cleverly toward a GRP roof designed to combat hail, and a GRP baseplate beneath the habitation floor for better durability against salt spray from roads and the like.
The range is built on the Fiat low-frame chassis. The models look great, with attractive silver sidewalls (and bumper, in the case of the low-profiles) and come with a new, larger 160-litre fridge.
There are four layouts available as either A-class or low-profiles, plus a further two low-profiles with lowering beds above the lounge. Oddly, the range doesn’t feature the perennially popular French bed layout (ie, fixed corner bed, with washroom alongside it), or the currently fashionable rear washroom layout.
However, there are two that should prove popular with UK buyers, and that will make an appearance in the UK at the October NEC show: the 142 (with transverse double bed), and the 148 (which features a rear twin single beds layout).
The Chic C-Line range of compact low-profiles and A-class models are based on the Fiat Ducato/AL-KO chassis and are also available at 3500kg as standard and upgradeable to 4250kg.
C-Line has undergone a minor facelift for 2012, including LED daytime headlights, a new-look rear, new colouring for wheel arches and trims, and a furniture upgrade called ‘exclusiveline’ with a kitchen work surface in mineral material, designed with drip profile and an optional coffee maker.
There’s also the new C-Line XL, a two-model range of tag-axle giants, with wet central heating, set to launch later this year.
The Chic E-Line range of A-class motorhomes (weighing 4.5 to 5.2 tonnes on the AL-KO chassis) benefits from a new ‘yachtline’ furniture look, with ripple-effect locker doors over the kitchen, cream veneers and matching furniture, as does the S-Plus (with RWD twin wheel rear axle), and the High-Line on the Iveco Daily (weighing up to 7 tonnes).
Finally, there’s the all-new Mega Liner, to launch later this year, with space onboard for a Smart Car, a new ‘smiley’ front end, and customisable throughout. If it’s anything like the previous liners, expect the last word in luxury!
UK dealer: Lowdham Leisureworld, Lowdham Road, Gunthorpe, Notts NG14 7ES, tel 0845 527 1943