The Danish company Garia has re-invented the golf cart. The engineering work began when a team of Nordic design engineers realised that one golf cart couldn’t be distinguished from another and that golfers’ needs were not sufficiently considered in the car’s design. The engineers had a passion for design, research as well as innovation and they developed a revolutionary golf cart that could no longer be called a cart – it became the Garia golf car. High-quality materials are used in making the car, and its design is revolutionary. Garia is a full-fledged electric car with zero emissions.
Garia creates impressive golf vehicles which are known for their functionality and usability as well their modern Scandinavian aesthetics. The privately-owned company was established in 2005 and it is headquartered in Denmark. The company has a subsidiary in the United States and sales offices in Britain and Asia.
In 2015 Garia founded the Garia Utility unit which specialises in manufacturing small, electrically powered commercial vehicles. Its models include the Garia Utility Park and the Garia Utility City. The latter is street legal, i.e., it can be registered for road use. The latest model to enter the market is the Garia SuperSport. It is always street legal but the user can easily select the operating mode on the screen based on whether they are driving on the street or a golf course. On a golf course you drive more slowly than on the street.
“We noticed that our customers use their golf cars to move from place to place within their community, the same way as regular cars. So we made the Garia SuperSport street legal,” says Anders Lynge, PR & Communications Director Garia.
“The SuperSport can be registered for driving in both America and Europe. They have been tested as roadworthy in accordance with the requirements of each market area.”
Three years ago Daimler contacted Garia with the idea of developing a luxurious, sporty golf car under the brand “a real sports car”. Engineers from Mercedes-Benz and top designers from Daimler were involved in engineering the car. The Mercedes-Benz look can be seen in Garia SuperSport’s headlights, among other things.
“The Garia SuperSport golf car is in a class of its own. It looks quite different from other golf cars. Many of its features have never been seen in such vehicles. It includes among other things a touch screen, an online scoreboard and a Bluetooth® audio system. The dimensions and high-quality finish of the car create the impression of a real car. The SuperSport has a motor and batteries twice the size of those used in other Garia models. Its range is 120 kilometres, and it can reach a speed of 70 kilometres per hour, which no equivalent car can do,” Anders Lynge says.
“The “Garia SuperSport inspired by Mercedes-Benz” concept car has already been launched. The first cars will be delivered to customers in November 2019 and production is fully booked with pre-orders until April 2020,” Anders says.
“The SuperSport is a world-class product assembled by hand and during manufacturing we make sure all of its parts are perfect and meet the standards of a luxury car. Manufacture takes more time than usual so our annual production quantity isn’t very high. We aim to make 25–50 cars a year. Thorough manufacture means the price of the Garia SuperSport is higher than regular Garia models with SuperSport model costing 73,000 USD and regular model costing 15,000 USD. The SuperSport is different car in terms of both design and technology. When you buy a Garia SuperSport, you’re buying the ultimate luxury golf and leisure vehicle.”
Collaboration between Garia and Microteam started when Garia was making golf cars in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Microteam has since merged with Comatec and now collaboration continues with Comatec.
“Comatec was already involved in the engineering of the SuperSport prototype which started three years ago with Mercedes-Benz. Comatec has provided a large input in the engineering of the car: Comatec orignally had the idea of adding a touch screen. Without Comatec’s expertise the car wouldn’t be as great as it is now. This car now builds the foundation for future development. Hopefully we’ll also be able to introduce the same technology to regular Garia golf cars within five years,” Anders says.
Eero Kalevo, Business Unit Manager of Comatec’s Vehicle Automation business unit, explains that touch screen dashboard has a Daimler look because it was created by Daimler designers.
“We’re responsible for the functionality of the screen, meaning all of the technology operating inside it. The screen includes everything needed to control the car. In addition, the users of the golf car have been taken into consideration by including an electronic scoreboard to the screen so players can track their score along the course.” Eero says.
“We also provided programming work, control units and wire harnesses for the car. The 48-volt powertrain, motor, its control and chargers were acquired readymade but the motor control includes our code.”
“In my opinion remote downloading implemented with our SPLIT programming environment is one of the most remarkable things about this car. Remote downloading means that software updates can be transmitted remotely over the Internet. For instance, if a SuperSport is in Saudi Arabia and some additional features are ordered for it, they can be delivered to it over the Internet,” Eero says.
“Selling additional features and downloading them over the Internet is the future of business,” Anders says.
According to Eero the SuperSport method car was just now going through tests. Serial production will start after the next model. Tests verified that everything worked as intended. The car’s running parameters were adjusted on the test track asphalt and on the golf course lawn.
“The car’s vehicle class is L7e. Power is limited to 15 kW in this class but maximum speed is not specified. The car’s top speed has been limited to 70 km/h which is enough for city driving and is a great speed for this type of vehicle!”
“The Garia SuperSport offers quality and luxury. The car has been constructed with very best materials such as leather and carbon fiber. The car is equipped with a state-of-the-art audio system as well as a refrigerator and a heated windscreen. The buyer can select rims and tyres as well as the color from three specially selected colors designed by Mercedes-Benz designers. When creating a luxury golf car like this, the nature of the product must be taken into account during engineering so that the driver will feel they’re in a luxury car,” Eero says.
Anders concludes: “Some might say it’s crazy to pay so much for this type of a vehicle. It should be noted that everything in the current market is world-class and luxurious. If golf is your passion and way of life then this vehicle represents the same kind of luxuries than golf clubs, cars, watches or houses in the same market. As a golf car manufacturer, we fall within the same category.”
“We don’t aim for the same thing as everybody else. We don’t compete on price but on quality and features. We’re committed to manufacturing the best possible golf cars.”
TEXT Taina Syrjänen
PHOTOS Garia and Taina Syrjänen