Friday, April 3, 2009
Even if I already have a lot of arguments to discuss here, in recent times I stumbled upon a news I found pretty interesting.
Right from the beginning, Jason Castriota, formerly working at Pininfarina, joined Stile Bertone four months ago, even if he was reportedly heading for setting his own design studio.
I was very happy about this, both because Bertone was struggling to find a way out of its own critical period, and hiring such a big name was a sort of message saying “we are fine now”, and also because he is very young and seemed to be already capable to adapt to a variety of different styles, from the modern-retrò of the Ferrari P4/5, to the elegant, classic yet sporty Maserati GranTurismo, among other cars, as the latest one, the Rolls Royce Hyperion unveiled last year right before he left the company.
Now the real news: he is working at a new project at Bertone, obviously. We don't have any real evidence of the car itself, how it looks like or simply what it's going to be, the real interesting fact is the way we are involved in the process.
Maybe it was just a matter of time, and it isn't even an actual first, since for example Alfa Romeo involved Internet's surfers in choosing what lately became the MiTo's name. To be honest, the name people chose was later discarded, but whatever.
In this new project, we are asked not only to say what should be the name of the car but also, in our opinion, which color could be the best for it, or the best platform/chassis it should be based on,a dn we also have the possibility to give our opinions.
If this sounds like a joke, we can actually follow Jason on his own Twitter page or trough the official website. Seeing one of the exclusive videos, in which he is watching, on youtube I guess, a video of the Ruf Yellowbird around the famous Nurburgring, was like having an official document saying he is one of us, an actual car enthusiast, a person we could actually chat with on a forum, or one of those sites I quoted. For instance, one of the reasons why the P4/5 became so famous was also related to its owner, James Glickenhaus, and his presence on the main car forums, chatting with users, posting links to videos or images of the car, becoming a sort of celebrity, both him and the car.
Probably Jason and Bertone are following those same steps, and it's probably the right direction. Bertone is an astonishing coachbuilder, but in the last years it felt in the oblivion of car enthusiasts, mainly for the lack of concept cars or of eye catching production ones, since the previous gen Opel Astra coupe and cabriolet performed quite badly on the market, and even the former Fiat Punto cabriolet wasn't exactly eye catching, for example. ON the other hand I'm a strong fan of the Barchetta Concept based on the Fiat Panda 100HP.
So this could be the right move to gain some attention again and refreshing the brand's image at the same time, thanks also to such a young personality.
post header source: Jason Castriota