Sunday, April 5, 2009
For as regards the question we are given the opportunity to answer, I should know which kind of a vehicle we are talking about before of saying which color is the best for it, or which could be the more suitable chassis to adopt. As a concept car, the color would be much more important than the chassis obviously, basically because the car could do even without the latter, and considering it isn't likely going to look conventional or easy to judge, the wrong color could simply ruin the whole car, at a first, superficial, glance. On a side note, this is meant to be a one off, not a concept, so the chassis is there and it is another point to discuss.
I chose green. First of all because it isn't the first color that comes to mind talking about concepts, and it's not even one of the more diffused on production cars, still it can bring an elegant touch to the car without reducing it's sporty appeal. Think of Jaguars, Aston Martins or even the huge Bentleys, modern Continentals included.
It was also used on the last Bertone's creation, the B.A.T. 11, and it looked great, perfectly continuing the theme of the older three B.A.T. cars, avoiding a clear reference to them or to their style, but just refreshing, or better evolving the theme behind theme, as if it was the natural son of a very peculiar family. Exactly like those would have looked now.
About the chassis, I went for a Maserati one. There is a technical reason behind it, and an emotional one too, I must admit.
The first is that it would be a steel chassis. It may sound old, but it's easier to work with, and the results aren't really worst in first place from the rigidity or safety point of view. The main aspect is that it allows for a smaller structure, less thick parts, and also easier to manufacture, therefore there is more space for the mechanical parts, being it the engine and gearbox, or the suspensions or even the exhaust, and even for the interiors, and also more freedom in designing them. That means more freedom in the creative process in first place, and perhaps a more interesting and groundbreaking result at the end of the day.
It also proved to be a good platform, regardless of how the GranTurismo, or the 8C Competizione, directly perform on a track. There is much more than the chassis in the final results, being the settings, the marketing decisions, homologation's issues and so on.
Besides, even the B.A.T. 11 was based on this chassis.
I would have also go for the Aston Martin's modular architecture, allowing for a car which isn't dimensionally bound to recall strictly an existing one, but it's made out of aluminum, and that's the reason why I went for the Maserati.
The emotional reason is behind a very simple fact: how many supercars, or even concept cars, which left a deep sign in the car history or even in our hearts, are from Italy or Italian designers?
'm not a nationalist, or proud to be Italian, but I recognize, or think, the marriage between an Italian coachbuilder and an Italian underpinning is one of the best things you can have, proved both are up to the competition. I've already said what I think of the platform, let alone the lovely sound a Maserati V8 can create, but also Bertone never disappointed, even in recent years, just think of the B.A.T. or the Barchetta Concept, which is simply special.
At the moment only a couple of shots of the cars are available, but the only thing you can see there is a moke body covered with a blue fabric or the rear part in camouflaging paint. It looks quite low, as a supercar should be, but nothing else can be said about it. Looking at the drop shaped rear window/end, it remains me of a Corvette Sting Ray now that I think about it...what if there is a C6 under that body? It could be, and it wouldn't even be the first, following SpadaVettureSport, and n2a Motors, just to say a couple of them.
On the other hand, I could speculate about its nature, mainly considering what we see in those released videos. Basically what I would like to underline is how Jason is seen walking inside the Bertone's museum, looking at the concepts or production cars, or rather to their details, and most of all, he is smiling, he is enjoying what he is doing and what he sees.
So I'm expecting something that could really embody the idea of concept, while still looking great, not only designed to to cover the underpinnings but rather dressing them. In one of those videos he says the car will be honest, meaning its shape is going to follow a precise function, wrapping the mechanical parts, rather the just being a piece of abstract art without a precise reason for being what it is.
He also continuously recall the racing references, being the interiors or the performance it will be capable of.
Looking forward for some new updates about this project, another two teaser videos to go, and then the unveiling at the Shanghai auto show in three weeks.
post header source: Stile Bertone
photos sources: B.A.T. Concepts, SVS Codatronca TS, n2a Motors Anteros XTM