In brief

A dream sports car to celebrate a double historical anniversary. At the International Car Show of Geneva, Bertone celebrates the Aston Martin centenary and Sixty years of cooperation between the Italian Company and the prestigious English Brand presenting an interpretation of the Aston Martin Rapide.

It is a luxurious and refined shooting-brake realized as a one-off vehicle, keeping unchanged the mechanical engineering of the original model (6 litres V 12 cylinders engine 476 HP), combining a stretched and muscular car body and a functional use of the hatchback. The Rapide Bertone was commissioned by an Aston Martin collector who took part in person in the whole development of the project, from the first phases of the style research to the manufacture of the car in the workshop, choosing the bodywork paint as well as the leather trimming and the cockpit upholstery.

Close to the Rapide Bertone  a new exemplar of the Aston Martin Jet 2 is proposed, once again a shooting-brake realized in 2004 based on the Vanquish. In this case the exposed model in Geneva was especially set up for the president of the Company, Mrs Lilli Bertone, personalized with trimming signed by Foglizzo (a prestigious Italian Brand founded in 1925) and special paint.

Both the cars were manufactured by “Bertone Officina” (Bertone Workshop), the new company department organized as a high fashion atelier, completely designed for the production of custom-built models coherently integrating in the historical tradition of Bertone. That means a "tailor made” service for special customers, but also an example of how Bertone could help the manufacturers to vary their own range  making “custom-built” cars, exactly as they made in the Fifties and Sixties, with all the standards of quality and safety of a modern car manufacturer.

Refined elegance and functionality

The starting point of style definition was the celebration of the identity of Aston Martin brand through Bertone’s interpretation. The car body, originated by stretched and muscular lines, suggesting its propensity to jerk, explores with smart dynamism the expressive potential of the original model.

The idea of the movement is evoked by the back pillar bent forward, welded to the powerful muscle of the back wheel arch, in order to transmit the optical perception of speed, typical of a stretching musculature. The high and enveloping tail volume is characterized by two horizontal optical groups and the wide hatchback.

The cockpit presents a 2+2 configuration, with four single chairs. Noting that, compared with the original model, the partial redefinition of the back volume allowed notably increasing the vertical habitability for the back passengers.

The use flexibility typical of the shooting-brake is also expressed through personalized furniture solutions, like two foldable back seats. An electrical controlled double sliding bottom covers the two seatbacks, when they are folded up, making available a completely plain load van with exceptional capacity.

The wood upholsteries, refined with glazed aluminium, with precious two-coloured leather trimming, were chosen by the customer, who found in Bertone the historical atmosphere of great Italian car body designers, with the exclusive pleasure to get a custom-tailored car just like a good dressmaking clothe.

Aston Martin of Bertone: 60 years of history

The cooperation between Bertone and Aston Martin is Sixty years old. Indeed it is 1953 the year of birth of two one-off vehicles manufactured on the base of Aston Martin mechanical engineering DB2/4: a small boat type competition and a 2+2 smart cabriolet.

With the years passing by, the DB2/4 small boat highlights some stylistic features that would have become “classical” of Bertone: low and thin windscreen, showy air intake on the engine bonnet, horizontal calender, back mudguards very enveloping and stretched to give impetus to the back volume.

BD2/4 Cabriolet shows a formal work very sober. The facade is completely structured around the big chrome-plated Aston Martin calander, that includes two additional headlights. Like on the Small Boat, the engine bonnet is moved by a long air intake. The side sight offers a smooth and measured side, defined by a long front bonnet and by a picked-up and muscular tail, tapered off downward.

In 1955 once again is the DB2/4 mechanical engineering that inspires Bertone for a “pure” two-seat roadster of great formal elegance. The treatment of the volumes has become softer and more fluid. The air intake on the engine bonnet has disappeared in favour of a higher and showier calender. The back volume is characterised by the “fins” overcoming the mudguards. In a bodywork so much classic, in a surprizing way is inserted a panoramic “American shape” windscreen, as a gift by the fashion of that time.

In 1961 was born a 2+2 coupé still living today that is considered one between the most successful creations of Bertone: DB4 GT (realized in only one model, this car won the Villa d’Este Elegance Competition in 2001) presented with the name of Jet at the Geneva Show in 1961. With Aston Martin Jet the theme of gran turismo is developed according to stylist canons that at that time excite astonishment and admiration. The car shows a sinuous and fluid side, connected to the tail volume by a stretch “muscle” on the back wheel arch. The thin roof, leant with delicacy to the back pillar, defines a picked-up and bright cockpit like the airplane cockpit. For lots of years, Aston Martin Bertone Jet has been the icon of the Italian sport coupé.

In 2004, at the International Car Show of Geneva, Aston Martin Jet 2 is presented. Realized as one-off based on the Vanquish mechanical engineering, Jet 2 regains the engine, the loading platform planning (the step lengthened of 210 mm allowed getting two back seats not foreseen by the original model) and all the elements of body “under leather” not to change the elements submitted to validation. With Aston Martin Jet 2, Bertone propose again in modern terms, a product linked to historical tradition of Italian car body designers that, above all in the Fifties and Sixties, dressed with “haute couture” the most fascinating sports cars.

SOURCE: Volkswagen