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Jay Leno Reviews 1967 Bertone Pirana: Video

Jay Leno Reviews 1967 Bertone Pirana: Video

Those of you who have been following Jay Leno’s Garage from the very beginning are probably aware it started out as a series about the former show host’s car collection. Each episode showcased a new exhibit as Leno told its story before taking it out for a spin. More recently though, Leno began playing host to all sorts of special-edition and unique vehicles, such as the Ronin RS 211, RingBrothers’ 1966 Chevelle "Recoil", and even a restomod 1937 Ford Woodie. The trend continues in this new episode that sees the 1967 Bertone Pirana take center stage in Jay’s famous garage.

Don’t panic if you’re not familiar with this classic grand tourer. The Pirana is actually unique, as it was built by Bertone for the Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper which commissioned it as a publicity stunt. Quite unusual, huh? The car was based on the chassis of the Jaguar E-Type and also used its 4.2-liter inline-six engine. The most intriguing detail about it, though, is that its styling is awfully similar to the Lamborghini Espada, which Bertone produced a year later in 1968. Both ends and the greenhouse are nearly identical to the Espada, with the longer hood being the main detail that sets it apart from Lambo’s iconic GT.

Introduced at the 1967 London Motor Show, the car was built with help from Jaguar, which granted Bertone access to its main suppliers. Find out more about it in Leno’s review above.

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Bertone on the Brink of Bankruptcy

We thought that we could go through the last two weeks of the year without having to deal with another auto company going though bankruptcy proceedings.

Turns out, we may see one pretty soon.

According to Italy’s La Repubblica, one of Italy’s most famous design houses, Bertone, is close to filing for bankruptcy after asking for court administration on December 11th. With this move, Bertone has 120 days to get its ship in order, specifically to find new investors that could inject some much-needed financing for the company.

Despite the popularity of its more recent models, Bertone has been teetering on shaky ground since the 2008 global economic crisis, and has failed to recover, causing it to drop a whole lot of its businesses in the process, including the sale of its Grugliasco factory in Turin to Fiat. Incidentally, the said plant is now the production home of the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte.

But that’s not all that’s been gut-punching Bertone in recent months. It’s struggled to field orders for Bertone Workshop, a division of the company it created to help offset its losses. Heck, it’s even failed to pay its employees for months, causing a lot of them to go on strike.

All that though pales in comparison to what Bertone is reportedly going through right now. it’s very existence is in serious danger, and unless the court-appointed administrator finds new investors for the company, it’s going to be a long winter for one of our favorite Italian design houses.

The good news is that Italian media has reported that a number of companies have expressed interest in buying Bertone, including a Turkish company that offered €2 million, which is about $2.75 million at the current exchange rates, for the company.

Here’s to hoping Bertone gets to right its ship sooner than later, and in one form or another. It’s a shame that it’s going through something like this, but like it or not, such is the reality of the world these days.

Click past the jump to read a little about one of Bertone’s latest creations, the Jet 2

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Aston Martin Warming Up To Building Bertone Jet 2+2 In Limited Numbers

More and more coach-built cars are getting green lights for production, leading us to believe that the market is becoming more open for cars of such unique quality.

According to Autocar, it appears that the Bertone Jet 2+2, which we first saw a few months ago at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, is set to be offered as a production model by Aston Martin, albeit in limited quantities.

By ’limited’, word has it that the car will only be offered as a 10-unit lot, meaning that it’s going to be extremely exclusive and as such, far from our reaches.

There are still a lot of hurdles that need to be cleared, not the least of which is the use of the name "Jet", something Bertone has previously used in its concepts. As far as Aston Martin is concerned, should it give the go-ahead to have the car built, it’s leaning towards badging it as the Rapide Shooting Brake.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that the Jet 2+2 Concept is essentially an estate take on the Rapide.

Click past the jump to read about the Bertone Jet 2+2 Concept

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2013 Bertone Jet 2

2013 Bertone Jet 2

Next to theAston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake "Jet 2+2" Concept set to be unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Bertone has also prepared an updated version of the original Vanquish-based Jet unveiled back in 2004. The new Jet 2 is still based on the previous-generation Vanquish, but its mechanics and design have been updated to fit the all-new Vanquish.

The new Jet 2 features the same shooting brake body style as the Rapide Jet 2+2 and so happens to be the personal car of Lilli Bertone, Bertone’s president.

The new Jet 2 features an updated design, new exterior colors and a more luxurious interior trim. The model also offers increased cabin space and a 2+2 seating configuration, thanks to the added 210 mm (8.26 inches) in length.

Full details on the new Bertone Jet 2 will be unveiled during the concept’s official debut in Geneva.

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2013 Aston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake "Jet 2+2" Concept by Bertone

2013 Aston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake "Jet 2+2" Concept by Bertone

A few days after posting a teaser about a Geneva-bound model that Bertone was working on, we finally get to see the car beneath the shadows.

Turns out, it’s an Aston Martin. More specifically, an Aston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake called the Jet 2+2.

The Italian design and coachbuilder is apparently building this one-off concept, showcasing the mighty Aston Martin Rapide and turning it into a shooting brake.

Granted, the Rapide is Aston Martin’s first four-door sedan in their lineup and as such, an expansion to shooting brake territory could’ve been in order down the road.

But seeing as Aston Martin and Bertone have a history of working together in the past, including the creation of the Jet 2 concept back in 2004, it only seemed appropriate that the Italian coachbuilder would be tasked by Aston to create a strict one-off model.

Aston Martin and Bertone have yet to reveal official details surrounding the Rapide Shooting Brake Jet 2+2, but Autocar managed to find out some info about the one-off concept.

Find out what the initial word is surrounding the Rapide Shooting Brake Jet 2+2 after the jump

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Bertone Teases New Concept for Geneva

Bertone Teases New Concept for Geneva

Today Bertone has unveiled the first teaser image for a new concept car they are going to display next month at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. No other details have been provided, but from what we can see it will be a mid-size four-door coupe that kind of reminds us of the Aston Martin Rapide.

The teaser image also reveals a sloping roofline, concealed rear door handles, multi-spoke alloy wheels and a cool Bertone logo. Up to this point, we cannot tell for sure what kind of powertrain the new concept is going to use, but we are pretty sure we are going to see some kind of hybrid system under the hood.

As you can see, the concept that Bertone has prepared for this year’s Geneva Motor Show is pretty different from what the company had unveiled last year at the same show - the Concept Nuccio. So, looking at the teaser image there are big chances that we will see this concept car put into production. We’ll find out soon enough whether we are right or wrong.

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2012 Bertone Nuccio Prototype

2012 Bertone Nuccio Prototype

Bertone impressed the world with their Nuccio Concept unveiled back in March at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and now, based on people’s reaction to the concept, Bertone has decided to offer a one-off prototype that was unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show in China.

The prototype unveiled in Beijing is fully functional and will feature a few exterior changes when compared to the initial concept. Bertone did not reveal many details on this new prototype, but the first images revealed show that the company adopted a different, more conventional solution for the headlights, and slightly thicker side mirrors. The concept’s distinctive roof and large, tapered windshield will still be offered.

Under the hood, Bertone will place a 4.3 liter V8 engine that will deliver a total of 480 HP and will mated to an automatic transmission.

This one-off prototype will be going on sale and according to Automotive News, a Chinese car collector is already waiting in the wings to make his purchase. Bertone CEO Marco Filippa said that the asking price for the Nuccio, which took an estimated 15,000 hours to design, engineer, and build, is about 2 million euro, or about $2,650,000 at the current exchange rates.

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2012 Geneva Motor Show: The Concept Cars

2012 Geneva Motor Show: The Concept Cars

Concept cars have always been an integral part of any major auto show. These events give automakers an opportunity to showcase some of the most outlandish and over-the-top vehicles we’ll ever see.

Now that doesn’t mean that these concepts will translate to production. Actually, very few do with most of them forgotten long after the auto show ends.

At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, we saw a lot of concept cars that piqued our curiosities one way or the other. Some were fancy, some were strange, and some just completely blew us away.

In the end, the concept cars at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show delivered on the promise of providing some edge and flavor to the proceedings. On the list below, we’ll show you all of the concepts that caught our eye, and if we do say so ourselves, some of those are just too awesome to not be sent to the production line.

Check out the concept cars from the 2012 Geneva Motor Show after the jump.

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2012 Bertone Concept Nuccio

2012 Bertone Concept Nuccio

Italian coach builder, Bertone, rarely makes waves, but when they do, they have a propensity to just take your breath away. Incidentally, the last we heard from these guys was when they unveiled the Jaguar B99 Concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

Now, Bertone returns to Geneva with a new concept in tow, one that’s being called the "Concept Nuccio." Making things extra special this year is the fact that Bertone is celebrating their centennial anniversary, and to commemorate this huge milestone, they came to Geneva locked, stocked, and ready to rock.

The concept was named ’Nuccio’ in honor of Nuccio Bertone, the son of company patriarch Giovanni Bertone. It was designed as an evolution of the company’s "cab forward" that started with the 1967 Alfa Romeo Carabo, the 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero, and the 1973 Lamborghini Countach. The concept combines elements from the three concepts in an attempt to create a modern, sporty, and "extreme," fully functional sports car.

UPDATE 03/08/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images of the Bertone Concept Nuccio.

Hit the jump for more information on the Bertone Concept Nuccio.

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Bertone to auction off concept car collection at Villa d'Este

Bertone to auction off concept car collection at Villa d’Este

One thing about Bertone is that it’s been one of the most influential coach builders in automotive history. So it really sucks that with the imminent restructuring of the company, some of Bertone’s most influential concept cars from its museum collection will be offered up for auction.

But one man’s trash, so they say, is another man’s treasure. So for those that have a deep appreciation for the Italian coachbuilder and the concepts it has produced over the years, you better pencil in the RM Auctions’ event at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este.

In that auction, RM has will be consigning six concept cars from the Bertone Museum, with each car being a one-of-a-kind and a gem-of-a-car in every sense of the word.

The six Bertone concept cars that are scheduled to be up for auction includes the 1967 Lamborghini Marzal, the 1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero, the 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Testudo, the 1974 Lamborghini Bravo, the 1980 Lamborghini Athon and the 1978 Lancia Sibilo.

Each car is expected to be sold for anywhere between six or seven digits, making each of the six a true collector’s item.

UPDATE 05/24/11: The Bertone auction at Villa d’Este has finally come and gone and we now have the official prices on how much each of these concept prototypes were sold. Lots of surprises, really, including the Stratos ’HF Zero’, which sold for less than what we initially thought and the Lamborghini Bravo, which sold for three times as much as what was expected. Check out the price tag for each auctioned vehicle after the jump.

Check out details of each concept car after the jump.

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2011 Bertone B99 Jaguar Concept

2011 Bertone B99 Jaguar Concept

Of all the concept cars scheduled to appear at the Geneva Motor Show, nothing intrigued us more than Bertone’s B99 Jaguar Concept.

Not only did we have high expectations for it because of the company’s history at the Geneva Motor Show, but more importantly, we didn’t know a whole lot about this car. Sure, there have been some birds chirping about a Jaguar concept by Bertone called the ’B99’, but it wasn’t until the luxury concept was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show that we finally got a really good look at it.

To be clear, the B99 isn’t a production car - at least not yet - but a conceptual proposal for a ’baby’ Jaguar model that will feature a traditional four-door sedan body with more classic proportions and styling cues than the XJ and XF.

Seeing as this is a concept, the B99 still has a ways to go before it is given the green light for production. But from what we’ve seen of the car so far, we wouldn’t be surprised if this mysterious concept finds its way past a pipe dream and into production lines real soon.

UPDATE 03/02/11: This review has been updated with the Bertone B99’s full specs, as well as new images.

UPDATE 03/08/11: According to Automotive News, Jaguar was not impressed by the B99 concept and will not put it to production: "It is not our concept. We appreciate the fact that Jaguar is interesting enough for people to do a concept around. It’s not that we are offended by it, or against it — it is just not for us." Jaguar has plans to enter new market segments by 2014, but this will be done with their own work: "We have concepts all over the place. A lot of work has been done," said Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s global brand director.

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2010 Bertone Pandion

2010 Bertone Pandion

The Italian maker Bertone unveiled the Pandion concept car on February 20, 2011 at the Geneva Motor Show. The concept pays tribute to Alfa Romeo’s centenary and its name comes from the animal world, as Pandion Haliaetus is the scientific name for an Osprey: a sea hawk that nests and lives in coastal areas. Pandion is powered by a 4.7 liter, 450 hp 8-cylinder Alfa Romeo engine.

The Pandion’s design is based on the "Skin & Frame" design language: "Skin" refers to the snake in the logo, representing the world renowned Italian excellence in beautiful, seductive forms; and "Frame" refers to the cross in the logo, representing the mechanical excellence in high performance Italian race cars.

The concept’s front is defined by a sculpted sloping bonnet with typical Alfa quad headlights, a typical five horizontal bars radiator grille and doors that open by rotating backwards, ending up a perfect 90 degrees above the center of the rear wheel, lifting up the entire body side of the vehicle, from the front fender to the rear fender.

UPDATE 02/20/2011: Two months ago, we got a glimpse of the Bertone Alfa Romeo Pandion concept through a two-minute, Tron-inspired spec commercial filmed by Zyclotron. Well, now we just received the behind-the-scenes footage of how the ad took shape, complete with some fascinating close-ups of the concept. It’s pretty rare for a concept car - and one that’s as mesmerizing as the Bertone - to have its own commercial, so you can imagine how geeked up we were to see this five-minute video detailing how the commercial was born. Check it out after the jump!

Press release after the jump.

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Playboy to take in-depth look at Geneva's best concept cars

Playboy to take in-depth look at Geneva’s best concept cars

Looking for a good read about futuristic automobiles and gorgeous women, Playboy has your fix. In the July issue of the long running men’s magazine, reporter Ken Gross will be looking at six new cars that will be coming to showrooms near you. Of course, readers can just get the information for the vehicles here, but then what would be your excuse to buy the magazine? Our recommendation? Get your car fix here and then pretend to read the article when you buy the July issue of Playboy.

The article will be called Reinventing the Wheel and will take a look at the new Porsche 318 Spyder, Bertone Pandion, Aston Marton Cygnet, Mercedes-Benz F800 Style, Ferrari 599 Hy-Kers and the IED Tesla EYE.

The first car on the list is the new Porsche 918 Spyder. This car is a serious case of have your cake and eat it too. It has the appearance of the old Carrera GT, which isn’t really a bad thing from a company that created the horror that is the Cayenne. The 918 will be able to reach 62 miles per hour in just 3.2 seconds thanks to its 500 horsepower V8 and a pair of electric motors. The amazing thing is this car’s gas mileage. Porsche claims that this car can get 78 miles per gallon with just 70 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Stunning.

Hit the jump for the rest of the story.

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Stile Bertone Mantide spotted on the back of tow truck in Dubai

Stile Bertone Mantide spotted on the back of tow truck in Dubai

Supercars like the super-duper rare - only 10 were made, in case you didn’t know - Stile Bertone Mantide belong in the streets where they can flex their muscles and show off their unbelievable Corvette ZR1-based power. Where they don’t belong is on the back of a tow truck, which is exactly where this Mantide was spotted while on transit in Dubai.

Oddly enough, the Mantide was still sporting Massachusetts plates, which probably means that this is the very same Mantide that was sold for a bank-account torpedoing $1.95 million. Either way, we’re just hoping that the next time we catch this car on the road, it’s going to be while it zooms past just about every other car out on the highway.

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Foose-built replica of Bertone Alfa Romeo Carabo being sold on eBay

Foose-built replica of Bertone Alfa Romeo Carabo being sold on eBay

Yes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and while most don’t live up to the expectations of the original, there are those that come close. Bertone’s Alfa Romeo Carabo is one car that has spawned a lot of imitations over the years, but few have come within a mile of living up to the original creation.

Now, some guy, with the help of none other than Chip Foose’s father, Sam Foose, was able to piece together something that resembles the original Carabo without bastardizing the Bertone work of art. This was done only after his attempts of buying the original Bertone were shut down by the design house. The replica is built on a De Tomaso Pantera platform and comes with a 351 Cleveland V8 that’s hooked to a 5-speed transmission. According to the man selling this ride, the car is "too fast to handle" and it has neither a radio nor any semblance of air-conditioning - unless you consider rolling down the windows and letting the wind come in air-conditioning. Combine these facts and you get a car that looks about as intimidating as it is challenging to drive.

Seeing as the original Carabo was said to cost around $200,000 back in 1972, we don’t know how much the seller is willing to accept as a purchase price. He did say that if anyone’s interested they should give him a call at 561-676-5723.

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Bertone Mantide spotted in Dubai

Bertone Mantide spotted in Dubai

Anytime you find yourself visiting Dubai, you should always remind yourself to bring your camera when you go out on the streets. There’s no telling what kind of exotic cars you’ll find out there.

Take this one for example, which was spotted by a member of Supercarsdubai.com. If you’re not familiar with this car, it’s a Bertone Mantide. Yup, all £1.2 million ($1.9 million) worth of it. Of the ten Mantide’s that have been made, this one that was spotted in Dubai is car no. 2 which was purchased by a Dubai resident back in December.

If you didn’t know, the Bertone Mantide is essentially a high-powered Corvette ZR1 underneath all that fancy exterior design, which was penned by no less than design savant, Jason Castriota and explains, at the very least, why the supercar comes with such an exorbitant price tag.

Photo credit: Supercarsdubai

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Second Bertone Mantide sells for $1.9 Million

Second Bertone Mantide sells for $1.9 Million

When the Italian design house Bertone revealed their shapely $2 Million Mantide back in April, they announced that production of their very special super car would be limited to only 10 units, and two have already been snatched up by some high performance enthusiasts with some pretty deep pockets. The Bertone Mantide is basically a re bodied Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 with a much lighter and more streamlined body that sheds over 200 pound from the Mantide’s curb weight allowing the car’s LS9 power plant that makes a total of 638 HP to rocket the Italian muscle car from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 217 MPH, about 12 MPH faster than the ZR-1 super Corvette. The second Mantide was just purchased by a Dubai resident with a slight discount bringing the purchase price to just $1.9 Million.

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Italian government gives FIAT the green light to purchase Bertone

Italian government gives FIAT the green light to purchase Bertone

It’s looking likeCarrozerria Bertone S.p.A is close to finding a new home in the waiting arms of Fiat.

The Italian auto conglomerate, which has made news recently for purchasing car brands left and right, has been given approval by the Italian government to purchase the fledgling Italian coachbuilders for $215.9 million, which will be invested in a span of three years.

While Fiat was in hot pursuit of Bertone, it did face some stiff competition from a number of other companies that made similar bids to acquire Bertone. These included Italian entrepreneurs Gianmario, Rossignolo, Domenico Reviglio, the Chinese-based FAW Group Corp. and a Spanish consortium that appears to have kept its name under wraps.

Fiat’s offer to buy Bertone isn’t the first time that company has tried to purchase the coachmakers. Fiat first began negotiations to buy stakes in Bertone in 2006 but as it turned out, talks between the two stalled and ended up being scrapped a few months later.

Continued after the jump.

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Bertone Mantide - limited to 10 units, $2million each

Bertone Mantide - limited to 10 units, $2million each

The latest unique coach-built creation was revealed at the Shanghai Auto Show, the Bertone Mantide based on the underpinnings of a Corvette ZR1, designed by the same guy that envisioned the Ferrari P4/5 when he was at Pininfarina. The Mantide will be limited to only 10 units, and a hefty price tag of $2 Million.

According to Jason Castriota, that guy from the Ferrari, and design director for project M: "The project has an anonymous benefactor, but it is in fact for sale either as a singular example, or with the possibility of building an extremely limited series. Though we would not rule out producing as many as 10."

Bertone, the studio responsible for the wild design has already lined up a few potential clients from Asia, Europe and America.

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 Bertone BAT 11 to enter limited production?

Bertone BAT 11 to enter limited production?

Bertone is the styling house for some of the great automotive classics: Lamborghini Miura and Countach, Fiat Dino, Iso Grifo, Citroen XM, and many others. But it hasn’t had a hit in a while. If it wasn’t for the Bat 11 concept car, the styling house may have shut its doors forever. Now, the firm may produce a handful of cars from the design due to the popularity.

Creditors nearly turned the lights off on Bertone last winter. The design business was solvent, but a subsidiary that assembled cars for automakers hemorrhaged money, threatening to take the whole company down with it.

Told to stop work on the BAT 11 to save money, a handful of designers defied orders, finished the car and sneaked it to a brief appearance before the Geneva Auto Show in Switzerland in March. The car was a hit, generating positive headlines for a company that had been mired in a soap opera of family intrigue and financial woe.

Bertone is currently rebuilding, and the BAT 11 is the reason for the rebirth. The company is hoping to build 25 to 50 running versions of the graceful coupe. It’s part of a plan to produce very small runs of historic designs from the company’s past and present. They will be hand-built it and will be produce only if they will be sold before production begins.

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Mahinda interested in buying Bertone

Mahinda interested in buying Bertone

Indians seem to have big plans with the European automakers. After Tata showed its interest in Jaguar and Land Rover another Indian manufacturer is interested in purchasing Bertone, the famous Italian coachbuilder and design house.

Mahindra, an important Indian automaker showed its interest in buying Bertone after another design house, Giugiaro, announced that is interested about the Italian manufacturer. Although the Italian producer was not present at the Geneva Auto Show due to its financial problems, it is unlikely to see the famous design house being declared bankrupt.

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Bertone Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 11 to be revealed at Geneva

Bertone Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 11 to be revealed at Geneva

Bertone will unveil the Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 11 concept car March 4 at the Geneva auto show. Or at least this is what Stile Bertone told Automotive News Europe, because in a press release from Stile Bertone Chairman Lilli Bertone, Marie-Jeanne’s mother she said the styling division of the Bertone group would skip the show " because we are currently undergoing a deep industrial restructuring." So, who will we believe?

The concept car that is struggling to debut in Geneva is based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione high-performance coupe. B.A.T. stands for Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica or aerodynamic technical Berlinetta in English.

The B.A.T. 11 is just a styling model, with no interior.

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Bertone to build a BMW-powered sportscar for the US market?

Bertone to build a BMW-powered sportscar for the US market?

There are rumors on the European magazines that Bertone is talking about building a BMW-powered sports car for the US market. For two years now, when Bertone’s last major automotive design and assembly contract, the GM Astra convertible ran out, the only source of work has been a special 2,000 unit version of the Mini Cooper (called John Cooper Works GP) which was completed last summer.
This year, Bertone only unveiled the two-seat ’Barchetta’ concept car based on the Fiat Panda floorpan at (...)

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