While we haven’t followed every web episode, Stile Bertone did peak our interest about it’s new supercar. Teased as the “Project M”, it’s now known as the Mantide. Although the name sounds like a bar for alternative-lifestyle sailors, it’s actually the Italian name for Mantis.

Bertone's ZR1-based Mantide unveiled
- image 296813

Just as promised, the car uses the underpinnings from a production car, and as a nice surprise, the Italian has turned to American muscle. The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 donated its mechanical bits including the aluminum chassis and 638 hp supercharged V8 engine.

Because the Mantide is made from carbon fiber and has better aerodynamics, Bertone says it can out run the Corvette it spawned from. Performance is put at 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 217 mph (about 12 mph higher than the ZR1.)

More pics and info in the press release after the jump.

Press release

Stile Bertone is proud to present the ULTRA HIGH PERFORMANCE one-off MANTIDE.

Few, if any, automobiles have been as awe-inspiring as the show-stopping prototypes and “fuori serie” cars designed by Stile Bertone - the Alfa Romeo Carabo, the Lancia Stratos Zero and the Lamborghini LP500 prototype to name just a few


Bertone's ZR1-based Mantide unveiled
- image 296821

Stile Bertone has a long history of creating one-off prototypes based on the mechanicals of Chevrolet’s sporting automobiles spanning over 50 years. Today, Stile Bertone is proud to utilize the mechanicals of the formidable 2009 Corvette ZR1. Employing know-how from the Le Mans winning Corvette C5R, the ZR1 is the greatest all-round performance car in the world, the undisputed “King of the Ring”, posting the fastest ever lap time for a true production car at 7:26:4 seconds on the famed Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany, long considered the benchmark for a car’s true performance. Mantide has been designed and fully engineered in collaboration with the renowned Danisi Engineering and aims to be the world’s greatest street legal performance car, wrapped in an iconic and radical Stile Bertone design.

Mantide’s futuristic design draws equal inspiration from modern aerospace and the world of Formula One. The iconic theme is clear to see: a teardrop-like fuselage which tightly encases the mechanicals and the passenger cell which is embraced by two prominent wrapping aerodynamic appendages. While shockingly bold and technical, Mantide’s unique design maintains a sensuality unique to Italian sports cars thanks to a futuristic interpretation of the classic Kamm Back two volume silhouette.

Bertone's ZR1-based Mantide unveiled
- image 296817

The aerospace inspired design aesthetic is further characterised by innovative yet beautiful forms which are fully driven by performance: the low-slung nose, jet fighter style teardrop canopy and butterfly opening doors, as well as the numerous air inlets and exhausts for maximum air efficiency.

Mantide also boasts cutting edge aerodynamic performance fine-tuned in an advanced full scale wind tunnel. Features include a Le Mans prototype-derived flat floor and diffuser as well as “flying buttresses” which help to increase aero efficiency, guarantee a lower drag coefficient and greater levels of down force. The final aerodynamic results are class leading, with drag reduced by 25% (Cd 0.298) and a 30% improvement in down force. The Mantide not only delivers greater speed and stability, but also more efficiency and therefore lower fuel consumption.

Bertone's ZR1-based Mantide unveiled
- image 296816

The Mantide promises even greater performance than the ZR1, due to significant weight savings and its highly advanced aerodynamics. Using carbon fibre for all body panels, interior trim, seats and even the wheels, the overall vehicle weight has been reduced by 100 kilos. The result is a staggering 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 351 kph (217mph) Safety and chassis rigidity have been increased with the incorporation of an FIA regulation triangulated roll cage, light-weight carbon fibre racing seats and 4pt racing harness for track use.

About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (177) posted on 04.21.2009

Don’t you think it’s too sharp and edgy?

  (183) posted on 04.21.2009

If manufacturing cars is really like that, now I wouldn’t complain when their prices is way beyond what I can afford.

  (177) posted on 04.21.2009

I just noticed how Bertone’s design really shows the basic features of the praying mantis. Look at the rear front and you will never get a mistake specially on the mouth portion.

  (231) posted on 04.21.2009

In Italian Mantide means praying mantis. So this is the insect inspired creation of Bertone. Well, the idea is good for the ergonomic features but like what others have commented already I too have the wheels. It’s like a BMX getting the upgrade plastic wheels.

  (116) posted on 04.21.2009

Those wheels are burning my retinas.As for the angular wheel wells, didn’t Lamborghini already do that with the Reventon? I like the idea of creating a new "supercar", but rebodying an existing one doesn’t really accomplish that. I have a feeling this may fizzle out fairly quickly. A lot of hype though.

  (314) posted on 04.20.2009

They were saying this is mantis inspired. So for the organic look and aerodynamics features it must agree. The coach looks is admirable work of an artist but I don’t like the wheels. I just find it fit for its sleek slim features.

  (318) posted on 04.20.2009

This ’mantis’, is due to debut at the Shanghai Motor Show this weekend. Of course it will feature custom coachwork that appears both angular and organic, orginal of Stile Bertone’s automotive design.

  (421) posted on 04.20.2009

This a but just a commenrt but I am thinking if it’s a good decision for GM to offerthe corvette chassis to companies like Pininfarina, Bertone, and other smaller, niche companies. The chassis and drive line are amazing for the money it is a sure thing to bank with, but the interior and styling? Perhaps GM could usher in the renaissance of the coachbuilder, what do you think?

  (289) posted on 04.20.2009

This is American turned Italian. Only better due to advanced aerodynamics. I can see this project beautiful is definitely something we could keep our eyes on. With the Corvette ZR1 in its blood engine, I don’t see any reason not to fancy on this mantis sporting the iconic and radical Stile Bertone design.

Car Finder: