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Bertone Mantide, another coachbuilt Corvette
Bertone Mantide

We wrote earlier about the Corvette C6's aluminium chassis being very suitable as a white label platform for coachbuilders to sculpt on. Bertone seemed to agree and so they took a 2009 ZR1 and turned it into this beast: the Bertone Mantide.

After a long period of financial difficulties, Bertone is back to take on the new opportunities of the 21st Century Coachbuilding Revival. To do this, the renewed Bertone lured the young American-Italian designer Jason Castriota away from Pininfarina, where he had designed the one-off Ferrari P4/5, the Rolls-Royce Hyperion and the mass produced Ferrari 599 GTB and Maserati Granturismo.

Bertone wanted to become a more modern company and so they made use of the so-called 'Web 2.0' trends by putting up a special teaser website Inside Project M, including making-of pictures, trendy YouTube clips and Twitter and such. The car they've introduced at the Shanghai Motor Show is indeed very modern. Or is it?

Bertone Mantide

Here is what Bertone started with: the relatively low-tech, all aluminium chassis of the Corvette ZR1. A cool and very potent car with lots of free space to shape a new body around.
Some dry facts: supercharged V8, 647 hp, 819 nm, 0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 351 km/h. That should be enough.

Corvette Z06 chassis

In good Bertone tradition, the body had to become an aerodynamic masterpiece, just like the three Scaglione designed B.A.T. cars were in the fifties. The Mantide therefore got a flat undertray, a fighter-like canopy and a sloping Kamm-tail accompanied by two rather dramatic looking aerodynamic appendages. Castriota had applied these sort of flying buttresses before on the Ferrari 599 GTB and they are meant to control the air flow towards the rear end. This principles has been used in Formula One for several years, but it was first used in a similar shape by Touring. Remember the '53 Pegaso Z102 Thrill?

Touring Pegaso Z102 Thrill

The 'Thrill' had the same kind of buttresses running up from the rear wheel arches to the roof, leaving a gap between the arch and the B-pillar to let the air flow along the tear drop shaped rear deck.

Thrill & Mantide flying buttresses

In their press release Bertone claims a drag reduction by 25% (Cd 0.298) and a 30% improvement in down force. They also state that, by using carbon fibre for all body panels, interior trim, seats and wheels, the overall weight has been reduced by 100 kilos. Bertone says: "The Mantide not only delivers greater speed and stability, but also more efficiency and therefore lower fuel consumption." Lower fuel consumption? Well, apparently it has to be said these days... even with one-off supercars.

Bertone describes the Mantide's design as "futuristic" and "shockingly bold". We totally agree on that. They further say: "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."

Bertone has not mentioned anything about a commissioning by a private customer, but it is said the Mantide will cost about 1.5 million dollar.

Bertone Mantide
Bertone Mantide

Click here to see more Mantide images in the Bertone Gallery.
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