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.
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.
Please click to enlarge the pictures.
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.
DB2/4 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.
Top Gear review by Vijay Pattni, Editor of TopGear.com
You don’t need to waste your words convincing me. Just shut up and take my money already.
So soon? But I haven’t even shoehorned in any exuberant motoring clichés like ‘soul’ and ‘passion’ and ‘heritage’ and ‘ruddy hell it’s gorgeous’. Indulge me, O’ impatient reader.
Fine. Be quick. What is it?
It’s an Aston Martin Rapide, re-imagined by legendary Italian coachbuilder Bertone as a shooting brake, in honour of Aston’s 100th anniversary. A present to an old friend, if you will.
I’ve seen this before, haven’t I?
Correct. We got a digital glimpse of this five-door beaut in February, and then in the flesh on the Bertone stand at the Geneva Motor Show in March. As you can imagine, it garnered quite a positive reaction. Bertone’s chief designer - a Brit stationed in Italy - Adrian Griffiths told TG.com that there were “a number of people” interested in purchasing it. Even Aston chief Dr Bez, says Adrian, noted in his Geneva speech that, “on the Bertone stand, you will see another iteration of Aston Martin”. Praise doesn’t come much higher than that.
Whose idea was it?
Ah, at first the identity of the collector who had commissioned Bertone to produce this one-off was kept under tight Italian wraps, but seeing as his name is emboldened on the plaque inside the cabin, well, it’s a bit pointless. Barry Weir, classic car rally maestro and Aston connoisseur, approached Bertone in the summer of 2012 with an idea. Thankfully, it was a good one. Says Adrian: “We’re very lucky that a client came up to us and wanted this specific iteration. If it was something else that we felt didn’t do justice to either Bertone or Aston Martin, or was fundamentally the wrong point to start from, it would have been a hard call.”
Go on then, tell me about the build.
It took around three and a half months, including a ‘style freeze’ at the tail end of last year, because of course, Aston itself was busy updating the Rapide too. Marek Reichmann - Aston designer and himself no stranger to sketching out gorgeous shapes (see the One-77) - was shown Bertone’s original grille idea, but told the guys to wait and use the new one. “That was a really cool thing to do,” enthuses Adrian.
First came the renderings, the drawings and the photographic imagery, shown to Aston - who gave the green light - after which a ‘Frankenstein’ full-scale model was built out of plaster. The proportions of this were hand manoeuvred into the correct position, the model was scanned, and reverse moulds were created. Then, Bertone’s crack team of engineers beat in the panels by hand. They used aluminium, sheet metal, carbon fibre, and of course, glass for that roof. Inside, the structure remains the same, other than some natty detailing with the wood and leather, and of course, the sliding boot cover (manual for now, electric in development).
The roof is a revelation. It opens up the cabin and makes it feel enormous. They’re currently looking at making this glass ‘dimmable’. American Mike Robinson, Bertone’s design director, told us: “We’re working on making the roof have zones that you can turn down visually. Rather than have a roller blind in a 1930s style, we wanted a dimmer. This is the digital age, remember.”
It’s a lovely looking thing, superbly finished on the outside, with genuine headroom inside. Mike Robinson laughed that even his 6ft 5in frame had room to spare in the back. A certain economy with the truth is evident there, as actual legroom is the same as the Rapide, and still a bit tight. But this was never going to change, because, as Adrian tells us, even though there was a request to improve rear space, they just couldn’t change everything as it would affect the stance and architecture of the car. “We had to make sure the integrity of the original build by Aston Martin was kept intact,” he says.
So, what about underneath?
Bertone hasn’t even sniffed at the drivetrain. In the words of the Italians, ‘we just tailor the suit’. So nothing changes chassis-wise. It’s the last-generation Aston Rapide, which means a 6.0-litre V12 with 476bhp, and a 0-62mph time of around 5.3 seconds. We say around, because the whole thing weighs pretty much the same as a regular Rapide - around 1990kg - so performance should remain the same.
And on the road?
The Rapide has always been a lovely car to glide around in, and the Jet 2+2 is no different. The steering feels spot on, the damping is excellent and everything feels resolved. OK, this being a concept car/one-off means you get quite a few more squeaks, rattles and groans because of the new rear, but other than that, it’s the same car. And of course, TG isn’t about to start wailing around like a lunatic in somebody else’s priceless, one-off collector’s piece.
Priceless, you say?
Naturally, Bertone won’t tell us the exact price of the Jet 2+2, but rumours suggest it’s worth somewhere in the region of £1.1m.
Woah. Ok, now can you shut up and take my money?
Exactly what part of ‘one-off’ are you unfamiliar with? Bertone won’t be drawn on the Jet 2+2’s future, but, be patient… while the Italians won’t be drawn on a proper confirmation, we’re told ‘discussions are ongoing’ regarding a small production run of these shooting brake Rapides. And that, dear readers, is a good thing.
Source: Top Gear 14 May 2013 http://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/aston-martin/bertone-jet-22/first-drive
We’ll give you a moment to take in the image above. Rather beautiful, isn’t it? Sixty years have passed since legendary coachbuilder Bertone and Aston Martin skipped down the garden path together with a pair of DB2/4 models. The one-off you see above is like a giant, two-tonne anniversary card.
Aston enthusiast Barry Weir was the man who commissioned it. He rather liked Bertone’s original Jet 2 - the 2004 Vanquish-based shooting brake - and asked the Italians for similar treatment on a 2+2 chassis. A 2+2 chassis like the Rapide. Now, Bertone doesn’t just build anything for anyone (Astra Coupe aside), but it got very interested in continuing its long history with Aston.
The whole car took three and a half months to complete, from renderings to a full-scale plaster mock-up dubbed “Frankenstein” to final hand-beaten production model with that estate-like rear, built of carbon fibre, aluminium and sheet metal. There was even a ‘style freeze’ while Aston was busy refreshing the Rapide itself. Although the bumpers are different - to reflect the fact this is Weir’s individual car - it was actually Aston designer Marek Reichman who told Bertone to hold off and use the new, updated Rapide S grille for this Jet 2+2.
Sadly, Bertone didn’t use the new, updated Rapide S 6.0-litre V12 producing a healthier 550bhp. In fact, Bertone didn’t even sniff at the drivetrain: as the Italians told us, they just “tailor the suit”. Thus, you’re looking at the first-generation Aston Martin Rapide, with a 470bhp 6.0-litre.
Yet fire up the V12, and all regret is momentarily shelved. The chassis and drivetrain remain as per Gaydon’s original, so it still sounds like an Aston Martin. And don’t forget: the Rapide is a glorious thing to move about in. Bertone has managed to match the original kerbweight - give or take a few kilos - so it drives exactly like a standard Rapide. Which is to say, fine steering, excellent damping and super-saloon pace. There were quite a few squeaks and rattles during our test drive, mind, but a few blips of the throttle soon drowned those out.
A consequence of leaving the chassis as standard, however, is the lingering woeful rear legroom. Weir did request more space for limbs in the back, but Bertone didn’t want to touch the structure underneath. Thus, while the shooting-brake rear opens up acres of headroom - six-footers can avoid having their craniums bludgeoned by a C-pillar - the seats are the same. The glass roof is ace, mind: it opens up the cabin beautifully and feels less claustrophobic than a regular Rapide. And here’s something to chew on: Top Gear was told discussions are “ongoing” regarding a small production run of these Jet 2+2s. Praise be.
Source: Top Gear 19 Jul 2013 http://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/aston-martin/bertone-jet-22/road-test
Autoblog review by Zach Bowman, Editor of autoblog.com
Leave it to Bertone to take a stab at improving the look of the Aston Martin Rapide. The coachbuilder may have done just that with its Jet 2+2 shooting brake unveiled here at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Using the sexy Aston four-door as a basis, the coachbuilder worked the Aston's rear quarters and lifted the roof into a proper hatch, resulting in a machine with plenty of cargo space out back (though rear seat room doesn't appear to be much better than the production sedan). An LED span joins the vehicle's two taillights, and the design looks far more cohesive than the original renderings led us to believe. An unnamed collector commissioned the one-off build, and Bertone is using the longroof to mark the 60th anniversary of the company's first partnership with Aston Martin. We couldn't think of a better way to commemorate the date. The stock 6.0-liter V12 remains unsullied, cranking out 476 horsepower, though Bertone has given the interior a once-over with unique wood, glazed aluminum and two leather colors specified by the individual who commissioned the car.
Source: Autoblog Mar 6th 2013: http://www.autoblog.com/2013/03/06/bertone-jet-aston-martin-rapide-geneva-2012/#continued