Bespoke Italian automaker Bertone is nearing bankruptcy according to a recent report.
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This weekend, PlayStation 3 gamers in North America will be enjoying Gran Turismo 6 and to hype up the release, Polyphony Digital has released renderings of even more Vision Gran Turismo concepts that will be heading to the game.
Ever wondered what the Chevrolet Corvair might have looked like if the Italian’s had designed it? The answer would have looked like the Testudo concept.
Designed by a young Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone, the car was first revealed at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show. Its styling shows that many car companies took notice and incorporated some of its design language into their future models.
The Testudo – Italian for turtle, was based on the humble underpinnings of the Corvair Monza, so while it may look like it is doing 200 mph standing still, in reality, its 2.4-liter air-cooled, flat-six only developed 81-hp. So speed was not its forte, but it can probably handle quite well thanks to its fully independent suspension setup that featured telescopic dampers and anti-roll bars.
This one-off prototype is fully functional. Giugiaro once even used the car to pick up his wife, Maria Teresa, from Fiat, where she worked in their design studio. He recounts being swarmed by the employees, most of whom missed their trains home because they were admiring the car.
The Testudo however was badly damaged while filming a promotional film for Shell, and resulted in the car just sitting in Bertone’s warehouse for decades. The car was thankfully restored in the ’90s when designer Luciano d’Ambrosio joined the firm. The car made its first public appearance in 30-years when it showed up at the 1996 Pebble Beach Concours event.
The car is now on sale and will be presented by RM Auctions at the Villa d’Este Concours event on May 21. It is predicted to pull in about $1-million. We will have to wait until the event to find out what it finally changed hands for.
[Source: RM Auctions]
If you like Italian exotics and rare concept cars, we’re guessing you’ll like this. It is a 1980 concept car, built by the styling studio Bertone for Lamborghini. It’s called the Athon and it will soon be going on the auction block at the Villa d’Este concourse event.
Handled by RM Auctions house, this one of a kind Lamborghini is a fully functioning vehicle. It features a 3.0-liter, V8 engine (as found in the Silhouette from that era) which produces 260 hp. Power is sent to the rear-wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.
RM Auctions predicts this model to fetch around $300,000. That is a paltry sum given its rarity factor. The car will hit the auction block on May 21.
[Source: DuPont Registry]
Maserati‘s newest sedan, rumored to be a smaller model comparable to a BMW 5-Series in size, will be built in Italy, after a deal was struck between an Italian labor union and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Workers at the factory, formerly managed by Bertone, agreed to longer shifts and shorter breaks in exchange for the new Maserati. The deal follows similar agreements negotiated by Marchionne at three Fiat plants that saw workers give concessions in exchange for the chance to build new products. The former Bertone plant currently employs 1,100 people. The new Maserati sedan is expected to be part of a product onslaught that will also see Maserati offer a crossover for the first time in the brand’s history.
[Source: Left Lane News]
It may look long and sleek like a full sized luxury saloon, but that is just a part of this concept car’s appeal. Stretching no further than the length of a BMW 3 Series, the Jaguar B99 Concept by design-house Bertone is believed to be a glimpse at what Jaguar is planning as a successor to the failed X-Type.
These renderings of the car have been leaked ahead of its official debut March 1st at the Geneva Auto Show, giving a hint at how Jaguar intends to style its new entry-level luxury sports sedan.
According to recent reports, however, this new model won’t be the first new Jag to debut, with a rumored XE compact sports car planned for next year.
Look for live photos of the B99 Concept March 1st with AutoGuide’s complete coverage of the 2011 Geneva Auto Show.
GALLERY: Jaguar B99 by Bertone
Famed design house Bertone, of Lamborghini and Alfa Romeo fame, has given Jaguar a hint of Italian flair with the B 99 concept. Slated to be unveiled at Geneva, advance pictures have leaked and given us an idea of what it’ll look like.
The B 99 is what Bertone believes a modern Jaguar should look like, complementing the dramatic lines of the XF and new XJ, with a long, flowing hood and arrow-straight lines. The leaping cat is back in its rightful place on the hood as well, and the ovoid grille suggests the XK and its sporting ancestors.
Rumors from Coventry suggest that Jaguar is preparing a rival to the BMW 3-Series, and while there’s not much known about the extent of the collaboration between Bertone and Jaguar, this could foreshadow that upcoming car.
Click the jump for another picture of what will undoubtedly be one of the showstoppers of the Geneva show.