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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Stile Bertone Mantide: Part Corvette ZR1, Part Italian Model

By The Auto Insider

Meet the one-off Bertone Mantide — part Corvette ZR1, part Italian model, all sex appeal. Designed by Jason Castriota, the Mantide may even outshine his last great design, James Glickenhaus' Pininfarina P4/5. Exclusive gallery below.
Bertone Mantide
Bertone Mantide

Bertone Mantide Live
Bertone Mantide Live

Bertone Mantide Live

Bertone Mantide Live

There's something we really hate and that's covering bespoke supercars we'll never own, built specifically for the über-rich. Really though, we secretly like the Mantide. Okay fine... we love it. Designed by Jason Castriota of Pininfarina P4/5 fame, the Bertone Mantide had its coming out party today at the Shanghai Auto Show to one very surprised writer — me. I honestly thought that I'd hate this thing, thinking to myself; "Ick, another Corvette-based supercar?" But it truly is a beautiful work of art, best appreciated in the flesh.

Stile Bertone started with the best 'Vette platform yet, the 638-horsepower supercharged LS9 2009 Corvette ZR1. By creating the Mantide's body shell in carbon fiber, they were able to shave off 220 lbs from the already lightweight ZR1 allowing it to rocket to 62mph in 3.2 seconds and break police radar detectors and lasers with its 217mph top speed.
Bertone 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
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.
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.
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.
Stile Bertone invites you to follow Mantide on its year-long journey as it travels to major auto events around the globe at
[via Bertone]