(from Bertone Press
Release) Bertone presents the Barchetta concept car in
celebration of its 95th anniversary. Based on the floorpan and
mechanicals of the Fiat Panda 100 HP, the Bertone Barchetta is an
open-topped strictly two-seater sports car that calls to mind the
Italian racing cars of the 1950s. In this case, the design
explicitly cites the Fiat 500 with Barchetta bodywork created by the
young Nuccio Bertone in 1947 as a one-off for his personal use in
The decision to
celebrate the company’s 95th anniversary with a minimalist yet
sophisticated model is perfectly in keeping with the Bertone
philosophy. Since its very earliest days, the company has
interpreted cars by Italian car makers with an elegant style that
emphasises their personality and technological content, with an
unparalleled passion for sportiness.
Bertone’s choice of the
Fiat brand to celebrate its 95th anniversary was both natural and
emotional. Natural because Fiat is the Italian brand par excellence.
Emotional because the birth of Bertone as a coachbuilder of
“special” vehicles is closely linked to the history of the Fiat
brand. The historic relationship between the two companies has
lasted for more than eighty years and has generated more than fifty
highly successful models counting concept cars, one-offs and
production cars, from the 850 Spider to the X1/9, from the Ritmo
Cabrio to the Punto Cabrio.
The Bertone Barchetta is
the product of innovative styling which still manages to evoke the
historic traditions of the company. The compact, muscular body, with
its high, taut waistline, is defined by two aluminium shells joined
by a large glazed surface that crosses the doors and extends into
the bonnet join line before spawning the low, wraparound windscreen.
The first impression is
of a tensed body, characterised by fluid volumes and clean-cut
lines, creating classic, dynamic proportions. The result is a car
which, in keeping with the best Bertone traditions, is completely
above fashion; if anything, it makes its own fashion statement with
an uninhibited, futuristic style that projects the concept of the
Barchetta – a historic icon in the legend of Italian motorsports –
into the future with purposeful elegance and sophisticated irony.
The upper shell is
entirely hand beaten and polished by the master panel beaters still
working for Bertone today. This single piece of aluminium extends
like a cloak from the front tip of the bonnet to embrace the upper
part of the sides and rear arches, terminating in the tail. In the
side view, the aluminium sheet twists at the level of the rear
wheelarch, creating a muscle that melts away into the tail volume.
This is a typical Bertone styling cue, imbuing the car as a whole
with a powerful sense of sporting aggressiveness.
The lower shell
originates from a large sideskirt that tapers towards the rear
wheelarch, contributing to the sloping effect of the side.
The decision to extend the glazing to the doors was taken for both
functional and emotive reasons. Functionally, it improves
visibility, whereas emotively, the solution emphasises the sensation
of freedom that only open-topped driving can produce.
The rearward opening
scissor doors, hinged around the rear wheelarch, are a Bertone
patent. This is in keeping with the company’s historic attention to
the specific issue of accessibility, interpreted always with
surprising solutions, such as the cockpit canopy of the Testudo
(1962), the double gull wings of the Marzal (1967), the hinged
windscreen of the Stratos 0 (1970) and the large gate-like sliding
doors of the Villa (2005).
The front features LED
lights and a closed, floating grille embossed in the metalwork. The
rising bonnet line is interrupted by an air vent for the engine. The
rear volume is framed by LED lights which point up the muscular
width. At the centre of the tail volume is a small luggage
compartment, with a cover trimmed in the same leather used for the
The cabin, delimited by
the wraparound windscreen and rear roll bar and furnished with
sophisticated minimalism and minute attention to detail, is directly
inspired by the 1947 Fiat 500 Barchetta. The anatomic seats,
upholstered in natural leather, are fixed and sculpted directly into
the metalwork. A console area between the two seats includes a
stowage tray and an iPod dock.
The adjustable dash is
anchored to two exposed rails and painted in glossy white. The
instruments are essential and easy to read, with a speedometer,
gauges for water and oil temperature and a fuel gauge.
Air flow within the
cabin is assisted by two centrally mounted exposed fans, covered by
a protective grille The gearlever is machined from a solid billet of
aluminium and is hand polished. As with competition ‘Barchetta’
models, the driving control mechanisms are all exposed.
Length: 3,585 mm
Width: 1,705 mm
Height: 1,090 mm
Wheelbase: 2,300 mm
Wheels: 20” alloys
Tyres: Pirelli 225/30 R20