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​Bertone Mantide: five years later

Bertone Mantide is an attention-grabbing, cool and without doubt most controversial Italian supercar. Its appearance was preceded by long and exciting history associated with creation of single copies of miracle cars, construction of which was engaged in design Studio Bertone, located in Turin.

A quick Google search will give you few pages of precious information about this futuristic looking race car. But, unfortunately, not everything that is written about Bertone Mantide on Internet is true. Many fans of rare muscle cars have false idea about this model, Creator of which is Jason Kastriota, who held position of chief designer of Bertone.

What is main misconception? ground for it was two messages. According to first, release of 10 copies of Mantide was promised, and second concerned color of paint of car body.

Mantide, which was built on special order for English collector and Ferrari driver Dan Watkins, first painted red. Against red always spoke of Kastriot, but in this embodiment insisted Director of Bertone. When year passed after release of machine, Jason convinced Dan to repaint it in pearl white — that's how, in his opinion, and had to look Mantide. But people began to think that red and white are two different cars, and another, third in their opinion, was seen couple of times in Dubai.

And why there was message about planned release of 10 machines? Yes, there were rumors. After few months, after Dan got Mantide, he wanted his copy to be only one, unique. And that no one else has such sports car was not. But between 2009 and 2010, it was planned to mass-produce an exclusive Italian sports car in Nuremberg, Germany, but plans did not come true. Something is likely to change in future, as Jason has intention to bring Mantide to North European race track "Ring" and experience it in 20 km ring race.
And now there is no need to search Internet for answer to request: "price Bertone Mantide", as machine is not sold and is not going even under order. But earlier there were rumors that car is allegedly going to sell for $ 2 million.

Technical parameters

Although most fans of exclusive supercars probably know almost everything about Bertone Mantide, someone may still be surprised by fact that it is based on C6 Corvette ZR1 sample 2009. This famous brutal 6.2-liter super charged muscle car from Chevrolet with V8 engine is famous for fact that it can go round Nordschleife track in 7 minutes 26.4 seconds — faster than any serial road car. And now he still feels good in top 10 fastest cars, it's fact.

The ZR1 has lightweight aluminum chassis, huge power and great ability to "stick" to road, that is, great base for lighter, more powerful and more aerodynamically efficient Mantide.

But in Bertone first wanted to build Mantide based on Alfa Romeo. But built on basis of ZR1, it is much faster than it would be if final choice fell on Alfa. ZR1 initially has very light weight for its size — 1544 kg. Bertone specialists were able to reduce weight by another 110 kg, thanks to use of lighter materials. For example, each side panel is manufactured by Belco Aria from high quality carbon fiber.

As for equipment and interior decoration, and there everywhere you can see carbon. It is made of lightest dashboard and special chairs. But you can't see safety cage. However, this does not mean that it does not exist: you can not save on security. traditional set of measuring instruments has been replaced by an LCD screen with lot of Alcantara leather around it.

Through transparent hood cover you can see "heart" Mantide — powerful 6.2-liter Chevy V8. This is an amazing engine: Eaton supercharger delivers air to cylinders, passing it through two separate intermediate coolers of "water-air" type. As result, power of LS9 reaches 638 HP (476 kW) and torque — 819 Nm. Although it is no longer necessary to increase power, LS9 is able to add about 40 HP thanks to exhaust system Capristo. As result, engine power reaches up to 680 HP.

It is interesting that despite fantastic engine performance, most attractive in Mantide is its unusual body.

Controversial car design

The design of this sports car has always caused lot of discussion. Probably this tradition will continue in future. For this reason, Bertone Mantide is either very pleasant or causes rejection. Jason always remembered this, which is why he was not surprised when plasticine concept, first demonstrated at International automobile exhibition in Shanghai, caused mixed reaction. At that time, Mantide's design was introduced in its early version, when brutality of supercar geometry was still in its infancy.

Developing concept, Jason Kastriota focused on aerodynamic efficiency of car, carefully considering shape of each centimeter of body. Unique "flying buttresses" replace rear wing on trunk lid. They help to create turbulence, which accelerates air stream, tending to rear spoiler. This increases downforce, but does not increase friction force of wheels on road surface.

The functional approach to design has resulted in friction coefficient of 0.29 Mantide (ZR1 0.38), but downforce is comparable to that of supercars. Aerobalance is also neutral — 50/50 from axis to axis, and leads to excellent stability and predictability of behavior of machine at high speeds (do not forget that Bertone Mantide can accelerate to 354 km/h and above. wheels of this supercar are exactly same as ZR1 — 19?10" and 20?12", their design has not changed and remained same as exhibition models Bertone 70 - 80-ies.

Five years have passed since Mantide's debut. During this time, many things have changed at exhibition grounds. In design of many cars can be seen same geometric shapes. question is: is Mantide really much ahead of its time? Has rest of world managed to catch up with Mantide, or has form recognition melted our hearts? Five years ago, many people took this car with hostility, but in recent years, their opinion slowly but surely changed 180 degrees.

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