Car news

26 February 2013

Bertone reveals one-off Aston Rapide

476bhp shooting brake revealed ahead of Geneva motor show debut. You like?

Vijay Pattni
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What do you possibly gift someone who is 100 years old? Perhaps some comfortable shoes, a new pacemaker or maybe even the beige OAP-mobile the chaps made on the show last night?

Thankfully, Aston Martin isn't actually a person, and can therefore be presented with something that doesn't need a squeaky-toy brake. Bertone, keen to give something special to its long-time friend AM to celebrate its centenary, has built this one-off shooting brake set for the Geneva Motor Show. Welcome friends, to the Aston Martin Rapide Bertone Jet 2+2.

It follows the 2004 Vanquish-based ‘Jet 2' concept (also a shooting brake), and marks 60 years of cooperation between the Italians and Aston. It all kicked off way back in '53 when they rolled out a pair of one-offs based around the DB2/4.

Underneath the Jet 2+2, the Italian coachbuilder has left the chassis, running gear and engine completely unchanged, so it's still a rear-wheel-drive, 476bhp 6.0-litre V12. But on top, well, that's quite a change. It was commissioned by an Aston Martin collector - who took part personally in the development of the car - celebrating "the identity of AM through Bertone".

Bertone has bent the back pillars and moulded them into the back wheel arches, along with raising the rear and creating that shooting brake outline. Looks lovely, don't you agree? Inside it's still a full four-seater, and those rear seats can actually be folded down which - in combination with an electronically controlled sliding cover - creates a van-like load capacity.

The wood upholstery has been refined with glazed aluminium while you'll also find two-tone leather trimming, Bertone referencing "a custom-tailored car just like a good dressmaking cloth".

And they certainly know how to make a custom-tailored car; there's no forgetting the 1961 DB4 GT, easily one of the prettiest cars ever built, which also took the name ‘Jet'. This new one therefore has rather attractive shoes to fill - we think it does so rather well, though it would have been nice to see the revised 565bhp V12 from the new Vanquish in service here, because, well, poweeerrr. But, it's still a handsome thing. Like it, Internet?

Tags: aston martin, bertone, rapide, shooting brake, geneva 13, rapide shooting brake

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