The recent announcement of Bertone’s bankruptcy could possibly spell the end of a yet undisclosed cooperative effort between the Munich automaker and the Italian design firm. Bertone, who has penned some of the automotive world’s most iconic shapes such as the Lancia Stratos and the Lamborghini Countach, was to produce a concept for introduction at this year’s Villa d’Este in late May.
The concept was said to be the first to integrate an innovative ingress/egress via a motorized system that eliminated traditional doors and used instead “floating bodywork” similar to how the M4 Convertible uses a motorized system to lift much of the rear bodywork to allow trunk access. A highly modernized interior was said to integrate Bertone’s innovative Zero-G Illuminated Technogel® Seats that provide high-strength, calculated flexibility and low weight. Also present was a futuristic display system that when unpowered has the appearance of brushed aluminum but during operation provided control to the car’s functionality. Believed to be both tactile and to use gestures similar to an Apple iPad, the execution is said to be achieved through use of an interactive projection system using components from BMW’s heads up display unit.
While much info on the new project is still under wraps, the project was rumored to be based on the BMW X1 Chassis but offering extended seating for additional passengers and an innovative removable roof section for open air motoring. It is believed that Bertone was to produce two vehicles, one for prominent display on the concours lawn and another fully functional version for transporting journalists and their luggage from local airports to the event. The vehicle is rumored to offer seating for up to nine passengers and accommodate their luggage via an integrated roof storage system. No name has been provided for the concept but it is believed to be a combination of the chassis name and the seating capacity.