January 15, 2020, in the American city of Scottsdale, Arizona, an auction of rare and exotic cars will be held. One of the lots declared made in Italy in a single copy of the Bertone Mantide coupe with a very unusual design.
Mantide is one of the unrealized small-scale projects of the Bertone studio: it was planned to release the car with a circulation of 10 copies, but only one exhibition model saw the light. The project, originally marked with the letter M, was developed by the famous American designer Jason Castriota, now working at Ford (a freshly baked Mach-E electric crossover is his creation). The idea was to combine the simple and reliable filling of an American sports car with an Italian body in the characteristic chopped Bertone style.
The donor of components and assemblies was the then Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 generation C6. From it, Project M inherited an unusual suspension with transverse composite springs, a powerful 6.2-liter compressor V8 LS9 (647 hp, 819 Nm) and a 6-speed “mechanics” Tremec. Driving wheels, of course, rear. The brakes are carbon-ceramic with 6-piston calipers at the front and 4-piston rear. The Italian company Danisi Engineering was responsible for the design part of the project, and the Bertone studio was responsible for the body with exterior panels made of carbon fiber.
Subsequently, the car began to be called the Chevrolet Corvette Mantide or Bertone Mantide, its official premiere took place at the 2009 Shanghai Motor Show. The word Mantide does not have a direct translation from English, but there is a similar spelling word mantid, it translates as a praying mantis – there really is something from this insect in the design of the front of Mantide. Mantide’s interesting features also include the rear hover racks that Kastriota had previously tested on the Ferrari 599 when he worked at Pininfarina Studios, a transparent hood section, upward-looking doors, and unique design wheels.
After the premiere, Mantide went to the famous Italian speed track Nardo to measure technical characteristics. Thanks to the lightweight carbon fiber body, they turned out to be better than the original Corvette ZR1: up to 60 mph (96.56 km / h) Mantide accelerates in 3.2 s, top speed – 350 km / h.
The car flashed many times at various festivals and exhibitions, after which Kastriota decided to modify it slightly: the original red body color was replaced with white, and the Pioneer’s head appeared in the cabin instead of the standard G-em multimedia system, heading the high-class audio components Focal, which are sculpturally exposed to show in the trunk.
And now, almost ten years after these metamorphoses, Mantide will finally go on a free voyage – the car will be sold under the hammer. Since the project is unique, it is difficult to say how much it can cost, but Mantide will certainly find its new owner.
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