1504199801_Bertone_Pickster The eye scans the body lines. And the car seems to change under your gaze.
The front recalls the powerful Group C berlinettas, while in three-quarter view you pick up definite hints of the speedster. Then walk round to the back and a pickup starts to emerge that is at once aggressive and transgressive. The car, of course, hasn’t moved.

And yet it has travelled a long way and taken us with it along the meandering paths of emotion into curious by-ways of versatility.

They call it the Pickster and it’s a working research model on a BMW platform on which Bertone has used a diversified palette of styling languages (the name itself says it all). Their aim here has been to stimulate and provoke, unfettered by mission objectives but still with credibility. “The Pickster”, emphasises Eugenio Pagliano, Bertone interior styling chief, “is a typical example of the emotion-inspired Bertone car.

There’s no attempt at rationalism here, just an urge to escape, to reach out of the cage of respectability”. It is of course the sort of thing the true artists of automotive design really love to do. And, as you might expect, when limitless creativity is in the driving seat, the time it takes becomes of only relative importance. “We’d had something like this in mind for ages”, says Luciano D’Ambrosio, head of exterior design at Bertone.

“But for various reasons, on other occasions, we’d opted for something more sensible, mostly because we were working to specific orders. So the dream got shelved”. That is until about three months before the Geneva Motor Show at which the Pickster study was presented. So it’s not hard to imagine how much concentrated hard work went into the project development.

It was, in fact, full-speed ahead the whole day. In less time than it takes to tell, the team came up with two totally contrasting ideas. Without too much dithering one was given the green flag and a scale ‘half model’ was swiftly mocked up for them to work on. Then came the full scale plaster model and soon after that the prototype.

Initially only a few people were involved in the project: designers, plaster model makers, prototype specialists. Towards the end though, the Pickster acquired a huge support team, many of them volunteers. “The really exciting thing”, says D’Ambrosio, “the miracle that happens with every show car is that it ends up catalysing everybody’s attention. And you even find people willing to sacrifice their free time in order to get involved and get the thing finished”.

L’articolo continua su Auto & Design n. 109