One of Nuccio Bertone’s great virtues was his courageous trail-blazing, his willingness to let his designers explore new possibilities in the attempt to stay a step ahead of the field. Even today, a Bertone-designed body is unmistakable and the work they do in Caprie, outside Turin, remains future-oriented at all times. Even in this nostalgic year when they celebrate the firm’s ninety years in the business.

To celebrate its past, the prototype the Turin firm has chosen to present in Geneva has its sights firmly set on the future with an anticipation of what that future will bring. The current issue of Auto & Design looks at the Novanta’s creation in its cover story.

The SKF drive-by-wire system that disappears inside the door panelling on the driver’s side of the car when not in use represents the hub of the design developed by Stile Bertone in Caprie.

The Novanta is a Bertone interpretation of a luxury saloon for Saab and has a distinctly Saab look about it, especially at the front. In fact, the Swedish firm supplied the floorpan that formed the starting point for the working prototype. The Novanta is 4500 mm long and is criss-crossed with an intricate web of electronic gadgets that meet every imaginable need for communication with the outside world as well as supplying an impressive level of comfort.

“The essence of the Novanta”, remarks Stile Bertone’s director Roberto Piatti, “is a use of design tailored to what’s available on the technology front. As always, this prototype is no mere exercise in design, but an exploration of future possibilities in a category of particular appeal to Bertone, the luxury saloon”.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 132

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