In an automotive world characterised by bland aesthetic cautiousness, there are still those capable of visions that go beyond the commonplace. With its Pandion, a futuristic 2+2 coupé, Bertone surprises, fascinates and seduces with original, sinuous forms that pay homage to the centenary of Alfa Romeo.
With a history dating back 75 years, the collaboration between Bertone and Alfa has spawned thirteen concepts and ten production models – from the astonishing B.A.T. concepts of the 1950s and the Gulietta SS, which was also built by the Turin coachbuilder, to prototypes such as the Carabo and the GT coupé, which is still in production today. “The suggestion from Fiat that we should create a prototype to celebrate Alfa’s centenary was therefore received very enthusiastically”, says Mike Robinson, director of design for Bertone since last August, when Nuccio Bertone’s widow Lilli regained control over the company.
In keeping with Bertone tradition, it was decided to invest resources in a running prototype. With the project beginning in October, with the intention of taking part in the Geneva motor show this March, the development times were astonishingly short.
Nonetheless, the design had to convey a strong message expressing the creative capabilities of Bertone and the traditions of the Alfa brand. “The first thing we did was to decide to avoid retro references and look decidedly forward”, continues Robinson. “It isn’t easy to make a good futuristic design. You need to draw the line between banality and taking it too far. Nuccio Bertone was a master in this: there are fascinating cars in our museum that still look fresh after forty years”.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 181