Start 2020 by rocking the last real Bertone sports car
Want a genuinely fast Castriota design without having to morph into James Glickenhaus? Just grab the Mantide, the C6 ZR1-based one-off that was supposed to spawn a 10-unit run back in 2009.
Some may not approve the Bertone Mantide’s looks, but a few more factors need to be taken into consideration when discussing its design. (Which by the way, I like—a lot.) The first is that Stile Bertone had already been in huge financial trouble for a while by the time this car hit the show floors. Layoffs followed soon after, and by the end of 2014, Bertone as we knew it was gone, having kept the flame alive for 102 years in the heart of the car business.
While Bertone did manage to create a few concept cars after the Mantide, they were just that—concepts, which turned out to be fruitless. The Mantide was not only driveable, it was also lighter, faster, and more aerodynamic than the Corvette ZR1 on which it was based.
Another plus for the Mantide is that this unintentional Bertone swansong was designed by Jason Castriota. At Pininfarina, Castriota was responsible for 2005’s Maserati Birdcage 75th concept, Glickenhaus’ Enzo-based Ferrari P4/5, the equally nutty one-off Ferrari 612 Kappa, and as far as production cars are concerned, the Ferrari 599 and the 2007 Maserati GranTurismo, discontinued a month ago.
Castriota’s portfolio includes at least two great proposals that went nowhere. Having created the Mantide for Bertone, he later went on to pen the SSC Tuatara, a striking American supercar that’s been “coming next year” since 2011. Castriota also connected with Saab to create the ambitious PhoeniX concept, which was presented just in time for the Swedish brand’s demise, by way of the General Motors bankruptcy in 2009.
Back to the Mantide at hand, though. This sole finished example left the halls of Bertone as a red car dubbed the Chevrolet Corvette Mantide, only to be resprayed soon after in the Bianco Fuji seen here.
What never changed, though, is the supercharged 6.2-liter LS9’s output of 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque, and the fact that at Nardò, this car achieved a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 218 mph. Fast for 2009, and still fast in 2020.
With its six-speed manual and fancy interior, the Mantide can be your weapon against your neighbor’s Viper ACR-based Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale by Zagato. All you need to do is place the winning bid at Worldwide Auctioneers’ Scottsdale event on January 15, 2020.