Geneva 2010: Bertone Pandion
After a two-year absence, Bertone returned to Geneva with a new and highly dramatic concept car to celebrate Alfa Romeo’s centenary.
Based on an Alfa 8C Competizione, the ‘Pandion’ takes its name from a bird of prey (and at least some of its inspiration from BMW’s Vision Efficient Dynamics concept).
This might be a concept car, pure and simple, with no plans to bring it to production, but it does suggest a possible new ‘face’ for Alfa Romeo as it develops into the next decade… and what a face it would be. While the rear-hinged scissor doors, more than 3.6m high when opened and creating instant impact even in the cave of wonders that is the Geneva show, resemble the wings of a bird of prey, the concept car’s face is equally hawk-like – and every bit as theatrical.
The rear is no less creative, with a “striking array of crystal-like blades which are intertwined in various widths and lengths, protruding out into space”. The tail-lights are integrated into the ‘organic’ tangle of the blades – and disappear when turned off.
According to Bertone, the Pandion’s design suggests an interpretation of the Alfa Romeo badge, where “the man-eating snake depicted there represents the attraction of elegance (what we call the Skin), and the aristocratic cross symbolises the rigour of rational thought, the technological aspect (what we call the Frame)”. Whatever the explanation, the Pandion is a powerful and memorable statement that Bertone is back on the scene.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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