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article imageItaly’s Stile Bertone and the World’s Ugliest Corvette?

By M Dee Dubroff     May 1, 2009 in Lifestyle
Car enthusiasts everywhere consider the Corvette a classic, but whoever would have thought that the distinction of being the world’s ugliest version of the auto super star would be a coveted prize? Read on and… vroom!
According to news sources, Jason Castriota of the Italian coach building company, Stile Bertone, has created a new bug-like super car based on the sleek and unforgettable Corvette ZR-1. The Mantide, which is Italian for mantis (but not the praying variety), retains the renowned super-Vette’s 638-horsepower supercharged V-8 engine, but the gift-wrap is funky to say the very least. Its creator claims that all the “unsightly” additions improve aerodynamic efficiency, enabling the Mantide to reach a top speed of 217 and cut its 0-60 time to a mere 3.2 seconds! (Count me out, please!)
American-born Jason Castriota is his own man, so to speak, and draws his inspiration from the strangest of sources. He already broke the creative mold with his work on the Ferrari P4/5. It is because Stile Bertone encourages its designers to be pioneers that Castriota left his eight-year tenure at Pinifarina.
In his own words:
“The Mantide is definitely going to be a provocative car. . . People are either going to love it or they are going to hate it. And that’s great. That’s what I wanted to design, and I love it because it means people care. It means you’re bringing forth emotion.”
It is likely that Jason has a point there, as Corvette purists are certain to shed genuine tears upon viewing the distorted chassis of their beloved automobile classic. Still, the slick 0.298 drag coefficient is sure to quickly mend a few broken hearts.
The Mantide is slated to make an appearance in Italy at the Villa d’Este before heading to the U.S. Castriota is convinced of its success and went on to say:
“Today, all automotive brands must transform to thrive in the new economy, but for Stile Bertone this boundary pushing is actually part of our DNA.”
Well, here’s to a new gene pool that hopefully respects the past as it keeps a hungry eye on the future!
More about Corvette, Auto industry, Stile bertone, Mantide
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