|Bertone Nuccio Concept|
Its name pays homage to the past and represents a challenge to the future. It's called Nuccio, after the unforgettable master of Italian style, the concept car that Bertone will present in a "world premiere" at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show to celebrate its Centennial. The Nuccio is an "extreme", fully functional sports car, which develops the Bertone genetic code with an evolutionary flair: a 480 hp, 4.3-liter V8 mid-engine "berlinetta".
The car has a low and muscular, mono-volume architecture, (length 4800 mm, width 1950 mm, height 1220 mm), which coherently refers back to some of the most historical Bertone concept cars of the past, true milestones of car design: the Alfa Romeo Carabo (1968), the Lancia Stratos Zero (1970) and the Lamborghini Countach (1971). At the same time, by pushing the mono-volume concept to new extremes, the Nuccio develops an unique form language that strongly projects it towards the future.
The Nuccio was born under the Bertone brand because, thanks to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity called Centennial, the company wanted to emphasize and reaffirm its' independence by expressing a "pure" concept which is not bound by any other brand identity of any other car manufacturer.
The Nuccio concept car is the pinnacle of all the events in the year-long Bertone Centennial agenda. After the Geneva Auto Show, the car will be exhibited at the Beijing Auto Show (April) and the Italian National Automobile Museum in Turin (May) where the official Bertone Centennial exhibition will open with a inaugural gala evening, and will remain open all summer. Bertone will also sponsor the Automotive News Europe annual convention of (June), which will host the Nuccio on display. And finally, both the Concorso Italiano at Laguna Seca in the USA (August), and a special edition of Florence Uniques Special Ones (September), two events which bring together the most important collectors worldwide with their spectacular cars, will be fully dedicated to the Bertone Centennial this year.
A tribute and a challenge, but first and foremost a promise. The promise Mrs. Lilli Bertone made to her husband Nuccio, on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show in 1997, she promised that she would forever carried on the company in his name. Today that promise is fulfilled and renewed. Lilli Bertone, has brought Bertone strongly into the new century with tenacity and courage. The Nuccio concept car, which Lilli strongly supported and followed at every step of its realization, has been given the task of carrying the moral legacy of the Master into the new millennium, confirming Bertone once again among the international leaders of car design.
The spectacular Nuccio offers a powerful form language to properly expresses the company's well-known DNA. A century old DNA which is has always anticipated the flow of change. A dynamic and courageous DNA, constantly able to reinvent itself, influenced by the challenges of economic upheavals and market globalization, maintaining its' role as a global leader of "made in Italy".
The powerful form language of the Nuccio, conceived by the creative team led by Design Director Mike Robinson, expresses the evolution of the "cab forward", mono-volume concept, the advanced, integrated greenhouse which Bertone invented back in 1967 with the Carabo, then refined in 1970 with the Stratos Zero, and finally put into production in 1973 with the Lamborghini Countach. "Cab forward" architecture means that the passenger cabin of the car is moved forward to make room for the central engine, facilitating the integration of the hood, windshield, and trunk into a single gesture. The wedge-shaped body side of the Nuccio is enhanced by a clever interplay of concave and convex volumes which give the impression of flexed muscles.
The visual element with most resembles the Stratos Zero is easily the large, tapered windshield, which unlike any other automobile, is narrow at the base and wider above, slightly trapezoidal. This choice has generated a remarkable aesthetic solution, with the two A pillars, which begin at the headlights and move rearward, framing the windshield. The geometric layout of the "upsidedown" windshield pushes the A pillars outboard at the top of the windshield, creating two, wide flaps that wrap over the B pillar where the side air intakes feed the powerful, mid-mounted engine. This graphic choice refers directly to the famous Stratos Zero that designers like to call the "eyes of the crocodile."
Another Stratos Zero characteristic found in the Nuccio is called "twin peaks", reinterpreted with a futuristic twist. In side view, the first peak is the visible as the highest point of the roof, where the inclined front face up meets the inclined rear face, and is positioned forward compared to the middle of the car. The second peak is behind the first, forming the famous "eye of the crocodile", an area of the roof rails which stick up above the roof of the car, and also protrudes out over the side glass creating a sort of eyebrow typical in reptiles. The visual balance of these two peaks, generates a strong dynamic tension throughout the body of the car, optically projecting it forward.
Other details on the Nuccio have nothing to do with the Stratos Zero. The extraordinary roof on the Nuccio for example was inspired by avant-garde tensile structure technology used in modern architecture. The first time ever seen in the automotive industry, the Nuccio tensile structure roof is lighter and stronger than traditional automotive chassis based on the antique pillars and beams, and offers an innovative alternative for the future. To enhance the importance of this technological innovation, the roof is painted in bright orange, treated with a high-tech transparent coat called "sirallico" blue, creating a high contrast with the gray car body color which is also treated with a high- tech transparent coat, "sirallico" bronze. Orange was Nuccio Bertone's favorite color. A strong color, a symbol of creativity, which also characterizes the color on the ceiling of the Bertone corporate headquarters.
Clearly inspired by organic worlds, the "viral" graphics seen in the car, both inside and out, add a futuristic touch to the Nuccio: the air intakes located on the front bumper and lower rocker panels, side and rear air outlets positioned strategically around the engine compartment, even the seats and the interior door panels carry the same "viral" graphics. Their goal is to evolve traditional automotive graphics, which have typically geometric, overly predictable shapes.
The LED exterior lights are thin horizontal "light bars" which extend across the entire width of the front and rear ends of the car. Both headlights and taillights are divided into three distinct zones. The front lights have two lateral areas for traditional functions such as running lights, low beam, high beam and turn indicators, while the central area serves two functions, DRL (Daytime Running Lights), front brake lights which has been patented by Bertone. The rear lights also have two lateral zones for traditional functions like running lights, brake lights, and turn indicators, while the central area doubles the running lights. Both front and rear "light bars" carry the Bertone name with three-dimensional, backlit aluminum letters. When the "light bars" are turned off they look like "chrome bars".
In terms of preventive safety, Nuccio presents a novelty: the front brake light, patented by Bertone. When the car is braking, the brightness of the front DRL increases drastically, signaling to everyone, even in the front view, that the vehicle is slowing down. This device, if it should one day find industrial applications, would tell pedestrians in crosswalks if the vehicle is braking or not.
The interior of the Nuccio is designed with elegant minimalism, like an extreme sports car. A classic layout from super sport, the center console starts with a tall armrest and angles up towards the instrument panel in an inclined plane where all the controls (climate, radio, etc.) are installed. The red "start / stop" switch is prominently featured in the center console. The automatic "triptronic" transmission, located under the steering wheel, eliminated the need for a physical shift lever on the center console. The instruments are definitely analog, with a large central tachometer for race oriented drivers, all in the same color as the car interior, anthracite and orange.
The anatomical sport seats are done in bright orange leather, echoing the exterior colors, with aggressive inserts in anthracite gray. The seats are equipped with innovative holes under the foam which offers much better comfort with respect to a seat with the traditional foam. These micro holes are visibly indicated by the "viral" graphics on the seats and door panels. Each passenger is protected not only by the anatomical sport seats, but also by the "Y" shaped aluminum structures on the door panels and center tunnel, on both sides of the passengers, designed for maximum structural strength for the interior cabin.
Given the exterior design of the Nuccio, rear visibility is generated by an external rear view camera that projects the view of the road onto a 26 " LCD screen which is mounted behind the seats where the normal rear window is usually installed. The screen is visible from the driver via a traditional, central rear-view mirror hanging from the windshield. The LCD screen replaces the rear window of the classic two-seater, mid-engine sports car, which inevitably suffer from bad rear visibility. This is the first application of "virtual reality" in the automobile, allowing the driver to see the road perfectly even if the vehicle architecture does not allow it. Today, the term "virtual reality" refers to the reproduction of synthetic worlds, navigable by one or more individuals in real time. Soon we will see exponential technologic growth in virtual reality applications, where individuals will be able to surf parallel "real" worlds and not just "synthetic" worlds. This VR application in the Nuccio refers to the second generation of virtual reality, making it possible to see "real" worlds from various points of view (POV), unreachable without this technology. In fact, you can select the desired point of view on the screen behind the driver, including a conventional rear view mirror POV, a lower parking POV, even a view of the engine, transforming the big LCD screen into a transparent rear window for those who want to simply admire their 500hp engine! As modern navigation screens in cars change from day to night conditions, Nuccio's big LCD screen will also lowers the light intensity at night to suit the physiological needs of the driver's eyes. In this way there is no difference between a glass rear window and a virtual reality screen, except for the fact that the screen can offer many different points of view while the rear window it offers only one, often with poor rear visibility in cars of this type.
Company press release, last updated on March 09, 2012
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