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Thread: Bertone BAT 11 concept

  1. #1
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    Bertone BAT 11 concept

    Design Development: Bertone BAT 11 concept

    by Nick Hull

    16 Jun 2008

    La Sip nightclub Geneva, March 2008: the undoubted star of the Geneva Motor Show makes a surprise debut, not at the show but rather to an audience of the world's top car designers. For one American dentist, it was the best evening of his life.

    The BAT 11 concept certainly had an unusual debut, but one that typifies the tale of this amazing car. The American in question is Gary Kaberle, who owned the original 1955 BAT 9 car for over twenty-eight years. Kaberle came across the BAT 9 on a used car lot in 1963. "I was 17 years old, I'd just passed my driving test and I fell in love with it. I had to borrow $500 from my mother, $500 from my grandmother to buy it, and it initially served as an attraction at my parents little amusement park in Michigan".

    Over the next twenty years, as his dentistry business flourished, Kaberle gradually restored the car and showed it at concours events throughout the states. Tragedy struck in late 1990 when he was forced to sell the car to pay for his wife's medical treatment for cancer. She died two years later. Spool forward thirteen years and one finds Kaberle nearing retirement and wanting to build a reincarnation of the car to help raise awareness of breast cancer. He therefore approached Bertone in November 2006 to design a successor to honor Debbie, his late wife.

    According to Bertone Design Director David Wilkie the idea to do a new BAT had been discussed and rejected before but Kaberle's approach provided a unique impetus for the company. "This is different. It's a contemporary look at what could be a BAT, with contemporary surface language" explains Wilkie.

    Based on a modified Alfa Romeo 8C platform, the prototype was done to a tight time schedule. The project was thrown open as a studio competition in September 2007, with all the designers contributing sketches for six weeks. A wide range of themes were explored, from pure reinterpretations of the original car to more aggressive ‘Transformer-like' blocks with retractable fins, not unlike something from the Batmobile movie of 1989. During November, three ¼ scale clay models were made and shortly afterwards the model of designer Valery Muller was chosen for the final exterior theme. "In fact, we chose the most extreme design" says Wilkie "Because we felt a Bertone should be dramatic". In order to prove the design wasn't simply a wild styling exercise but continued the spirit of the original ‘Berlinetta Aerodynamica Tecnica' cars designed by Franco Scaglione, Muller's ¼ scale clay model was also tested in the windtunnel at Turin Polytechnic and achieved an impressive Cd figure of 0.27.

    The project progressed with regular contact not only with Gary Kaberle but also Alfa Romeo. "At the end of the day it's an Alfa Romeo and it's important that the company were happy with what it represents in terms of the brand" says Wilkie. In December, the scale model was scanned, surfaced and adjusted using Alias and then milled out directly as a 1:1 epowood model with full interior. Talking to CDN, Valery Muller explained "Most of the design had been done on the ¼ scale clay model. At full-size, we just had to adjust the rear wings to fit with the overall proportions of the car, and we worked out the little winglets in front of and behind the rear wheels".
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    Regarding the theme of the design Muller continues "It was important to keep the covered front wheels - otherwise it just isn't a BAT car. In the sketching period I had this cool closed sculpture and I ‘just' had to find a way to guarantee the car could steer..! We devised a system whereby the front fender sections would move by small pistons linked to the steering. The fenders open in ‘y-axis', parallel to the body, and the faster the car goes the less the front wheels need space to steer".
    Outer layer of spokes are carbon fiber

    Fellow designer Gwen Pennarun was tasked with developing the interior of the car and also came up with a neat update for the original Borrani wire wheels. These feature a double layer of twisted spokes, the outer ones made in carbon fiber and bolted to the main rim. For the interior, he came up with a simple and elegantly-furnished 2-seat cockpit, with the dashboard designed in wood that curls under the instrument binnacle on the driver's side. For the Geneva model, the interior was a milled mock-up but since then it is being fully developed.

    Although the car was planned to be unveiled on the Bertone stand at the Geneva show, financial difficulties meant the company had to cancel at the last minute. Instead, BAT 11 was unveiled before an audience of 400 of the world's top designers at the AutoDesignNight reception at La Sip nightclub. While others have since hinted this was an undeservedly obscure launch, it was in fact a very fitting way to present the car in front of an audience who fully appreciated the significance of this project. To unveil a design as wild as this before an audience of your fellow peers is pretty daunting to say the least, but the fact that it won unanimous praise and acted as a centerpiece for the evening was a triumph for Dave Wilkie and his team.

    Since that evening in early March, there's been a lot of work to do. Kaberle wanted a running car for this summer's Pebble Beach concours but the complexity of the design, together with the desire for the highest possible quality means this one-off will need more time to complete. The moving front wheel fenders are tricky to engineer, as are the butterfly doors but, according to Wilkie, these challenges are an ideal opportunity to showcase the talents and capabilities of Bertone and how it could make similar one-offs in future.

    Car design is a passionate business. The combination here of a wonderful back story, combined with the difficulties of a car company in turmoil, up against tight timescales is almost pure Spielberg. And that's exactly who's interested in making a feature film of this moving tale. A teenager falling in love with a fabulous car, risking all to buy it, growing up to become successful and owning the car for nearly thirty years then having to sell it to for his wife's tragic illness is poignant stuff. A more fitting conclusion to this project than a Hollywood movie is hard to imagine and CDN looks forward to the ongoing progress of this project with huge interest.

    Source: cardesignnews.com
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    Where are the pictures from?
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    sorry but i only like the model
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    i just took a bunch of pics of the original a few days ago.... they'll be posted when i return home from vacation
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    Where are the pictures from?
    See post #2.

    BTW, now I've uploaded more than 1000 MB worth of images, of which 99% are in the Hide-Out. Yay! Actually I'm just glad that the barrier was broken by this very unique car, makes it more special.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revo View Post
    BTW, now I've uploaded more than 1000 MB worth of images, of which 99% are in the Hide-Out. Yay! Actually I'm just glad that the barrier was broken by this very unique car, makes it more special.
    how can you know that? just curious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonOfTheDead View Post
    how can you know that? just curious.
    I think it's in your User CP. Statistics or something. Probably.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    I think it's in your User CP. Statistics or something. Probably.
    ...nope...never mind...
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonOfTheDead View Post
    ...nope...never mind...
    It's in User CP > Attachmanets. Apparently I've uploaded 1.44 GB...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    It's in User CP > Attachmanets. Apparently I've uploaded 1.44 GB...
    oh thanks
    I found it... 1.79 gb btw...
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    It maxes out at 2gb, so you don't have much more to see. I have no clue how much I've uploaded, space-wise. I guess however much 26,000+ pictures take up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    It maxes out at 2gb, so you don't have much more to see. I have no clue how much I've uploaded, space-wise. I guess however much 26,000+ pictures take up.
    So, to upload more picture I guess I should delete some old ones...but, do you mean the limit is 2 gb just for a not paying member?

    I was thinking to become a supporting member, btw, even before this update...
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonOfTheDead View Post
    So, to upload more picture I guess I should delete some old ones...but, do you mean the limit is 2 gb just for a not paying member?

    I was thinking to become a supporting member, btw, even before this update...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revo View Post
    Don't think, act now!

    don't worry my time is near...
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