'Stretched' A-M Rapide by Bertone

Italian design studio Bertone has produced some astonishing show cars over the years - including the original Countach - but this one comes close to even the iconic Lamborghini in terms of sheer dramatic presence.

This is the one-off Aston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake concept, specially made for this year's Geneva motor show, opening next week.

Aston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake by BertoneAston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake by BertoneAston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake by BertoneAston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake by Bertone2004 Bertone Jet 2 Concept2004 Bertone Jet 2 Concept2004 Bertone Jet 2 Concept

Interestingly, the Bertone code name for this extraordinary estate car is Jet 2+2, because it picks up on the styling cues of the 2004 Jet 2 concept, a stylish but impractical shooting brake based on the then-new Vanquish.

The new concept celebrates 60 years of collaboration between Aston Martin and Bertone; it's based on the standard Rapide, not the new Rapide S, and shares that model's chassis and drivetrain.


Then it gets interesting: deeper, tilted C pillars meld into wider, stronger rear wheel-arches, giving the concept a vague rear-end resemblance to the Volkswagen Scirocco (relax, signor Bertone, that's a compliment - the only thing around with a sexier butt than a Scirocco is Jennifer Lopez), while the steeply raked tailgate is underlined by a full-width LE strip.

Inside, Bertone has resisted the temptation to go overboard on electronics; instead it's all about luxury, with aluminium, exotic woods and two-tone leather trim cosseting the driver and three passengers in individual chairs, as well as significantly more headroom for rear-seat passengers than in the standard model.

The concept is also a runner; the rear seats even fold flat to increase boot space.