'Stretched' A-M Rapide by Bertone

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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.

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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.

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