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Bertone GB110: The rebirth is a limited series hypercar

Bertone GB110

The Bertone brand is reborn from its ashes and its second life begins with a limited series hypercar: the Bertone GB110, which in its initials celebrates the 110th anniversary of the founding of the company, created by Giovanni Bertone in Turin and which became famous in world for having signed some of the most beautiful sports cars after the Second World War onwards.

Only 33 Bertone GB110.

Relaunched by the new owners, the brothers Mauro and Jean-Franck Ricci, owners of Ideactive, the revived Bertone wants to establish itself as a “coachbuilder” of exclusive models in small series: the Bertone GB110 will be built in just 33 units and will be the first of a series projects dedicated to those who will be able to appreciate the combination of tradition, technological innovation and style, while going against the current in terms of mechanics. The new sports car is equipped with a traditional powertrain, devoid of any form of electrification and powered by synthetic fuels.

1,100 HP on synthetic fuel.

The mechanics are precisely one of the prominent elements of the project: the engine, of still unknown origin, is capable of reaching 8,390 rpm and delivering 1,100 HP and 1,100 Nm. Thanks to the collaboration with Select Fuel, a company specialized in the field of alternative fuels, this endothermic unit can be powered by a synthetic fuel derived from plastic waste and push the Bertone GB110 from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.79 seconds, from 0 to 200 km/h in 6.79, from 0 at 300 km/h in 14 and to guarantee it a maximum speed of 380 km/h: values made possible also thanks to the work of containing the weight, which stands at an altitude of 1,520 kg. The unit is combined with an all-wheel drive scheme and a seven-speed gearbox, on whose behalf more precise information has not been disclosed. A choice that concerns various constructive aspects of the car: regarding the chassis, Bertone limited itself to indicating that it will use double wishbone suspension with four-way adjustable shock absorbers (with 255/30 21″ front tires and 335/35 22″ rear ) and that the dynamic tuning will be handled “by a German manufacturer”.

Between historical suggestions and innovation.

Style is obviously the key element around which both the project and the relaunch of the brand revolve. The Bertone GB110 has the typical look of mid-engined sports cars and in its forms it recalls some elements of concept cars and famous models of the Turin coachbuilder. Here we find vertically opening doors, with a glazed lower area inspired by the 1967 Lamborghini Marzal concept, and strongly geometric elements that recall the side panels of the Alfa Romeo Carabo (1968) and Lancia Stratos Zero (1970). On the front and at the rear, on the other hand, we find the main aerodynamic elements and LED light clusters that give the car further personality. Bertone has confirmed that it has developed the lines based on technical and aerodynamic needs, using only stylistic elements necessary for the specific function for which they were designed.

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As Lamborghini approached the twilight of the 1980s, it faced the daunting task of succeeding the iconic Jalpa. The result was the internal project P140, a venture that transcended the mere replacement of a model; it was an ambitious exploration of design, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of the unmistakable Lamborghini spirit.

The Need for a New Icon

With the Jalpa bowing out in 1988, Lamborghini found itself in a market where German and Japanese competitors vied for attention in the same price range. The P140 wasn’t just meant to fill a void; it was a statement – a bold proclamation that Lamborghini would not only match the performance of its rivals but surpass them with an unparalleled fusion of speed and distinctive style.

To bring this vision to life, Lamborghini collaborated with Carrozzeria Bertone, Chrysler Design Center, and the acclaimed Marcello Gandini. Preliminary scale models hinted at the design possibilities, and Lamborghini sought to encapsulate the essence of the Miura and Countach in the new P140. The goal was clear – an attention-grabbing design that oozed speed and remained unmistakably Lamborghini.

Innovative Engineering

The P140 wasn’t content with a mere aesthetic overhaul; it demanded cutting-edge mechanics. Lamborghini’s engineers embarked on a seven-month sprint to create the heart of the P140 – a revolutionary V-10 QuattroValvole engine with electronic fuel injection. Lightweight, compact, and modern, the engine underscored Lamborghini’s commitment to performance excellence.

The design journey took an interesting turn with Marcello Gandini’s involvement. After initial proposals from Bertone, Gandini, a designer with a storied history with Lamborghini, reshaped the P140 into a wedge-shaped 2-door coupé. The result was a harmonious synthesis of Lamborghini’s heritage and a forward-thinking aesthetic, featuring a 4.0-litre V10 engine, an ergonomic dashboard, and extensive use of aluminum.

As the project advanced into the 1990s, Lamborghini’s parent company, Chrysler, faced financial headwinds due to the Gulf Oil Crisis. Concerns about the P140’s ability to justify its development costs and attract customers in uncertain economic times led to a momentary halt in its progression.

Despite financial challenges, Lamborghini managed to produce 3 to 4 P140 prototypes. Each prototype, whether painted orange, red, or white, embodied the spirit of innovation. These prototypes, though initially forgotten, became a testament to Lamborghini’s commitment to pushing boundaries, reaching top speeds, facing crashes, and later being enshrined in Lamborghini’s official museum.

The Unexpected Turn: The Lamborghini Calà

By 1992, the P140 was temporarily shelved to prioritize other Lamborghini models like the Diablo. However, in a surprising twist, the P140 story found a new chapter in 1995 at the Geneva Auto Show. Italdesign unveiled the Calà, a rebirth of the P140. The Calà showcased a departure from the wedge-themed design, introducing a curvaceous carbon-fiber body with a targa top, reaffirming Lamborghini’s commitment to innovation.

While the P140 project did not materialize into a production model, its legacy lived on through the Lamborghini Calà. The prototypes, once forgotten, became a testament to Lamborghini’s resilience in the face of challenges. The subsequent introduction of the Lamborghini Gallardo in 2002, with an evolution of the V10 engine used in the P140, marked a triumphant return for Lamborghini’s entry-level model. The P140 project remains a captivating chapter in automotive history, a tale of ambition, setbacks, and the enduring spirit that defines the Lamborghini legacy.