Friday, 8 November 2013

Bertone Jet 2 / 2+2

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The original Bertone Jet was a one-off special based on an Aston Martin DB4GT, and was a brilliantly spaceship-esque little coupĂ© - it sold at Bonhams in May for £3,249,500. Click here to see more - and it's the one peeking out in the background of the above and below photos.
...but the Jet 2 is a rather different proposition. For this modern iteration, Bertone entirely changed the format by hand-crafting a 2+2 grand tourer. Using the 2004 Vanquish as a base, they extended the wheelbase by 210mm and slotted in an extra row of seats. Mechanically-speaking it's pretty much standard Vanquish, but Bertone's detail changes are myriad and complex; obviously the tail is totally restyled, with the tail-lights wrapping around seamlessly into that all-new hatchback tailgate, but there are more subtle alterations throughout. The interior, trimmed in supple leather, features copious matt pear-wood and satinised aluminium, to evoke luxury speedboats of yore, while the occupants are bathed in light from the expansive glass roof.
The Jet 2 debuted at the '04 Geneva Motor Show, but has since been aesthetically refreshed by Aston Martin to bring it more in line with the current model range. A bit of a shame to fiddle with a rare and unique creation, but I guess it's all part of the car's story.

...and here we have the Jet 2+2. This was commissioned by Aston enthusiast Barry Weir, and is based on the four-door Rapide - it debuted at Geneva this year. Interestingly, although the facelifted nose may suggest otherwise, this isn't a later 550bhp Rapide, but instead the early, first-generation 470bhp car. Of course, it's rather different to standard spec now - that vast tail, crafted from carbon-fibre and aluminium, mimics the capacious rump of the Jet 2, and brings the styling right up to date with its One-77-esque tail-lights. The photos above, as well as the following three, were taken at Aston Martin's centenary celebration event in Kensington Gardens (click here for more photos), where the cars were neatly out of reach behind picket fences. But I'd actually bumped into the 2+2 earlier this year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (photos here), so there are some close-up pictures below as well. That interior looks like a pretty wonderful place to be, doesn't it?

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