British Leyland only ever produced one Bertone-designed model, the Italian-built Innocenti Mini of 1974. However, Bertone had previously produced several Jaguar-based proposals which were not taken up by the company.
The BMW-like Jaguar FT (Ferruccio Tarchini) was penned by Marcello Gandini and built on a Jaguar 3.8 S-Type chassis. Dating from 1966, it revived the spirit – if not the style – of the previous decade’s XK150-based Bertone Jaguar coupé.
This extravagant E-Type-based proposal was sponsored by the Daily Telegraph, and appeared at the Earl’s Court Motor Show in 1967, but was not taken up by Jaguar. It emergered a few years later, in mildly modified form, as the Lamborghini Espada.
Bertone’s submission for the new Jaguar saloon was probably the best of the three proposals put forward by the Italian designers (Pininfarina and Ital Design being the others). Certain elements of the final car can be seen in this mid-1974 study.
This is Bertone’s second submission for the Project XJ40, dating from 1976. Again, although it was rejected, it appears to have had an undeniable influence on the style of the final car.
Not deterred the previous rebuffs, Bertone presented a further Jaguar proposal in 1977. The Ascot was based on the Jaguar XJ-S, and borrowed heavily fromthe style of Bertone’s Ferrari-based 308GT Rainbow from the previous year.