Words: Keith Adams Photography: Andrew Elphick
Bertone managed to upstage Aston Martin in some style at Geneva. Its wonderful Jet 2 and Jet 2+2 shooting brake concepts were not only captivatingly pretty to look at, but also improved on the original car’s practicality by some margin. The 2+2 is based on the four-door Aston Martin Rapide and makes its debut at the show.
The Bertone Jet 2+2 was created for the Geneva Motor Show to celebrate both Aston Martin’s 100th birthday as well as 60 years of collaboration between the two iconic companies. Bertone’s Jet 2+2 is not the first shooting brake it’s made that’s based on an Aston Martin – back in 2004, it built a similarly tailgated version of the Vanquish.
The elegant Jet 2+2 retains the same mechanicals as the Rapide and the same dimensions also. Power comes from a 470bhp version of Aston’s 5.9-litre V12 taken from the current Rapide, rather than the more potent 550bhp version from the upcoming Rapide S. That model also makes its debut in Geneva.
The 2+2 has more rear-seat headroom than the fastback and the back seats fold down estate car-style to create an impressively sized (and trimmed!) loadspace. The passenger compartment is particularly well trimmed, making good use of special wood, aluminium and two-tone leather to give it a traditional, yet modernist ambiance.
Bertone says that the Jet 2+2 has been commissioned by an Aston Martin collector and has been built as a one-off with the company’s approval, but we can’t help but think that there’s room to sell a few more of these – in many ways, it’s an improvement on the fastback original and would serve as a natural rival to the upcoming Porsche Panamera wagon.
Its sister car, the Jet 2 is an update of the 2004 car. It’s based on the previous-generation Vanquish’s underpinnings, but has been given a facelift to bring it into line with the current Aston Martin range. The car on show is company President, Lilli Bertone’s own car, so it features the latest interior trim and a new body colour. On the show floor, it looks stunning.
The Jet 2 is a true four-seater but, with three doors and a classic shooting brake roof line, it recalls classics such as the Lancia HPE and Reliant Scimitar GTE – as well, of course, as Aston Martin’s own DB5-based Radford shooting brakes. The car’s additional interior space comes from its 210mm wheelbase stretch.
Given the familiarity – and similarity – of Aston Martin’s current range, it could do worse than have a few long ‘phone conversations with Bertone and get these cars into series production…