Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Where does car body design transcend?

Recently the world witnessed the introduction of the Stile Bertone designed Mantide supercar atop the Corvette ZR-1 Chassis and running gear.

Jason Castriota and his creative team at Bertone arguably created a visual masterpiece with the body - or a disastrous dustbuster-looking shape in some people's minds - but how ever the opinions may vary, they are nothing short of intense.

I think that is a win. A win for Jason. A win for Bertone. A win for design.

...and sadly, probably a loss for Corvette. There is a palpable feel that whether you like the Mantide or not, that the ZR-1 is a "bargain". It is a "special performer" but one that is quietly looked upon as an unobjectionable shape... something that "Thank goodness, at least is not making a statement."

What a shame!


Despite all of the claims to the contrary, the biggest issue here is that the ZR-1 is a remarkable piece of engineering, but somehow the body does not/or should not reflect the value inherent in that chassis. Maybe that is why the combination of the Mantide body and and the ZR-1 chassis has garnered $2MM instead of the standard $104K.

If it weren't clear enough, I walked into the Hertz rental car area today and what should I see but the following picture:

Call this "prestige" or paint it yellow and hope for the best, these cars are what renters are looking for. If the Mantide were made in this quantity and placed in such a line, I am quite certain that its value would be impacted...Isn't that therefore, what the Mantide tries to avoid with its scarcity.


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