Cylon on wheels - the Bertone designed Alfa Romeo Pandion
March 9, 2010
This year's Geneva Motor Show has seen a deluge of delectable concepts unveiled and one of the finest pieces of eye-candy presented must surely be the Pandion. Created to celebrate Alfa Romeo’s one hundred year anniversary and also marking 75 years of collaboration with Italy’s legendary styling house Bertone (think Lamborghini Countach among many others), the Pandion hides a 4.7 liter, 450 CV 8-cylinder Alfa Romeo engine beneath some very, very well honed curves.
Conceived as "pure dream car," the Pandion is the first produced by Mike Robinson in his new role as Design and Brand Director at Bertone.
The elongated doors (we're talking around 10 feet) open backwards and upwards from a rear hinge on the wheel arch and sit at 90 degrees to the horizontal - sort of taking a gull-wing and turning it into a rabbit-ear, but with a stunning visual result. The designers say there's also a practical spin-off, with the huge doors making it easier to get in and out of the vehicle, although at just 1230 mm (48") high. The doors are also designed to detach from the car body in a roll-over accident.
The short rear end is marked by quad tailpipes and "crystal-like blades which are intertwined in various widths and lengths, protruding out into space," while the deeply buried headlights and a narrow T-shaped grill at the front would make this the perfect ride for a Cylon.
Inside, the distinctive backlit, “swimming pool blue” seats are constructed from carbon fiber shells just over an inch thick. There's two analogue dials placed directly on the steering column in the tradition of Alfa sports cars and three of the four LCD screens are linked to external video cameras that replace the rear view mirrors. The fourth, 9-inch screen shows air conditioning, sound system, Sat Nav and other info on the car's systems.
"Cars are like films: they must tell a story to win people over", says Mike Robinson. "The best car designers are necessarily excellent narrators and their products, whether they are concept cars or mass-produced products, reflect their creators’ ability to gather fascinating ideas from every field, from all over the world, to bring them together and transform them into new and great stories. This is what we have attempted to do with the Alfa Pandion.’
Incidentally, the name Pandion is from "Pandion Haliaetus" - the scientific name for an Osprey.