Bertone Pandion (2010) at Geneva motor show

Published: 04 March 2010

You can see the Bertone Pandion from almost anywhere within the giant halls at the 2010 Geneva motor show. It might be low and sleek, but the rear-hinged scissor doors run almost the entire length of the car and stand over 3.6 metres high when open. It’s quite a sight.

What is the Bertone Pandion?

Underneath it’s an Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione – complete with a 444bhp 4.7-litre V8 engine – but the body and interior are the work of Italian design house Bertone, which built the car to celebrate Alfa’s 100th birthday.

Not all of you may be sold of the looks of the Pandion (Bertone calls its aggressive yet beautiful) and we’re not sure there are many ways to improve on the 8C. It’s the detailing that stands out though, including those doors; the Pandion moniker comes from Pandion Haliaetus ­– the scientific name for an Osprey – and designer Mike Robinson and his team drew inspiration from the hawk’s wings to create the incredible doors. That’s not the best part of the Pandion; the most incredible features are the thousands of tiny intertwined blades in the front and rear grilles.

The Osprey’s facial features were also copied to create the Pandion’s angular nose, but while the front of the Bertone concept car is supposed to be evocative, the rear is abrupt. Robinson calls the contrasting design Skin and Flame, a play on Alfa’s badge: the snake in the logo is beautiful, flowing and full of emotion, but the cross is organic, sharp and structural. The tail lights are made from the intertwined blades, but disappear when turned off. Unfortunately there are no production plans.

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By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy