Chevrolet’s C6 Corvette ZR1 was a gem of an automobile with supercar-beating power, grip for days, carbon ceramic brakes, and a 200+ mph top speed. The only thing it’s missing is cachet. It just looks like a Corvette. It doesn’t have fancy butterfly doors or flying buttresses, or a-pillar mounted rear view mirrors, or the day-to-day attire of a four-wheeled mech suit from the future. That’s where the one-off coachbuilt Bertone Mantide comes in. It takes all of the good stuff from the ZR1 and adds visual cues that make you exclaim “Yowza!” when you see it.
Because so much of the Mantide is crafted from custom-formed carbon fiber the car actually weighs about 220 pounds less than the ZR1 it is based on. And the shape is aerodynamically superior to the ‘Vette, meaning its top speed is even higher than Daddy GM could do, running up to 218 mph. According to Bertone, the Mantide’s drag is 25% more efficient while producing 30% more downforce than the car it’s based on.
And while the ZR1 is an excellent performance machine, it has kind of been lost to the march of ever faster Corvette models built on the C7 chassis. You can get a used example with low miles for around $50,000 right now. That’s a lot of performance for the money. It’s an also-ran in Corvette history. If you really want to stand out, this is the one for you.
Bertone shouted to the world about the Mantide in 2009, and for good reason. Its Jason Castriota penned design is stellar in all the right ways. It has an excellent mix of angularity, curve, and delicacy. It showed off a concept model at the Shanghai Auto Show that year, then the real thing a few weeks later, followed by an announcement that it would cost $2,000,000 and have a production run of 10 units (which never came to fruition).
This is the only example made, the same one which ran up the hill at Goodwood before it was loaded into air freight and sent to its new owner at Monterey Car Week. As soon as the new owner received the car he had it stripped down for a full re-paint in its current Bianco Fuji. It was then showed at The Quail at Car Week in 2010 where it won first place in the Supercar Class.
Reports say that the car was first listed for sale by its original owner back in October with about 10,000 miles on the odometer, and after not finding a buyer has been listed with Worldwide Auctioneers to sell on Wednesday of Scottsdale Auction Week.
My favorite part about this wild looking supercar is that it remains stock Corvette underneath. It can and should be driven absolutely everywhere. Whatever this car ends up selling for (I’m guessing a fair bit less than the original 2 million) it should immediately be taken to the parking lot to make massive tire smoke clouds. Then once the tires have been replaced, driven across the country for no damn good reason. If I had the money and time, I’d double this car’s mileage in the course of a month.
If you want unique, there’s certainly nothing like it.