The Mantide, originally called “Project M”, was created by designer Jason Castriota and produced by the legendary Italian coachbuilder Bertone. Originally, there were plans to construct 10 cars, however this is the only Mantide that was actually built. Stile Bertone has a long history of creating one-off prototypes based on the mechanicals of Chevrolet's sporting automobiles spanning over 50 years. As an outlandish design piece by one of the World’s most iconic coachbuilders, the Mantide is powered by the Corvette ZR1 powertrain with its 6.2-liter LS9 supercharged V-8 engine producing 638 HP and 604-ft. lbs. of torque mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Mantide was designed and fully engineered in collaboration with the renowned Danisi Engineering with the goal of being the world's greatest street legal performance car, wrapped in an iconic and radical Stile Bertone design. As such, this car is titled as a Chevrolet Corvette Mantide.
Mantide's futuristic design draws equal inspiration from modern aerospace and the world of Formula 1. The iconic theme is clear to see: a teardrop-like fuselage which tightly encases the mechanicals and the passenger cell which is embraced by two prominent wrapping aerodynamic appendages. While shockingly bold and technical, Mantide's unique design maintains a sensuality unique to Italian sports cars, thanks to a futuristic interpretation of the classic Kamm Back two-volume silhouette. The aerospace-inspired design aesthetic is further characterized by innovative yet beautiful forms which are fully driven by performance: the low-slung nose, jet fighter style teardrop canopy and butterfly opening doors, as well as the numerous air inlets and exhausts for maximum air efficiency.
In 2009, the Mantide was unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show as a design model and later tested as a finished product at the Nardo Test Facility in Italy. Due to its lighter weight interior and carbon fiber body panels, the Mantide was faster than a stock Corvette ZR1 posting a top speed of 218 mph and a 0-60 mph run of 3.2 seconds. Later that same year, it was driven up the hill during the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Shortly thereafter, the Mantide was air-freighted to the USA and delivered directly to Autosport Designs, Inc., where it was joined by its owner and designer. It was immediately fired up and driven non-stop in convoy with a few other special cars including a McLaren F1 to the 2009 Pebble Beach automotive festivities part of Monterey Car Week. The cross-country run was a featured story in Automobile magazine. Later it was shown on the concept lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
After the showing at Pebble Beach, the Mantide was transported back to the East Coast, to Autosport Designs, Inc. for a quick servicing prior to returning home to the owner’s collection. It was then decided to change the color of the Mantide from its original red to its current Bianco Fuji. Other changes at this time were a complete retrim the interior in red and black Alcantara, as well as installing an upgraded Pioneer audio system over the stock GM unit. The Mantide was shown again in 2010, this time at The Quail “A Motorsports Gathering” where it won First Place in the Supercar Class.
The Mantide has better performance figures than the ZR1, due in part to its highly advanced aerodynamics and significant weight savings. The overall vehicle weight has been reduced with using carbon fibre for all body panels, interior trim, seats and even the wheels. The Mantide is 220 lb (100 kg) lighter than the ZR1.
The new body has aerodynamic benefits over the ZR1, with drag reduced by 25% (Cd 0.298) and a 30% improvement over the ZR1 in down force. The performances are 0-62 mph (0–100 km/h) in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 351 km/h (218 mph).
Bertone planned to produce 10 Mantides at US$2 million each. Only 1 was built.
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