By Ronan Glon
Sunday, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 3:00 pm
 
Italian coachbuilder Bertone celebrated its 100th anniversary with a mid-engined concept car called Nuccio that it introduced at the Geneva Motor Show last month.

For reasons that are unknown, the car had no engine when it debuted in Switzerland. Nevertheless, it was well-received by the show-going public.

The coachbuilder has announced that it will bring an updated and fully-functional Nuccio to the Beijing Motor Show.

The car is named after Nuccio Bertone, the son of Bertone's founder. He took over the company almost immediately after World War II and stayed at the head of it for decades.

The Nuccio was drawn by Mike Robinson, Bertone's current general director. Its wedge-like overall shape is not unlike the Stratos Zero concept that the company presented at the 1970 Turin Motor Show.

The concept measures 188 inches long, 76 inches wide, and 48 inches tall. Bertone did not disclose the car's weight.

The Nuccio features an innovative front brake light system patented by Bertone. Its daytime running lamps get brighter when the car brakes, which tells pedestrians and motorists coming the other way what the driver is doing.

One of the main aesthetic differences between the Nuccio that bowed in Geneva and the one that will be revealed tomorrow is that the Beijing-bound model is equipped with a set of conventional headlights.

Since the car has no rear window, Bertone has fitted it with a camera that transmits footage of what's behind the car to a screen mounted behind the seats, which is visible via a classic rear view mirror.

Also behind the seats is a 4.3-liter V8 engine that sends 480 horsepower to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. The coachbuilder did not mention anything about the engine's origins, but its displacement and output have us thinking it might be plucked from the Ferrari F430.

Inside, the Nuccio features a sloping center console set between two well-bolstered sports seats, while the instrument cluster and steering wheel also seem to be taken from the F430, although the latter does without the Ferrari's manettino controls.

After being displayed in Beijing, the Bertone Nuccio will embark on a tour of the world: it is scheduled to appear at a major automobile museum in Turin, Italy, at the Automotive News Europe conference in Monaco in June, at the Laguna Seca track in California during Concorso Italiano, and lastly, at the Unique Special Ones show in Florence, Italy, at the end of September.

Once the Nuccio is done globe-trotting, it will be sold off for an undisclosed amount to an undoubtedly wealthy buyer. We doubt that the car can easily be certified as street-legal, so it will likely end up in a museum or in a private collection.