• Jul 8, 2009
Bertone Mantide – Click above for high-res image gallery

Some coachbuilt custom supercars are all show. But the owner of a Bertone Mantide is eager to prove that his has got the go to back up his show. Dan Watkins, the British gentleman-racer who bought the first Mantide, is so eager, in fact, that he's pondering personally financing a run at the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1's Nürburgring lap record. And there's every reason to believe his car could reach that goal.

At 7 minutes, 26.4 seconds, the 2009 ZR1 holds the current lap record for a stock, street-legal, series production automobiles (excluding such track-focused machinery as the Viper ACR and Radical SR8). Nissan has its eyes on the ZR1 and is closing in fast, but as delicate and fragile as it may look, the Mantide arguably stands the best chance of besting the supercharged Vette's time – mostly because it's based on the ZR1. Only it's 80kg (176 pounds) lighter and 30% more aerodynamic, thanks to the improvements made to the body by Jason Castriota and his team at Stile Bertone.

To test the theory, Watkins is mulling renting out the 'Ring for three days, hiring an expert Nordschleife driver, and of course, donating the use of his $2 million supercar. All in pursuit of the ultimate bragging rights. If it happens, well, be watching.



[Source: PistonHeads]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 44 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      The comment about the Viper ACR is bs. The ACR is just as stock and street legal as the ZR1.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Viper is and was street legal, and is a series produced car. You can walk into a Dodge dealership and get the EXACT same car that ran the ring, right down to the tires. I swear there is more misinformation in the comments than this worthless article. GM fanbois here? LOL
        • 5 Years Ago
        but it's not a series production car . it's just how they like to use words so they seem they have the fastest car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        the problem is the ACR is on DOT R compounds, the Zr1 was not on R compound, this is the issue. Same thing with the 911 GT3 not really counting since it is also on R compound tires.

        This is also what Porsche accused Nissan of doing to get the GTR record.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Title: Bertone Mantide owner eyeing Corvette ZR1 N-ring record run?

      This isn't a series production car so it can't take the record.

      If he wants to prove his car has go, go out and set a good time. That's great. But you won't take away the ZR1's record because your car isn't series production.

      I thought the ZR1 already lost the record though, to a Viper?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I look at that thing and think that the owner needs to just go ahead and get the penile enlargement.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So now the ACR doesn't count at all, just because it's a "track-focused machinery", even if it's street legal? Sure, the ZR1 has the Nürburgring record as the fastest Corvette (take into account that there are gazillions of them), but it's NOT the record holder for a "stock, street-legal, series production automobile". That's the SRT-10 ACR's claim.

      And for those that diss the ACR's record because of its tires, here's an small part of the ACR's press release: "Finished in gloss black paint, they wear Michelin Pilot Sport Cup DOT-approved (street legal) race tires, providing enhanced grip on the track.". If any other car runs faster than it, with barely street legal tires and in its production guise, they can claim the title.

      Autoblog: quit being as subjective as the big rags and their handling tests being won by the car that has the most interior space...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anything that ugly better be fast.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Before it gets stoned to death.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That way you don't have to look at it for too long?
      • 5 Years Ago
      A $2Mil ZR1 trying to beat a $115k ZR1, what a nail biter of a event to watch. This car looks like a partially transformed Transformer (gotta stay relevant) and is hideous no matter how much faster it is than its host car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ... That is one UGLY automobile.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "At 7 minutes, 26.4 seconds, the 2009 ZR1 holds the current lap record for a stock, street-legal, series production automobiles (excluding such track-focused machinery as the Viper ACR)"

      I'm sorry did we just decide that Chryslers entire history never existed, WTF!? Is this Autoblogs fail blog of the day!? Is the ZR1 NOT A TRACK ORIENTED CAR!? The ACR used factory equipment just as much as the ZR1 did. If it weren't for Chrysler to come up with the ACR the ZR1 would have been a useless fast hunk of sheet metal! There has always been a rivalry between the two, it's been that way for the past 20 years! The ACR is so a 100% full production, street legal series machine. That's why there's a roadster and a coupe. The Comp Coupe was the only non street legal Viper in the past 5 or so years.

      I really, REALLY hope this came from the lips of either Dan Watkins or Jason Castriota, otherwise I will not be happy with AB for the rest of the year.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope he crashes it and it magically looks better. Seriously... I like 90% of the cars Jason Castriota designs but this one is worse than the Pontiac Aztec.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Viper ARC is just as much a "series" production car as the vette. It just happens the be faster, less expensive and way better looking than that POS!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      So he's trying to beat a ZR1 with something that is based off of a.............ZR1. WTF is the point of trying to beat something that is basically the same as what you have. That's like trying to beat a 911 with a Turbo 911. Who cares?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This situation brings up an interesting proposition...

      Just because you are capable of designing and building a car, doesn't mean you should design and build a car.

      This thing is hideous. I am not just saying this to prove a point, but I would rather be seen in a Camry than this thing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        haha.. I am not going to extremes... If anything, I am leaving the extreme... ugliness

        In a Camry, you blend in and no one notices you. In this... thing... you stand out like a sore thumb.

        I just don't see how you can take something like a ZR1 (which is awesome in my opinion, minus the interior) and make something so non-awesome.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think you guys are missing the point here, sure its not the prettiest car. But then again it wasn't made to be. It was strictly designed to see how the exterior design of a car could improve on an already great car (in terms of performance). It was't designed to be the prettiest car, but everypiece of it that you see has a unique function towards the overall car and its aerodynamics (hence the prefix Stile in the company name). And holy craaap is it fast! Despite the pictures it does look pretty sweet in real life in its own unique way. And afterall no matter ugly you may think it is....clearly there is still a market for it.

        The nurburgring test would merely be to see how much it has improved not to try and dethrone the ZR1.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @jon

        Let's not go to extremes here....


        I mean, a Camry?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @adrenalnjunky - maybe he's never been forced to own one?
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