Bertone Alfa Romeo Pandion Concept -– Click above for high-res image gallery

Even though our colleague Paul Esienstein might not agree, car shows serve a few pretty great purposes. Besides reuniting with old colleagues, pressing manufacturers' flesh and geeking out over (certain) booth babes, it's the wild and well done concept cars that get our juices flowing the fastest. Take the Alfa Romeo Pandion Concept from all-star design house Bertone. It rocks.

When we first saw the Panidon images we were less than impressed. Yeah, the shape was good, as Stile Bertone kept this far out show car classically proportioned (low, long hood, short deck, big wheels). But something didn't quite click. Then we walked past the Pandion during the press conference and did a big double take. Whoa. You know what didn't click? The doors, as they were closed in the press pictures.

First of all, reverse-hinged scissor doors are the coolest Bertone show car feature since they debuted the Lamborghini Countach's front-hinged scissor doors at the 1973 Geneva Motor Show. Not only are the rear-hinged doors cool, they're massive, sticking about ten-feet straight up in the air. In case you've read this far and haven't looked at the above photo (fat chance, we know) the doors include part of the front fender. Very, very cool says us.

Also spectacular is the rear end of this sucker. It looks as if someone tossed a softball through a stained glass window and hit pause. Hundreds of tiny shards of shattered... stuff (carbon fiber, magnesium – you tell us) appear to be frozen in mid-explosion. It's something TVR might have come up with if a second generation Sagaris had come to fruition. The rear end is different, fabulously so, and to reiterate the title of this here post, it's why we love covering these manic car shows so dang much. Be sure to check out the albino HR Giger-skeleton interior and the flippin' wheels, which replicate the smashing rear end. As they say here in certain parts of Switzerland, tres magnifique! Or, in Alfa Romeo's native tongue, countach!

Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

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