Comment + photo gallery: Bertone B99

Posted by cdnlive March 2nd, 2011

To commemorate its 99 years as a coachbuilder and design house, Bertone unveiled a Jaguar sedan concept called the B99. The boldly proportioned car eschews Jaguar’s current trend towards a more modern design language in favor of a very traditional three-box design, with broad shoulders and unbroken lines that give the car a solid, carved-out-of-a-solid-block appearance.

The detailing is a bit less decisive however, with a very intriguing front grille design that resembles tiny jewels set behind a large piano-black plastic panel, but small slit headlamps that fight the bold curves of the wings and waste the opportunity to create a graphically strong DRG. At the rear, the powerful haunches fade somewhat awkwardly into another set of inset tail lamps which, as at the front, are rendered in a thin strip. To top it off, a Jaguar badge is set in another large black plastic panel.

Mike Robinson says he wanted to create something that was “bold in its conservatism” with this car. In a way he’s succeeded in making an impact and impressing a lot of people with his view of Bertone and Jaguar design, but the B99 is lacking the decisive detailing that we are accustomed to seeing from the nearly 100 year old design house, and ultimately lets down the powerful, classical proportions of this concept.

Andrew Meehan

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