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Luxury and the arts From houses to cars and from Hockney to van Dyck, a profile of the best and the worst

Rapid brakes

The revival of the shooting brake


The 2012/2013 shooting season may well be over, but one of Italy’s finest automotive design houses, Bertone, are about to showcase a shooting brake they have created to coincide with Aston Martin’s centenary and their having worked with the English brand for 60 years at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show.


Based on the 2014 Aston Martin Rapide and referred to as the Jet 2+2, Bertone’s design is a follow up to the 2004 Jet 2 shooting brake that they based on the first generation Aston Martin Vanquish.


The front of the 2013 Bertone Aston Martin Rapide Jet 2+2
The front of the 2013 Bertone Aston Martin Rapide Jet 2+2
The car from the rear
The car from the rear
The luxurious interior of the four seat shooting brake
The luxurious interior of the four seat shooting brake
The 2004 Bertone Aston Martin Vanquish Jet 2
The 2004 Bertone Aston Martin Vanquish Jet 2

The 476bhp 6-litre V12 engined car has an “airline like cockpit” and can comfortably seat four in four single two-tone leather chairs. If necessary, the rear seats fold down to create a van like capacity that would be just perfect for housing a pair of Purdey shotguns.


The term “shooting brake” has itself evolved since its inception in the 19th century. Originally a vehicle used to carry shooting parties, it had by the 1930s become “synonymous with vehicles that ferried guests and their luggage to and from railway stations”. In essence, this car type was essentially a “grand tourer”. In 2006, The New York Times took the description further and named the car body style as: “A sleek wagon with two doors and sports-car panache, its image entangled with European aristocracy, fox hunts and baying hounds” and more recently, Top Gear described the contemporary version of it to be a “cross between an estate and a coupé”.


Sadly the Jet 2+2 is a one off. Though created with the full approval of Aston Martin, the vehicle was commissioned by a private individual who took part personally in the development of the car. After the show it will no doubt disappear into a personal collection and not be seen again for many years.


Youdesign's rendering comparing a Mercedes-Benz SLS with their version of it as a shooting brake (© Youdesign)
Youdesign’s rendering comparing a Mercedes-Benz SLS with their version of it as a shooting brake (© Youdesign)

Inspired by this fine vehicle, speculative car design firm Youdesign have come up with a rendering of a 6.2-litre V8 Mercedes-Benz SLS as a shooting brake. It, equally, looks spectacular and would also be a most practical yet fun form of transportation.


We think Aston Martin and Mercedes are both missing a trick. They should put these two cars into full-scale production.


For more information about the 2013 Bertone Aston Martin Rapide, go to: http://www.bertone.it/uploads/2013/02/M000661.pdf


For more details about Youdesign, go to: http://www.youdesignltd.com


4 comments on “Rapid brakes”

  1. The Aston Martin Rapide is a stunning looking car, one that grabs your attention!
    I’m wondering what a car like that may cost, any idea?

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