Bell and Ross AeroGT Concept
In 2016, Bell & Ross is firmly focusing on the motoring world, another one of its designer’s favorite fields. The brand has designed the AeroGT, an avant-garde concept car and GT grand sport with bodywork as streamlined as a fighter jet. This unique car, created by the watchmaker’s design studio, was not created by chance. «The AeroGT concept car is an extension of our field of expertise, which demonstrates the creative ability and strength of our brand. I thought that it would be interesting to combine the iconic Bell & Ross features with a car directly inspired by aeronautics,» explains Bruno Belamich. «This concept car is in actual fact an amalgamation of an aircraft and a GT.» This spectacular vehicle adopts the major principles of Bell & Ross watches: form in response to function, a passion for mechanics and, of course, a strong aeronautic overtone. Alongside the presentation of this unique prototype, two exceptional watches with a strongly car-inspired character are being released.
Since the very beginning, Bell & Ross has used aviation’s iconic features in the design of its watches. Bruno Belamich therefore spends a great number of his working hours studying jets, fighters and bombers. However, this mechanics, style and performance enthusiast also loves to burn rubber on the roads. This year, Bell & Ross is presenting computer-generated images of the AeroGT, an extreme grand sport car project. «The design of this concept car took just over one year. To obtain optimal results, we worked with specialists in car design,» explains Bruno Belamich. It was very important for us to create a high-performance car with realistic characteristics.» Ultimately, this stunning super car, as streamlined as a jet, shows what a Bell & Ross car might look like.
The Bell & Ross AeroGT draws its inspiration from grand tourers («gran turismo» in Italian). This category of racing car, first produced in the land of Pasolini in the ‘50s, encompasses the most illustrious sports cars in automotive history, and particularly the celebrated Ferrari 250 GTO, of which only 36 were produced in the ‘60s. At the time, these versatile sports vehicles were designed to be at home both at great speeds and on the track. Indeed, some “gentlemen drivers” would travel directly by road to the competitions in which they were competing. The Bell & Ross AeroGT celebrates these legends on wheels in a highly contemporary manner.
The AeroGT is a super car inspired by aviation. With this creation, Bell & Ross is keeping in touch with its aeronautic roots. Extremely low (1.10 m) and aerodynamic, the 4.7 meter-long car seems to split the air like an arrow. Its pointed forms with sharp angles and cutting overhangs are reminiscent of some stealth aeroplanes. All it needs to take off is a pair of wings. When seen from above, the drop-shaped glass roof recalls the glass cover of a jet cockpit. Meanwhile the razor- thin wing mirrors are inspired by the small wings called «canards» placed on the nose of a fighter. The two unusually sized exhaust pipes evoke turbojet engine exhausts, while the turbine-style rims imitate the vanes of supersonic aircraft engines. But the most impressive detail is the rear longitudinal aileron, which is reminiscent of an aircraft’s vertical stabilizer. The role of this element is to stabilize the racing car when performing quick turns. Ultimately, the Bell & Ross AeroGT concept car combines motoring and aviation to the greatest possible degree.
A contemporary technical layout Like an aeroplane, the AeroGT uses cutting-edge technologies and benefits from first-class performance. Its strict two-seater mid-engine layout looks very contemporary. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, GTs most often relied on a classic layout: front engine and rear-wheel drive. Later on, engines on the whole moved to the middle of the car, just behind the passengers. The AeroGT adopts this approach, which guarantees excellent weight distribution between the front and the back. Gripping the asphalt, it enjoys first-class steering performance and road handling. In order to be light yet rigid, the monocoque chassis and body use carbon fiber. As a result, the car only weighs 1320 kg. As light as a feather!
Power and flexibility When it came to designing the AeroGT, Bruno Belamich didn’t hold back. He imagined the car propelled by a 4.2l V8 twin-turbo engine, combined with the latest 8-speed automatic gearbox. The Bell & Ross super car would boast 610hp – more than ample power in all situations. Press the accelerator pedal and its full horsepower is let loose. The car reaches 100 km/h in less than 3 seconds. The two turbos grant the car maximum torque at both low and high engine speeds for stunning acceleration. Overtaking becomes a pure formality. As for its maximum speed, the AeroGT is intended to reach a peak speed of 315 km/h. For this reason, the Bell & Ross concept car notably features a pitot tube, installed at the top of its right wing. This type of probe, which can be found in aeronautics, measures very high speeds. Meanwhile the heat-resistant ceramic brakes have the delicate task of stopping this road-borne missile. Finally, the designers opted for a rear-wheel drive layout to maintain the driving pleasure and reactivity of the car. There is nothing boring about driving the AeroGT!
Source: Bell & Ross