Car Catcher: A Collection of BATs from Alfa Romeo

Sponsored Content presented by RM Sotheby’s.


What may be some of the most polarizing designs to have been specially built to study the effects of drag on the automobile, the Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica 5, 7 and 9 were created as part of a collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Bertone back in 1953.

All three design studies were built on 1900 chasses and were powered by four-cylinder engines mated to five-speed manual transmissions.

The first of the three, the BAT 5, was originally displayed at the 1953 Turin Auto Show and featured numerous aerodynamic enhancements that was capable of allowing the car to reach a reported top speed of 120 mph with a drag coefficient of 0.23. (For perspective, the Ferrari F40 is said to have a drag coefficient of 0.34.)

BAT 7, the second in the trio, first showed its face at the 1954 Turin Auto Show with a lower front end and a set of large, curved  “wings” that protruded from the rear of the car. Those additions were said to bump the car’s drag coefficient to 0.19—believed to be the lowest out of the three cars.

The final car, BAT 9, debuted at the 1955 Turin Auto Show sporting a much more subdued look compared to its predecessors. The styling was influenced by Alfa Romeo’s desire to have a concept that was “more practical for road use.”

Although none of these designs would not go into full production, you do have the opportunity to own BAT 5, 7 and 9—said to be all penned by Giuseppe Bertone himself—through RM Sotheby’s upcoming Contemporary Art Evening Auction.

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View comments on the CMS forums
10/21/20 10:46 p.m.

Actually, the BATs were designed by Franco Scaglione, Nuccio Bertone's talented designer. 

chandler UltimaDork
10/27/20 11:09 a.m.

Amazing cars, I remember reading an article in C&SC ten or twenty years ago detailing them as well and was lucky enough to see one. I can't recall where but it was with an XJ220R so it was a good day all around.

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