The Ferrari Rainbow is a concept car that was built by Bertone in 1976.
The Rainbow signalled Bertone’s return, after nearly 15 years, to the Ferrari theme. While the design of the Dino 308 GT4 represented a blend of sobriety and tradition, the Rainbow is an experiment in unconventional styling. In fact there were no intentions to put this model into production, and Bertone was able to interpret the theme without any constraints but functionality.
The chassis was the same one used for the 308 GT4, teamed with the generous 250hp engine, with the chassis being shortened by 10cm. This have the vehicle a compact, aggressive feel. The prototype, which was presented at the 1976 Turin Motor Show, immediately stood out for its design peculiarities: first and foremost for the originality of the mechanical hood mechanism which stows the hood away behind the seats. This was a solution for the transformation from spider to coupé and back again in a context - that of the two-in-one car - that had long captured the imagination of designers the world over.
The unconventional Ferrari Rainbow represented faith in the automobile industry, in a period in Italian history which favoured stylistic conformity over experimentation into new design concepts. The angular proportions of the car no doubt lean heavily on the fact that the Rainbow was never proposed as a precursor to a mass-production model. This gave legendary styling house Bertone and its head designer Marcello Gandini, the freedom to experiment with the Ferrari ethos and design language. The wedge profile and dramatic 90-degree lines having never before been seen on a car bearing the 'Prancing Horse' badge.
Ironically, the car might have made a good case for production had it been released half a decade later. When it was first shown in 1976, the public’s eyes were only just adjusting to the controversial shapes of the Gandini-designed Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari 308 GT4 (on which the Rainbow was based), after becoming accustomed to the swooping lines of the Miura and 246 ‘Dino’ of previous years. But the 1980s saw angular surfacing applied throughout the automotive design industry, meaning that a wedge-shaped Ferrari could have made sense.