Pininfarina ceases car manufacturing to focus on design

October 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Italian coach builder Pininfarina is set for a big shake up that will see 127 workers made redundant when the company shuts down the manufacturing arm of its business. The iconic firm will now focus on what its more traditional strengths of design and engineering. The company points to the declining automotive market as the reason behind the move.

The redundancies and structure changes are expected to cost the company around €2.9 million. Pininfarina is also getting busy trying to find an investor to purchase a stake in the design firm as part of a debt restructuring agreement with the company’s creditors. French billionaire Vincent Ballore is one investor who has shown an early interest in purchasing part of the family-owned company. Continue reading “Pininfarina ceases car manufacturing to focus on design” »

Ex Pininfarina designers seeking funding for Fiat 500 Marcia Corta

July 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The reworked Fiat 500 has been the victim and benefactor of a wide range of tuning efforts in recent years. It’s been painted in gold, taken rally driving and even had its small engine shifted to a rear mount. But this latest tuning endeavour may prove the most interesting.

Two former Pininfarina designers have broken away and formed a new design firm called Camal and their first project involves the Fiat 500. This special version is called the 500 Marcia Corta (Italian for short gearing), with the underpinning theme to give the Bambina a classic rallying look.

The signature elements are clear and include quad rally lamps, giant grille opening and a full aero kit with side skirts, fender flares and rear ring. At the rear there’s a replacement bumper with a new integrated exhaust system. Continue reading “Ex Pininfarina designers seeking funding for Fiat 500 Marcia Corta” »

De Tomaso back from the dead

November 18th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

De Tomaso Pantera new fq

The De Tomaso badge has been for sale a while now with no one willing to stump up the cash for the once iconic brand. According to new reports that seems to have changed and the legendary Seventies marquee De Tomaso is being resurrected once again. This time by a wealthy Italian industrialist named Gian Mario Rossingnolo. Mr Rossingnolo has already made waves in the auto world by purchasing a Pininfarina factory in which to build the new De Tamasos, after trying (unsuccessfully) to rescue the Bertone brand earlier this year.

The big question now is what are they going to build. Well, the ambitious plan so far is to build 8,000 aluminum-bodied cars per year. And they are to be prestige cars, to better take advantage of the De Tomaso brand. As for body type, Rossingnolo is planning on a luxury sedan, a coupe and an SUV. If all goes to plan the cars are expected to make an appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011. Here’s hoping one named Pantera shows up with Ford’s supercharged 5.4-litre V8 mounted behind the driver.

Pininfarina Hyperion delivered to new owner

August 25th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Pininfarina Hyperion fq

Pininfarina has presented the Hyperion, a one-off custom-built car derived from the Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe which made its world debut at the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach, America’s most important competition for historical classic and one-off cars and a prestigious annual event.

The car is named after Hyperion, one of the Titans of Greek mythology, to underline its architectural and figurative power.

It is not the first time that the Pininfarina Special Projects Division has designed a unique car from a standard production model. In the recent past Pininfarina has reinterpreted Ferrari engineering, as in the case of the P4/5 of collector Jim Glickenhaus, or Peter Kalikow’s Scaglietti “K”. In the case of the Pininfarina Hyperion, Roland Hall, a collector and the owner of a Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe, asked Pininfarina to create a custom-built car that would evoke the appeal of the sumptuous cars of the 1930s. It might seem paradoxical, but today more than ever before, there is a desire on the part of a very elite clientele to return to the idea of the car as an artistic expression. As it was in the 1950s.

With the Hyperion, the team of designers and engineers of the Special Projects Division was able to express its creative skills and to apply Pininfarina expertise without limits, save that of coming as close as possible to the type of car that our customer had in mind. The result was a custom-built unit that is firmly rooted in the values of the Pininfarina and Rolls-Royce brands, with lines and dimensions that are hard to find in a 21st century model. The Hyperion takes up the legacy of other Rolls-Royces designed by Pininfarina, the Silver Dawn saloon of 1951, for example, or the Camargue coupe of 1975.

The history of Pininfarina offers plenty of examples of special cars built on “noble” bases. Which is why the company naturally welcomed Roland Hall’s proposal to work on a Rolls-Royce floorpan. For the new Pininfarina one-off, however, the Special Projects Division wanted a new idea, something absolutely unique, which only an individual in love with the car as an abstract, and not merely utilitarian, concept could appreciate. And so the Hyperion project was born, in the Autumn of 2007.

In terms of the styling, the first brainwave came when thinking of some of the cars of the 1930s, with their majestic, regal bonnets, and a body that surrounded the driver and a single passenger. Distinctive features of a car which, thanks to its strength and elegance, does not need to move to draw attention to itself.

Like all the cars designed by Pininfarina, the secret of the Hyperion lies in its absolute harmony between masses and volumes, and the perfect balance of every proportion. Structurally, Pininfarina moved the driving position further back (400 mm) and took out the rear seats. It also designed a new hood, which folds behind the seats under a wood-lined cover. In front of the windscreen it created two compartments for small items or for sports equipment, such as Mr. Hall’s hunting rifles.

The bodywork is made of carbon fibre, while the details are applied using a technology adopted in boat building. The doors were made of solid wood by craftsmen who specialise in creating components for luxury boats. This is another aspect of the programme of Pininfarina special cars: offering customers unique stylistic and technical solutions that are not possible on mass produced cars.

Some of the best international firms contributed to the realisation of the project: Re Fraschini for the carbon, Isoclima for the glazed surfaces, Proxi engineering for the drawings of the car, Triom for the lights and headlights, Fondmetal for the wheel rims, and Materialise for components created using fast prototyping.

One-off Rolls Royce: Hyperion by Pininfarina

August 13th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

pininfarina-rolls-royce-hyperion-fq

The famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this year will feature the unveiling of a special one-off Rolls Royce Phantom-based convertible designed by Pininfarina.

The Hyperion was designed by Pininfarina as a one-off for a very wealthy customer who amongst other features has specified the car include a gun-rack making the convertible Hyperion the ultimate open-top hunting car.

Don’t expect to see this car go into production.

One-off Rolls-Royce designed by Pininfarina to be shown at Pebble Beach

June 30th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

rolls-royce-hyperion

Pininfarina will unveil a new Special Project carrozzeria during Pebble Beach Concours based on a Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupè.

The project, named “Pininfarina Hyperion” and is an homage to the great pre war cars. Its style, size and overall presence is truly unique in modern day car production, firmly rooted in the history and heritage of the two Brands at the core of the project.

The private client who has commissioned the car, has graciously agreed to display this latest Pininfarina creation at the prestigious American event.

Pininfarina Hyperion is one of Pininfarina driven projects to be presented in 2008. In fact it follows the presentation of the technologically advanced and avante garde Sintesi concept car at the latest Geneva Motor Show, and it makes its debut shortly before the unveiling of the highly anticipated electric car concept, the Ferrari California and the Maserati Quattroporte MY ’08 – all designed by Pininfarina – at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris.

Maserati Quattroporte gets a design refresh

June 25th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

maserati-quattroporte-fq

After five years of success, with more than 15,000 cars delivered and 46 international awards, the Quattroporte is now being presented with a new look and new technical solutions.

The Pininfarina design team in charge of the design, created a fresher, more modern look for the new Quattroporte.

The two new models available are the Quattroporte and the Quattroporte S. The former is fitted with the familiar 4.2 litre 400 hp V8 engine, while the latter adopts the new 4.7 litre 430 hp V8 recently introduced on the GranTurismo S, with a different specification. Both cars feature the 6-speed automatic transmission developed in association with ZF.

The main styling changes are to the most recognisable features. First of all the front, where the new grille, with its vertical slats, is reminiscent of the GranTurismo. The front and rear light units are also updated, featuring LEDs.

On the side, the under-door moulding is more noticeable, with a line that runs into that of the new bumpers, which have a wider protective band and more pronounced rear styling.

The interior has a new centre console and the controls are grouped more closely together for even more convenient operation.

The car’s range of navigation systems is also fully updated, now comprising the New Maserati Multimedia System.

Two new shades of leather, Marrone Corniola (brown) and Sabbia (sand), replacing the beige which was previously in the range, debut on the Quattroporte S and Quattroporte respectively.