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Epic Restoration ‘I wanted it to drive. I don’t have cars in my collection that don’t drive’ In making the Ferrari Modulo concept roadworthy, Jim Glickenhaus effectively completed the development of Pininfarina’s 1970 design icon. Words Stewart Perry. Photography Ross Perry.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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- Post is under moderationDESIGN DRIVE-MY DESIGN CONSULTANT CHRIS HRABALEK DISCUSSES THE FINER POINTS OF AUTOMOTIVE DESIGN / #Pininfarina-H2-Speed-Concept / #Pininfarina-H2 / #Pininfarina / #2016 /
Three years since the last concept car, the Sergio, Pininfarina has built another Ferraribased automotive tribute to the carrozzeria’s founder, former chairman and senator for life Sergio Pininfarina. Following a turbulent financial decade where the Indian Mahindra Group announced a deal to acquire arguably the most famous of Italian design houses, the designers of Cambiano took the opportunity to present their H2 Speed Concept.
The Pininfarina H2 Speed Concept is a hydrogen powered high performance race car, developed in partnership with Green GT. The concept follows the current trend of combining an eco-friendly approach with a highperformance package.
The H2 Speed Concept is to be the first vision in a line of concepts that recently also led to three Formula E racing car design proposals by Mahindra Racing and Pininfarina.
Green GT, the firm that collaborated in the creation of the H2 Speed Concept, is a Franco- Swiss company that has been developing and manufacturing clean propulsion systems for nearly a decade; involvement of this experienced partner was the basis for a realistic vision. The concept car is a good mix between racing prototype and production supercar and would not look out of place next to the holy trinity of most recent hybrid-hypercars: the Ferrari La Ferrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder.
As a matter of fact, the styling of the H2 Speed Concept looks so fresh and resolved, that one wonders why a firm like Koenigsegg – itself producing innovative niche hypercars – would not approach Pininfarina to style their new generation of products; similar to the famous Ferrari-Pininfarina relationship, it could really evolve into something truly magnificent.
Designwise the Pininfarina H2 Speed Concept makes use of traditional low and wide sportscar proportions in combination of distinct and confident styling themes. Rather than reheating basic clichés, the stylists of Pininfarina managed to marry aerodynamic efficiency with sculptural beauty. In a similar stylistic approach to Ford’s recent GT, the H2 Speed Concept features two triangular volumes in plan-view whose intersection define the stylistic themes and coresurfacing of all other perspectives.
Significantly more elegant than the engineering-led design of the aforementioned hybrid-hypercar triplet, one instantly forms the notion that a more democratic dialogue – between technical necessities and stylistic indulgence – took place.
Graphically, the Pininfarina H2 Speed Concept is making reference to Pininfarina’s Sigma Grand Prix, a concept car of 1969; again managing just the right pinch of past reference in a hat-tip to true automotive anoraks.
The Pininfarina H2 Speed Concept is a truly beautiful concept car that should give anyone – enthusiasts and industry-clients alike – the confidence that further significant designs from the carrozzeria in Cambiano are yet to come.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationOBSCURATI CURIOSITIES FROM THE AMAZING WORLD OF ITALIAN CARS PININFARINA ABARTH SCORPIONE / Story by Chris Rees / Obscurati #Pininfarina-Abarth-Scorpione / #1996 / #Abarth-Scorpione / based on the #Autozam-AZ-1 / #Abarth / #Pininfarina
Last year at a dinner, I found myself sitting next to #Lorenzo-Ramaciotti , Head of Global Design for the entire #Fiat-Alfa-Maserati-Chrysler combine. He’s a real design hero of mine, and this was a fascinating opportunity to find out about his life designing cars. Especially as it uncovered the little gem you see here.
Ramaciotti’s Pininfarina days (he retired as head of Pininfarina back in 2005) are especially interesting to me, but when he let slip that he’d designed an Abarth-inspired coupe for a Japanese friend of his, I was incredulous. Really? Then he turned a bit bashful, telling me: “I would like to keep some mystery about it.” But after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, I eventually got him to identify the design – the ‘Abarth Scorpione’.
This yellow beastie is based on Mazda’s Autozam AZ-1, an intriguing micro-coupe with gullwing doors made between 1992 and 1995. The mid-engined sportscar conformed to Japan’s K-car city car rules, which means it has a 64bhp 660cc threecylinder turbo engine and is absolutely minute (just 3295mm long and 1395mm wide). Its handling is pin-sharp and it’s a surprisingly quick machine as it weighs a mere 720kg.
However, one aspect of the AZ-1 in particular was very novel – its method of construction. It consisted of a steel spaceframe on to which glassfibre panels were affixed. These nonstressed body panels could be readily removed, inspiring many special-bodied versions to be made over the years – of which the Abarth Scorpione is easily the most exciting.
The idea came from Shiro Kosaka, a collector of Abarths in Japan. In 1996 he was looking to commission an Abarth-style body for the AZ-1, and he got his friend at Pininfarina, Lorenzo Ramaciotti, to design it.
The design doesn’t reproduce any specific Abarth but is perhaps most reminiscent of the 750 GT Zagato. In fact, Ramaciotti himself owns a blue 1956 Fiat-Abarth 750 Zagato, which he regards as “a superb design.” It’s the rear lid that does it really, with its echoes of the classic double-bubble design. The air intakes are genuinely functional, by the way – the AZ-1 is midengined, remember – but engine access with that lid design is pretty tricky.
The front lights are from a Honda Today, while the rear lights are straight from Pininfarina’s Fiat Coupe. The windscreen and side windows are standard AZ-1, but the rear three-quarter and back windows are specially made from acrylic.
The ‘Abarth Scorpione’ name seems to have been an unofficial tag applied to the car, and the Pininfarina badges that are affixed to all the cars that I’ve seen have been applied afterwards by owners – but entirely justifiably, as we now have it on personal authority that the car’s designer was the highly esteemed Lorenzo Ramaciotti.
After one Scorpione was built for Mr Kosaka himself, the car was then put into production by a company called Saburo Japan, which marketed the glassfibre body conversion in kit form. The price for a full set of body panels was one million yen (about £7000 at the time), excluding fitting and painting. Since the AZ-1 remains very sought-after in Japan and supply is limited (fewer than 5000 were made in total), the end result was fairly expensive for what it was, and only around five are thought to have been sold. If ever I came across one of these, I’d be straight in to buy it, I think. A mid-engined turbocharged gullwing-doored Abarth designed by Pininfarina? Yes please!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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Car #2015 #Pininfarina-Sergio
It is always a delight to talk with Fabio Filippini. Pininfarina’s design chief is a quietly spoken and modest perfectionist. Both he and I always talk about ‘the search for the perfect line’. And the line that Fabio is most pleased with on this production version of the Sergio is the top edge of the yellow body panel that runs through the door panel and past the A-pillar before making a U-turn across the bonnet and then just kissing the other screen pillar on its way rearwards.
The best lines always look so effortless but, as Fabio says, ‘to make a line look perfect from every angle is such hard work, and when you have to respect a carry-over screen from the #Ferrari-458-Italia , for example, the work is even harder. I suspect that some design critics found the car to be too visually restrained for their taste, shock and awe being very much a current, probably shortlived, fashion.’
Fabio so passionately believes in the perfect execution of line and form because he wants his ideas ‘to remain valid for more than one season’.
Pininfarina will build only six examples of the Sergio. By chance, each has been bought by customers in six different countries around the world. The major challenge for #Pininfarina , and Fabio in particular, was that they all had to meet the local homologation regulations in those very different markets without compromising the design. For Fabio, this car represents an opportunity to return to what he sees as Pininfarina’s routes, the productions of serie limitata. small-series production runs of special models. That is what most excites him about this project.
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