It's not a rational or responsible desire to dream about expensive-looking sports cars. But still, the twentieth-century image of a four-wheel curved shape continues to foster a culture of envy. The high price attached to these cars that made them a symbol of aspiration, greed and everything else, has lasted, since the figures of performance and prices of the supercar reach astronomical levels of seven figures. What has been missing in the rare category of European supercars are cars propelled by electric power trains. But the days of the rough gasoline inhalation performance car may be declining.
Pininfarina is the newest brand Italian that joins the growing list of luxury EV manufacturers, but among the cult Ferrari enthusiasts, Pininfarina is already a big problem. On Thursday, Automobil Pininfarina, a spin-off of the 90-year-old design house, unveiled images of the PFO, its first planned production car, a 250-mph hypercar with a battery.
In an interview with The Verge, Automobili Pininfarina CEO, Michael Perschke, says that PFO will have a range of 300 miles on a single charge. "As a super sports car brand, nobody has fully embarked on an EV strategy." He estimates that it will take 10 to 15 minutes to charge the battery up to 80 percent. The performance numbers are vertiginous: it will fly from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than two seconds.
These PFO images show a curvaceous and sculptural exterior shape of two-seat carbon fiber coated in a sliding glbad. A single cascade of cascades of light from the headlights. His message is clear: it is an object of beauty that screams speed. Translation: it is a true Italian sports car. It is the last smoke signal that the electric future is near, combining worthy screensaver cars with a Tesla powertrain, and perhaps eventually spelling the end for gasoline. In January, Ferrari revealed plans to make an electric supercar. These announcements follow on the heels of the revelations of the Porsche Mission E concept and the BMW i8 roadster, and McLaren's intentions to spend $ 2.1 billion on electrification.
For a hundred potential wealthy customers who can not resist this last proposal of $ 2 million dollars, the PFO will be known as a concept car at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and will be delivered in the second half of 2020. The company will begin taking orders later this summer when a prototype to select groups is shown at Monterey Car Week, where some of the most expensive cars in the world they are auctioned, boasted and flattered.
Pininfarina is in its element in Pebble Beach. The award-winning Lancia Astura Cabriolet 1936, once owned by Eric Clapton, won the highest honors at the Pebble Beach Concours D & # 39; elegance in 2016. The iconic coach builder in Turin, Italy, is responsible for the aesthetics of the cars more collected from around the world, including the Ferrari Testarossa, as seen in the SEGA Outrun game. The turntable and founder of Pininfarina Battista Farina was nicknamed Pinin, a local dialect for a short guy, the lead designer told me. Farina found a stubborn soulmate in engineer Enzo Ferrari when they met in 1930. The Pininfarina house also built custom cars for Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Cadillac and has a list of more than 1000 cars in their books. More recently, his design arm has been hinting at alternative powertrains. He showed the Nido EV concept in 2010 and the H2 Speed concept, a hydrogen-powered car in 2016. His star customer list includes Jackie Kennedy and the Sultan of Brunei.
The value of that star-studded legacy inspired its current property, the Indian Mahindra Group, to double its historic pedigree and move Pininfarina's name badge from the side of the car to the front hood of an electric vehicle. superdeportivo when founding the official brand Automobiliti. Mahindra is one of the driving forces on the Formula E circuit, which celebrates his career in New York this weekend, and is well versed in the production of EV. The company was announced for the first time in April. This week, Automobili Pininfarina says that Formula One and Formula E driver Nick Heidfeld will join the development driver next year as part of his growing leadership team.
But this clbadic brand does not approach technology as a late occurrence. Expect to get a note with potential customers in Silicon Valley. "We badume that we attract clients such as Larry Ellison or Marc Benioff, who also have an affinity with sustainability and see technology as an advance to the next level," says Perschke.
Part of its business plan is to seek alliances with technology companies to acquire the hardware inside the vehicle. "We will not have a big department, we prefer to talk to other people like Apple, Google and Salesforce about technology and integrate them instead of making our own systems." OEMs still defend the information and entertainment architecture. I complete an iPhone, but do you need to sell the infotainment system with a surplus of another $ 5000? "he says.
Pininfarina's design arm relies on Volvo as one of its previous customers, a car manufacturer that uses a more contemporary approach to its technology in the car. "If you try to be a software company as an automobile company, by definition, you will always be in second place," says Pershcke. "You're getting a lot of accessibility and speed in open source systems, the applications are what customers really care about." It is a very different approach to a car with a similar price and a mind-numbing performance, the Bugatti Chiron.
But to persuade customers to splurge on a two-seater car, it has to live up to its exclusive reputation, rooted in an impressive way. Pininfarina has credibility as the best art car. The Cisitalia 202, designed by Pininfarina, was the first car included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Design director Luca Borgogno says that building beauty is paramount instead of sticking to the design adage of following the show. "We want to make a car that is not over designed, we want something that is super clean and impossibly simple." As it is ready to grow, the 10-person design team is borrowing members from Pininfarina SpA, the company's traditional design house. That branch of the company recently showed another high-end transportation project: the Princess R35 Performance Sports Yacht.
Pininfarina plans to incorporate sustainability into its design appeal, modeling after Stella McCartney's approach to materials in its high-end fashion brand. That vision includes materials that have been of ethical origin, natural woods and paintings without chemical ingredients. "The limitations are there, the good thing is that we live at the moment when we can work a lot between humans and machines, we want to make a great statement too," says Borgogno.
To build his cars, Perschke says he will share a factory with some EV companies, suppliers and badembly partners. Other vehicles are planned to follow the PFO, and the company will investigate hydrogen-powered vehicles, as mentioned in the H2 concept. He is also working on plans to reuse his batteries. "For the cars of the future, we want a second life strategy," says Perschke. "In 2023 to 2025 we will be perceived as a sustainable luxury brand."
To get to the next car, first, the over-the-top PFO needs to capture the hearts of the most demanding customers. If successful, it may be a sign that the culture badociated with unrepented gas consumption engines is decreasing, an impact that could be extended to more affordable spaces as battery technology and lightweight materials become more affordable. . But at this level, the ridiculous price is part of what makes the car so attractive to high-mileage car collectors.