The latest Pininfarina concept is homage to the Italian coachbuilder’s legendary Chairman Sergio Pininfarina, who died in July last year. Building on the relationship Sergio founded with Ferrari, the concept is built on a 458 Spider platform and is powered by the same engine and drivetrain.
“The concept encapsulates the three basic values of Pininfarina’s DNA – elegance purity and innovation,” says Fabio Fillipini, the coachbuilder’s design director. “The fourth value is emotion: elegant, pure design but always expressed through emotion.”
Devoid of a windscreen, the Sergio concept is a two-seat barchetta in the purest form. Aerodynamics ensure that the wind is directed away from occupants when driving – air passes through the lower bumper section and out the front bonnet over the cabin. Pininfarina calls this a ‘virtual windscreen’.
A few lines dividing the surface volumes intersect the Sergio concept’s sensuous red body. It is this simple purity and lack of extraneous detailing that makes the Pininfarina such a successful design, and one that is representative of the company that has penned Ferrari designs for 40 years.
The design was inspired by some of Pininfarina’s iconic creations for Ferrari, notably the 1965 Dino Special, the first car designed entirely by Sergio without his father Battista (Pinin) Farina’s help. This small, avant-garde sports car is also on display alongside the Sergio concept on the coachbuilder’s stand.
But there are also references to other illustrious creations done under Sergio’s watch, such as the Modulo concept. This car provided inspiration for the round holes on the engine cover, which serves to ventilate the mid-mounted V8.
While the Cambiano concept revealed at last year’s Geneva show was a luxurious, classic design showing Pininfarina’s technical aptitude, the Sergio expresses the company’s emotional values through its reference to the past. And it is one of the best concepts on show.