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Pininfarina, Italian Purity…

Battista Pininfarina never had a car to his name. From up there, he must be raving about the one dedicated to him by Automobili Pininfarina, the Battista, the most powerful car ever designed.

Pininfarina, whose birth name was Farina, founded the eponymous company in 1930.

Let’s go back. Pininfarina, whose birth name was simply Farina, founded the eponymous company in 1930. Since his childhood, he has had a close relationship with Giovanni Agnelli, founder of FIAT and Vincenzo Lancia. These two names will enable the young coachbuilder to quickly achieve a reputation based on the incredible fluidity of the vehicles he designs.

One of the secrets of the balance of these silhouettes is that the company invested in a wind tunnel from the very beginning, which allowed them to optimise the design of the bodywork.

For decades, the greatest manufacturers have entrusted their most beautiful models to the pencils of the Italian company. But times are changing. Firms set up their own design studios and Pininfarina declined. The red figures are dangerously close to reaching 204 million euros in losses in 2008. The following year, the group was put up for sale. Several buyers have announced themselves. The Italian jeweller subsequently sold its 74% stake in the 2015 Mahindagroupen to the Indians for 168 million euros. The new owner intends to create a new prestige car brand: Pininfarina cars, and not be satisfied with a signature, however prestigious.

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From Dustin Hoffman to Lieutenant Columbo…

Like a dream…

It is impossible to list all the brands that have called on Pininfarina’s genius to create exceptional vehicles. Sometimes very far from their usual aesthetic codes, like the Peugeot 504 coupé or the famous 403 cabriolet of Lieutenant Columbo. But it was also from the offices of Pininfarina that the Ferrari 308 GTS from Magnum, a hugely successful television series, emerged. Major American productions feature Nash Haley Spider with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. The Alfa Romeo 1600 Spider is driven by Dustin Hoffman in ‘The Graduate’, and there are countless Pininfarina-designed Ferraris that appear in films. All over the world, manufacturers have asked for a special model. These include the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the Chevrolet Corvette Rondine, the BMW Gran Lusso Coupé, the Ferrari Testarossa, Daytona and California (in total some forty cars with the Prancing Horse), the Lancia Aurelia, Rally 037, Aprilia, Flavia and many others.

But Pininfarina is also responsible for vehicle models of less prestigious brands that wish to embellish their range. Honda Beat, MG B, Hyundai Matrix, Innocenti, Austin A40 Farina, Talbot Samba cabriolet or Simca 8. This eclecticism can be found in other areas.

 

The Eurostar and IC4 trains that also run in Switzerland bear the Italian designer’s signature. Like many others. It is also from the Turin workshops that the Bénéteau First yachts are produced.

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When you see the line of a Pininfarina car, you get the impression that the designer has fallen asleep and drawn the most fluid, modern and aesthetic line in his dream. And that in the morning, he reproduced his dream on a drawing board. This is certainly an over-romantic view of the work involved in creating a body when one knows the immense amount of work involved in adapting an ideal line to the many technical constraints involved in building a vehicle.

 

Battista, que bellezza

 

After the takeover of the Italian design office, Mahindra&Mahindra founded Automobili Pininfarina. And their first masterpiece is called Battista, in homage to the founder. A car for which it is difficult to find superlatives: 1,900 fully electric horses, a breathtaking line and an exclusive recharging station, but also available to all buyers who would not have to pay 2 million for one of the 145 cars planned, 2.5 million for one of the 5 “anniversary” models! This bollard, obviously designed by Pininfarina, was made by the Swiss manufacturer Green Motion, a pioneer in the field.

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When you want to achieve excellence, you surround yourself with the best. This is what prompted Pininfarina to contact Green Motion, the world technological leader in charging stations for electric vehicles, which had to imagine and create new elements in order to install them in a station that redefines aesthetic standards and the user experience in the residential segment. But not only that. The Residenza terminal, presented at CES in Las Vegas in early 2020, is made up of recycled organic elements, making it unique in the world.

François Randinse, CEO of Green Motion, is delighted with this prestigious collaboration: “We are proud of this partnership with Pininfarina, which illustrates the alliance between the timeless beauty of Italian design and Swiss know-how in advanced engineering. This combination perfectly symbolises a Europe that wins through innovation and cross-border collaboration.”

We are proud of this partnership with Pininfarina, which illustrates the alliance between the timeless beauty of Italian design and Swiss know-how in advanced engineering. This combination perfectly symbolises a Europe that wins through innovation and cross-border collaboration.” dream…

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Written by

Journaliste de profession, directeur et fondateur de l’agence de relations publiques Media Impact. Fidèle à sa devise: Des idées que les autres n’ont pas – Gérard contribue régulièrement dans le magazine et apporte ses conseils éclairés.