The design house Pininfarina is responsible for some of the most beautiful four wheeled creations throughout the history of the automobile; however the Italian design studio has also been an innovative force, constantly adapting to the needs of the day in order to ensure the continuation of personal transportation. One thing that any Italian based manufacturing facility is known for is an outright sense of style and the ability to instill beauty into everything they do. That is why Pininfarina has just unveiled their latest concept, the Nido, an attractive, small and safe vehicle geared at replacing densely populated urban environments with a low emissions vehicle that was designed from day one to not only look good but provide peace of mind to the occupants inside.
In Italian, the word Nido means nest, however we see the compact city car concept as what is usually being safeguarded in a nest, eggs. Some of the design sketches show the early concept as being a round egg shaped vehicle with the passengers occupying a yellowish yolk like protected space in the middle. So the Nido is a 21st century attempt to solve the age-old high school science project, how to keep the insides intact upon impact. Pininfarina’s engineers have designed the Nido with a separate passenger compartment built inside the concept’s frame and body that is connected to the outer shell with energy absorbing cushions placed around the passenger’s compartment. The bright orange polymer cushions would act like springs upon impact, absorbing the forces exerted by the instant deceleration, however unlike energy storing metal coils that would spring back returning all that pressure onto the passengers, a cushion simply acts like an oversized pillow in a briefcase.
Pininfarina knows that no matter how great a car is, it has no chance at being remembered if it is unattractive. So that is why the designers worked with the safety focused engineers from the beginning to create the Nido city car concept. The Nido follows the traditional rules of automobile styling rules with four wheels, two headlights and a large grill in the middle of the front bumper that almost looks back at you. One place where the Nido concept brakes from ordinary cars is the lack of a hood; this begs the question, what is going to power the compact city car and which wheels will be driven? The most likely answer is that similarly to the Smart and Nano, the power plant will be placed behind the two passengers, however the Pininfarina Nido’s lightweight construction would make it an ideal candidate to be a battery electric vehicle.
Press release after the jump.