Last August Pininfarina took the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead and turned it into personal luxury roadster. Now the company is offering the Rolls Royce Hyperion to the public, and at €4.5 million (currently about $6 million) per example, this is guaranteed to be a very limited edition.
This is not a listing for the actual car that premiered at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, but a custom-built new car coming straight from Italy. While €4.5 million may seem like a high price tag, it’s all relative. The exporting company that is listing the Pinin-Roller can also put you in a €40 million Aerobus A318 or a €130 million yacht.
The Pininfarina BlueCar is not just a concept revealed at the Geneva Show. It will also go into production in Italy at Pininfarina starting from 2010. It will be produced between 2011 and 2017, and by 2015 the company hopes to sell around 60,000 units.
An elegant compact MPV with automatic transmission, conceived as a four-seater five-door, the Pininfarina BLUECAR is supplied by LMP (Lythium Metal Polymere) batteries, combined with a device for energy storage (“supercapacity”), manufactured in the Bolloré plants at Quimper (Francia) and Montreal (Canada), which retrieves and stores energy during braking and makes it available when the vehicle re-starts. This means greater acceleration, an increased range and longer lifespan for the car’s battery.
The LMP battery can be recharged at a traditional mains plug and range is 250 km. At equivalent weight, this battery stores five times more energy than a traditional type and recharges in just a few hours. As it does not require any maintenance, it has a life-span of about 200,000 km and provides unparalleled safety. The battery is housed below the floorpan and between the two axles. Due to its low centre of gravity, roadholding is outstanding. Moreover, the electric car produces no gas or fine particle emissions and no noise: LMP batteries thus make a real contribution to the fight against atmospheric pollution.
UPDATE 03/16/11: Two years after it made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show amidst promises that it will eventually get the green light for production, the Pininfarina BlueCar is finally ready to hit production after the Italian coachbuilder signed an agreement with Cecomp and Bollore to build 4,000 of these snazzy electric cars for France’s Autolib car sharing service. If things run as smooth as the parties involve hope, then you can expect Autolib to begin offering the BluCar as a rental in a number of French municipalities, including Paris, beginning sometime in the last part of this year.
If you’ve lusted after it, it’s likely Pininfarina designed it. But Pininfarina’s main business has usually come from manufacturing cars under contract for larger companies. Right now it produces Alfa Romeo Brera coupe and spider and the Ford Focus coupe-cabriolet , but the volumes are only about a quarter of what was anticipated. This downturn has created an almost €600 million ($835 million) mountain of debt that has made Pininfarina is almost bankrupt.
To keep the creditor away, Pininfarina has struck a deal with its creditor banks that will relinquish family control and stop most car production. In exchange for forgiveness of €180 million of the debt, the Pininfarina family will give 50.6 percent of its shares to creditor banks. The company will also not seek any new production contracts after all contracts run out in 2011. The only vehicles that Pininfarina will produce after that time will be the B Zero electric car project .
This does not mean an end to Pininfarina’s car design business. But transferring control to a holding company from the family that built the business and bares its name cannot be a good thing.
Pininfarina unveiled at the Paris Auto Show the B0 (B-Zero) concept vehicle, an electric car that will go into mass production model, with the first units coming off the production line at the end of 2009.
The B0 is powered by batteries that can be recharged in just a few hours. The battery does not require any maintenance and has a lifespan of around 200,000 km (125,000 miles). The car’s LMP batteries thus help combat air pollution. The batteries of the B0 also contribute to reducing noise, another nuisance which affects people’s quality of life in urban environments.
Because it is 100% electric powered, the B0 does not generate any pollution. But the process of generating the electricity which the car uses must also, as far as possible, not have produced any atmospheric pollution. That is why the creators of the B0 have designed it to incorporate every possible solution designed to optimise the car’s energy efficiency and use of clean energy sources.
Pininfarina will unveil at the Paris Auto Show a plug-in electric concept car that previews a future four-seat small car that the company plans to sell under its own brand name in Europe, US and Japan starting in late 2010.
The concept car will feature Lithium Metal Polymer batteries. These batteries differ from lithium-ion batteries (like the ones planned for the Chevrolet Volt ) because each battery cell is electronically protected by passive and active systems that constantly monitor operating efficiency, voltage and temperature of each element. The cells are encased in a steel container to prevent damage.
It has a 125 mile range on a full charge that takes about eight hours to load from a standard home electrical outlet. It can also run for 15 miles on a five-minute charge.
As you know when we talk about the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance everything is exclusive. Exclusive is also the new Pininfarina Hyperion, based on the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe . This is a special vehicle commissioned by a individual who has not yet been named. The new vehicle features no back seats and a new design for the interior: the front seats were pulled back almost sixteen inches due to the new sloping windshield.
As you expected everything in this car is at is done to a higher level of refinement, even the clock: premium watchmaker Girard Perregaux manufactured a special tourbillon timepiece which can be removed from its writs-strap and mounted into the dashboard. Also a gun rack was fitted in the front of the cabin.
This is the first car unveiled since the untimely death last week of Andrea Pininfarina, CEO and grandson of the company’s founder. His designs are revered throughout the industry, and while this Rolls Royce insures his legacy, it is unfortunate that it will be one of the last to his credit.
Pininfarina will unveil the Hyperion during Pebble Beach Concours, August 2008. The Special Project carrozzeria is based on the Rolls Royce Drophead Coupe and is an homage to the great pre war cars.
The project, named “Pininfarina Hyperion”, is based on a Rolls Royce Drophead Coupè and is an homage to the great pre war cars. Its style, size and overall presence is truly unique in modern day car production, firmly rooted in the history and heritage of the two Brands at the core of the project.
"We are particularly proud to communicate that the private client who has commissioned the car, has graciously agreed to display this latest Pininfarina creation at the prestigious American event."
The future Pininfarina electric car , developed in cooperation with the Bolloré group will go on sale in exactly one year: June 2009. The announcement was made by Vincent Bolloré who is in charged with developing the lithium-ion battery that will be used to power the electric car.
The future electric car will have an autonomy (in city) of 250 km and a top speed of 150 km/h. The battery will be recharged at any normal electric plug.
Pininfarina wants to build 1000 units in 2009, 4000 units in 2010, 5000 in 2011, 10.000 in 2012 and 15.000 units in the following year.
Who thought that the well-known coachbuilder Pininfarina is going to take the „green” way? Well, it’s true! The Italian manufacturer announced that it’s going to produce an electric car in a joint venture with the French manufacturer, Bollore. The new vehicle will be produced in San Giorgio, Italy due to the fact that the production of the Alfa Romeo Spider and Brera will be moved from San Giorgio to Bairo.
The plant will be modified in order to make place for the new production line of the electric vehicle. The yet-unnamed car will be launched as a concept in October, at the Paris Auto Show while the production version will be unveiled in March 2009 at the Geneva Auto Show. According to Pininfarina CEO Sergio Angori, some pre-production units will be released by the end of 2009 while the production vehicles will be released after September 2010.
The well-known design work company, Pininfarina, decided to make its work famous also outside. They have plans for opening a Research, Design and Engineering Center in Pune, India before the end of 2008. Just some weeks ago during 2008 Auto China show in Beijing, Pininfarina presented its newest design work, the Maserati Gran Turismo S.
It seems that the plan for the Research, Design and Engineering Center is also backed by Tata Motors, who signed a letter of intention to take a minority stake in the center and to place contracts with it. “This agreement witnesses the great attention Pininfarina is dedicating to an emerging and highly developing market such as the Indian one” declares Andrea Pininfarina, Chairman and CEO of Pininfarina S.p.A. .