World debut of the 2uettottanta, an innovative vision of an Alfa Romeo open sports car
The company changes its skin: in future, more services and ecomobility
Turin, March 2, 2010 – Pininfarina is 80 years old and it starts the celebrations for this important milestone at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show by holding the world preview of a concept car, the 2uettottanta, and of two examples of recent highly successful stylistic collaboration agreements, the Ferrari 458 Italia and the Maserati GranCabrio.
So 80 years have gone by since that day, May 22, 1930, when Battista “Pinin” Farina (the surname was changed from Farina to Pininfarina in 1961 by Presidential decree) founded Società Anonima Carrozzeria Pinin Farina in Turin, a small artisan workshop that turned out small production runs and special bodywork to order for wealthy private clients.
Through a long process of growth and transformation, ideas and creative verve, often ahead of its time, adapting to profound social, economic and technical changes in the course of 80 years, Pininfarina has evolved from an artisan workshop to an international conglomerate that operates as a global partner of the motor industry. Today Pininfarina, which was listed on the Stock Exchange in 1986, has branches in Italy, Germany, Sweden, Morocco, China and the United States. Its automotive clients include prestigious brands such as Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Ford, Volvo, Tata Motors, Chery, JAC and Brilliance. Important partnerships have also been developed over the years in other sectors, with clients such as Ansaldobreda, Eurostar, Iveco and Prinoth. Pininfarina Extra, the Group Company that specialises in product and interior design, architecture, boats and aeronautics, was founded more than 20 years ago, and boasts over 400 projects to its name.
Numerous Pininfarina creations are now part of the prestigious collections of museums in Italy and abroad, such as the MoMA of New York, which acquired a Cisitalia 202 Berlinetta in the 1940s. Pininfarina design has received numerous prizes in its 80 years of history, the most recent being: the “Louis Vuitton Classic Concept award” for the Maserati Birdcage 75th; the “red dot award 2008” for the Sintesi; the “Compasso d’Oro 2008” for the Nido; and the Trophée du Design 2009. Sergio and Battista “Pinin” Farina are both members of the famous European Automotive Hall of Fame, an institution created to celebrate the men who have made motoring history.
In addition to its 80 years of experience, success and prestigious agreements, Pininfarina is unique in the world market for its capacity to combine tradition and the skills developed over the years to meet the new demands of its clients and the market. “Eras have passed, men have succeeded other men,” comments Chairman Paolo Pininfarina, “but in its genes, Pininfarina today is the same as it was in the 1930s: the central role of design, aesthetic sensitivity capable of creating timeless beauty, constant striving for innovation, the strength of a tradition that brings together industry, technology and stylistic research, the capacity to interpret the client’s requirements without emptying the brand of its identity, and a propensity for long-term collaborations. These values, together with the commitment of the entire Group, will enable us to build a bridge towards the future.”
To mark its 80th anniversary, Pininfarina proposes an “open” Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta Concept that is exciting and a delight to drive. For those who still like to dream in a car. For those looking for a mixture of vanity, entertainment, and the pleasure of life in the open air. For those who love icons as the greatest expression of the age we live in. For those who want their cars to be an uncommon sensory experience in terms of both style and driving, without being obsessed by performance. For those who want to be excited by a dynamic, sporty car that transmits the exclusiveness and refinement typical of an Alfa Romeo spider designed by Pininfarina.
2uettottanta: a name that evokes the legendary Duetto, but also the years of activity at Pininfarina, which launches the celebrations for its 80th anniversary with this concept car. And it has decided to do so with a type of car that is by definition, the work of Pininfarina: an Alfa Romeo spider. A very Italian product, which has become an export brand, representing the inexhaustible talent that the whole world associates with Italy.
The Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta Concept reflects Pininfarina’s determination to look to the future with optimism following tradition, restating its excellence in design and its acknowledged capacity for aesthetic and technological innovation. It is a concept that represents an innovative approach, projected into the third millennium, to a topic that is firmly rooted in Pininfarina history, the 2-seater spider. And like the best Alfa Romeo sports cars to come from Pininfarina’s pencil, the Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta Concept exalts the driving experience and concentrates on the excitement of being at the wheel of an open car with a great aesthetic personality. It is a car that can make people dream and excites even after many years. The icon of a lifestyle that harks back to a lively, tumultuous period. Like the Duetto of the Sixties, which helped to establish a trend based on the themes of rebellion and escape, thanks to the film “The Graduate”.
Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta Concept
The Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta Concept is also a tribute to Alfa Romeo, which celebrates its centenary in 2010: the alliance between Alfa Romeo and Pininfarina is one of the most significant and durable in the history of the car, one of men and of passion, of design and cutting-edge technical solutions, which has generated an inestimable number of good-looking, innovative cars with plenty of temperament. With a predilection for sports cars and convertibles. The aim is to replicate all this with the Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta Concept. So a clean, elegant line was chosen for this “simple 2-seater”, which is proposed with a 1750 cc turbo engine positioned longitudinally, an obvious reference to the “1750 Veloce” of 1968, one of the many versions derived from the famous “Osso di Seppia” (Cuttlefish). With its red bodywork, inspired by the typical Alfa Romeo paintwork, the 2uettottanta is 1797 mm wide, 4212.6 mm long, 1280 mm high and has a wheelbase of 2500 mm.
The pleasure of driving and feeling in harmony with nature is transformed into light, sleek, refined volumes, and shapes that seem to slip through the air easily. This generates the theme of this concept: the expression of a single volume, which is some way from the ground and suspended. The Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta Concept almost seems to lift up from the ground “going further”. It is an optical effect achieved thanks to a line that crosses the whole car horizontally. An uninterrupted sign applied to dynamic, sporty proportions – typical of Alfa Romeo spiders – accentuated by the configuration of the passenger compartment, which is shifted significantly to the rear. The force of the design lies in its exaltation of simplicity, which does not need to show its muscles but concentrates purely on agility and harmony.
The front end of the Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta Concept underlines its true Alfa Romeo character. The design is simple, with a central line that runs smoothly along the nose of the car, while the execution of the surfaces is more sophisticated. At the centre, in full view, and anything but a purely decorative element, is the Alfa Romeo shield, which seems to emerge from the heart of the car and to stretch outwards, in Pininfarina’s futuristic, three-dimensional approach. The shield is made of aluminium and incorporates floating horizontal flaps. On either side are the two triangular lateral air intakes. The two elements impressed on the imposing bonnet create a natural link between the logo and the large windscreen, which has been designed as a ring in hand-beaten aluminium that emerges from the body of the car without interrupting its flow. The front headlights, which adopt the latest LED technologies, are embedded under the line that gives the whole car its character. A strip of carbon in the lower part of the front acts as an air splitter, channelling the air to the rear end of the car.
The side view of the car, where the theme of the single volume is repeated, highlights the flowing line of the whole, with the shapes merging naturally. The horizontal line “cut” into the sides gives a sense of great dynamism; it starts from the front wheelarch and extends back to the rear wheel. Like an athlete, for a car, being slim also means achieving aerodynamic efficiency. Pininfarina has always strived for natural shapes that can convey efficiency and respect of the environment, an approach confirmed by its great commitment to the theme of eco-sustainable mobility. The Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta Concept is in perfect harmony with nature, becoming the formal expression of a response to the needs of our day: it is an arrow that flies through the wind almost without encountering resistance.
Smooth, essential, soft surfaces even at the rear, which echoes the front, albeit with slightly more emphasis on the muscles. The design combines stylistic simplicity with a strong character in the volumes and proportions, with details designed to underline the car’s dynamic, light personality. The two bumps seem to emerge from the volume, becoming floating wings that create the roll-over bars behind the seats. At either end, these bars generate an appendix designed to hold the seat belts. Even at the rear the light clusters are slender and embedded under the line that defines the whole section.
Great attention went into the design of the interior. The result is a spacious, comfortable passenger compartment, conceived with light, dynamic volumes, which envelop the occupants in a strong, reassuring embrace. The shapes are sewn into the leather, incorporating the touch controls: in its functions, the Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta Concept is faithful to its vocation as a car designed to be a delight to drive. The facia extends fluidly to the sides merging into the doorway as the natural continuation of the volume of the car, thus creating a perfect symbiosis between exterior and interior. The dashboard has a driver-oriented configuration with an innovative approach to the classical circular Alfa Romeo “tubes” that contain the instruments. The tunnel contains the Alfa DNA gear selector in an ergonomic position; this varies the set-up of the car in three modes, Dynamic, Normal and All Weather, adapting the behaviour of the various systems on the vehicle (engine, transmission, suspension, steering, brakes, etc.) to the demands of the driver and the different driving conditions. The tunnel runs through the passenger compartment and it gives structure to the chassis, revealing the carbon elements: the choice of this material reflects Pininfarina’s constant research into alternative materials that can make vehicles lighter, reducing consumption and emissions. Another strong element of the interior is the steering wheel, which is a modern interpretation of the Duetto’s perforated three-spoke wheel, with the addition of a shift paddle for sequential control of the dual-clutch gearbox. An enjoyable drive and comfort are also guaranteed by the anatomical sporty seats. All the interior of the car “floats”: the ventilation ducts are positioned between the passenger compartment and the hull.
The size and design of the tyres, which were created specifically for the Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta Concept in collaboration with Dunlop, accentuate the impression of strong character and force given by the car. The tyres are of the low profile type, right on the extreme edges of the plane view: designed by Pininfarina to incorporate the innovative technologies developed by Dunlop, their graphics reflect those of the car. Their aerodynamic shape and very smooth lateral profile, guarantee better roadholding and less resistance to air, thus reducing consumption. The rims are treated in aluminium in harmony with the rest of the car, and are a free interpretation of the classic five-circle Alfa Romeo pattern, revealing the high performance carbo-ceramic Alfa Romeo brakes by Brembo.
The Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta Concept is not a pure styling exercise, but also a project and research: the goal is to grasp the spirit of the spider in the configuration, the proportions and the conception of the car as well as in its stylistic imprint. This working method is part of Pininfarina’s genes. For this project, the Pininfarina creative team were given carte blanche to express the values inherent in the Alfa spider “by Pininfarina”, the values that are deemed to have made the Giulietta Spider or the Duetto all-time classics. To achieve this result, the car was given a particular set-up, with a low centre of gravity and a passenger compartment that is very exposed so as not to isolate the occupants from the surrounding environment. The result is to bring the road “nearer” to the eyes of the driver and to increase the sense of dynamism even at low speed.
What is the 2uettottanta effect? Desire. Whoever sees it “must” possess it, drive it, enjoy it. Because the 2uettottanta is not an unattainable dream. Nor does the 2uettottanta only want to impress at first glance, but to achieve a beauty that does not strive solely for immediate confirmation, but gradually reveals all its values and transfers them to the future, making the style eternal. As it did in the case of the Duetto, which continues to be celebrated as an icon of design after more than 40 years.
Pininfarina today and tomorrow: industrial design, ecomobility and brand enhancement
The rapid changes that have taken place on the global market in the last two years, and in particular the unprecedented crisis that has hit the motor industry, have inevitably also affected the current physiognomy of Pininfarina. On one hand, one of the pillars on which the company has relied since its origins has vanished, the production of cars for other manufacturers: a tangible sign of this transformation was marked at the end of 2009 by the sale of the Grugliasco plant which sanctioned Pininfarina’s transformation from artisan concern to industrial company, when it was inaugurated in the 1950s.
On the other, the scenario has changed and the opportunities linked to zero emissions urban mobility have grown significantly: the world focuses increasingly on protecting the environment and Pininfarina was the first Italian industrial company, and one of the first in Europe, to propose a 100% electric concept car. Today, while all the large carmakers are focusing on the electric car as an opportunity, Pininfarina takes another step forward, promoting a philosophy that includes the choice of electric transport, both individual and collective, as part of a new lifestyle that everyone should adopt in order to increase energy saving, protecting the planet at the same time. This is why eco-sustainable mobility has become one of the three pillars on which the Group’s industrial plan now rests.
“In the future of Pininfarina,” explained CEO Silvio Pietro Angori, “we will offer even more industrial design services, continuing to play a key role as a design house and as an innovative partner with unique skills, capable of supplying solutions that translate into competitive advantages for our clients. Consistent with our industrial plan, we will pursue our commitment to ecomobility, with the development and production of electric vehicles (cars and buses), and as research into alternative components and materials and into aerodynamic shapes that help to make vehicles lighter and to reduce consumption and emissions. And finally, we will concentrate on the creation of value from the brand, whose potential derives from the reputation it has built up in 80 successful years.”
World preview in Geneva: the 2uettottanta
It would be difficult to think of a better place to celebrate Pininfarina’s 80 years of activity. The Palexpo in Geneva will host the eightieth edition of a Motor Show that Pininfarina is particularly fond of: it is also thanks to this event if the company has been able to acquire such fame and build up its international image, laying the foundations for the credibility and iconic power of its brand. And, except for a few rare exceptions, Geneva has hosted the debuts of dozens of show cars and research prototypes developed over the years. The 2uettottanta is no exception.
The decision to link the company’s 80th anniversary with the development of the 2uettottanta, a concept car with Alfa Romeo mechanicals, reflects Pininfarina’s desire to look to the future with optimism. The 2uettottanta interprets and evolves certain strong elements of the Alfa Romeo-Pininfarina alliance and represents an innovative approach, projected into the third millennium, to a theme that is firmly rooted in Pininfarina history, the 2-seater spider. It is an iconic object that links Pininfarina’s past and future with an imaginary thread.
To put out its 80 candles, Pininfarina gave itself another gift. At Geneva it will be exhibiting two gems with the Ferrari and Maserati logos, the 458 Italia and the GranCabrio, which earned Pininfarina the Trophée du Design 2009 from the French periodical L’Automobile Magazine.
Francesco Fiordelisi, head of Corporate and Product Communications, tel. +39 011.9438105/335.7262530 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org