The elite Prancing Horse
This is designed to honor Sergio Pininfarina
“The key is to preserve the heritage of the past by projecting it into the future…”
This is the philosophy of Sergio Pininfarina. Ferrari and Pininfarina are synonymous in the ultra-exclusive supercar market segment. Sergio Pininfarina (1926-2012) was an extremely gifted visionary. He and his father Battista Pinin created automotive works of art. It was Battista that founded Carrozzeria Pininfarina Coachbuilding Company in 1930.
His focus was to design and build automobiles of distinction. Carrozzeria Touring was highly sought during the 1930s. The collaboration between Enzo Ferrari and Battista Pinin began in 1952. Sergio was bright, ambitious, and a visionary who moved through the ranks quickly to became an integral part of the company. Sergio Pininfarina was named managing director of his father’s company in 1961.
Pininfarina created a supercar concept to epitomize the life of Sergio Pininfarina. What better tribute than the iconic Prancing Horse that he himself exemplified. Pininfarina introduced the “Sergio Ferrari” an exclusive two-seater barchetta at the Geneva International Motor Show in 2013.
He is universally known as “Master of Italian style.” He led Pininfarina Design Studio for 40 years. He also served as an elected member of the European Parliament from 1979-1988. He was named Senator for life of the Italian Republic September 23, 2005. It was his abstention vote in 2007 that dethroned Romano Prodi.
Sergio Pininfarina’s real love was the automobile. His work became synonymous with elegance… and craftsmanship second to none. Although he designed and built many different makes…Ferrari was his forte. His classics are now selling for millions of dollars…one of his most outstanding creations, a 1960 Ferrari GTO sold for $35 Million USD. One of his first designs to earn accolades is the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta PF840. Berlinetta…or “little saloon” was made famous by Ferrari in the 1950s because of Sergio Pininfarina’s genius. He went on to create the formidable Ferrari 250 GTE which is one of his most famous designs. And, lest we forget…the Dino and the Enzo.
The Sergio Ferrari concept exudes a fresh new approach to the Prancing Horse. It escalates exclusivity and supremacy in a supercar to new heights. It’s a clear departure from the past focusing directly on the future…just as Sergio Pininfarina’s personal credo. The avant-garde design is like no other…completely unique – just as the Master of Italian design. The Sergio Ferrari captures a svelte elegance in motion with bodylines that seem to be never beginning and never ending. There is a continuous sweep from nose to tail. The shocking absence of a windscreen is totally disarming and audacious. Just like the Prancing Horse’s overt recalcitrance to status quo…the Sergio Ferrari concept created its own niche –
The Sergio Ferrari concept is a wind-cheating masterpiece. Aerodynamic research resulted in an extreme lightness with the feeling of floating. The virtual windscreen involves a flow of air at increasing pressure as the car’s speed increases. An air foil designed in a recess on the front bonnet produces a double deflection of the airflow entering the cockpit.
The first deviation is from the wing, the second from the air that accelerates in the channel created between the air foil and a corresponding shape of the recess in the trunk. This virtual windscreen channels the airflow over the occupant’s heads protecting them from turbulence.
This virtual windscreen is effective at speeds as low as 30 mph. The roll bar is designed as a wing in tune with the airflow from the front creating downforce. Even the rearview mirror has an important job; it takes on a fluid form diverting air away from the occupant’s heads.
Due to the elimination of the windscreen there is a loss of aerodynamic load on the front axle. A wing inserted into the front bumper not only manages aerodynamics, it also directs the flow of air to the radiators of the cooling system centrally located in the front of the car.
The exterior is a startling transformation of the Ferrari 458 Spider into a barchetta. Its design enhancements were tested in the Grugliasco wind tunnel to retain and optimize its aerodynamic efficiency. The bodyshell is constructed from carbon-fibre resulting in a 10 percent overall weight reduction compared to the original 458 Spider’s aluminium bodyshell. The deep lustrous multi-layer metallic crimson was inspired by the original red of the Dino Berlinetta Speciale.
Hand-brushed aluminium wheels reflect the racing Berlinettas of the 1960s and the 1970s in a 21st century version. This ultimate styling tour-de-force is like no other Prancing Horse at the Scuderia Stables. The Sergio Ferrari concept has a familiar silhouette exhibiting the Pininfarina styling cues that are so popular with his renditions of the Prancing Horse. With its lightweight construction and the Ferrari 458 Spider’s mechanical components, longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-62 mph in less than 3.4 seconds…a typical Ferrari attribute.
The cabin retains the original technology and performance of the 458 Spider. It uses all functional parts such as the dash, seat structure, center console, and steering wheel. The black trim of the exterior flows into the cabin creating the tub. The door panels integrate the handles and armrest and are designed as floating elements separate from the tub. Two helmets are housed in a small recess in front of the door panel. Pininfarina collaborated with Newmax for the design of the Sergio helmets which match the color of the bodyshell. The seats are upholstered in light gray leather with an antique effect. Bronze accents and metal studs coordinate with the exterior design.
As always, Pininfarina designs include distinct form and function which sets them apart from the competitors. The Sergio Ferrari concept understates the functional and technical parts such as handles, air intakes, and fins in the dark parts of the body. The red parts remain the focal point augmenting the sculpted body work. It has window-less half doors that rotate 45 degrees vertically providing easy access. This type of racing-inspired safeguard design maintains structural integrity. The headlamps are set into cylindrical projectors in aluminium and are LED technology. They are embedded into a crystalline block of Plexiglas that diffuses light. “Beam me up Scotty!”
The circular taillamps not only represent Pininfarina and Ferrari heritage, they provide lighting and exhaust hot air from the oil coolers. Inherent Pininfarina DNA is evident in the rear bonnet. The iconic round graphic holes hint at legendary Pininfarina history and provide airflow to the engine compartment.
Pininfarina creations have become legends. The Sergio Ferrari concept reflects 60 years of comradery with the Prancing Horse. It is a mixture of aesthetic balance and elegant simplicity. This Prancing Horse is a unique and extreme combination of exclusivity, innovation, and technology. It is designed to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Sergio Pininfarina.
The exemplary manner in which Senator Pininfarina discharged his creativity with the Prancing Horse – as with all of his work – earned the title of Master of Italian design. He led Pininfarina Design Studio for 40 years. The extremely successful collaboration between Ferrari and Pininfarina began in 1952. NotoriousLuxury salutes Sergio Pininfarina, one of the greatest visionaries of the 20th century. The Sergio Ferrari is one of Pininfarina’s elite one-off creations that could easily become reality as a production vehicle built at an extremely restricted pace. The entire world waits with bated breath…
Photos courtesy Pininfarina Media site
Dino Ferrari Speciale, 2013 Geneva International Motor Show