Pininfarina: Design and Efficiency in the Modern Age

September 23, 2022

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For car enthusiasts, the name Pininfarina conjures up images of beautiful, powerful automobiles. This includes the 1967 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, the Ferrari F40 and – of course – the gorgeous new Battista!

Battista car

In 2018, Pininfarina promised us its first electric hypercar. The Battista is all that and more. The company designed an E-Heart into the car. According to Paolo Dellacha, chief product and engineering officer, this feature delivers a hum and “the sound creates a direct connection with what the car is doing.” In essence, it builds a strong connection between the driver and vehicle.

Pininfarina is all about making beautiful cars that go fast. So, why build in that hum? Because the company has always been at the forefront of engineering savvy.

Battista (right) and Sergio (left) Pininfarina

In the 1930s, when the company was founded, 2004 AHF Inductee Battista “Pinin” Farina recognized the importance of aerodynamics in vehicle performance. In his memoirs, he wrote that aerodynamics, is the “form of speed.” At the 1935 Milan Motor Show, Pininfarina exhibited the Alfa Romeo 6C Pescara Coupé Aerodinamico. One year later, the company built the Lancia Aprilia Aerodinamica and achieved an astonishing Cx (aerodynamic finesse) of 0.40. Nearly 90 years later, the 2021 Tesla Model S has a Cx of 0.28. Pininfarina was ahead of the game and proved that aerodynamics wasn’t a symbolic element or a metaphor of speed. Battista made it a real standard of efficiency.

Paolo Pininfarina

This understanding of how engineering and technology underlie beauty and power is alive and well at Pininfarina today. The current CEO, Paolo Pininfarina recently stated, “In its genes, Pininfarina today is the same as it was in the thirties. We believe in the central role of design, aesthetic sensitivity capable of creating timeless beauty. We are constantly striving for innovation. It is the strength of our tradition that brings together industry, technology and stylistic research.”

If you’re curious about what Pininfarina has in mind for the future, join us on October 20 to hear from Paolo Pininfarina himself as part of our Honoree Lecture Series for high school and college students. Click here to register.

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