Pininfarina To Become World’s First Luxury Electric Car Maker

APR 22 2018 BY STAFF 9

Aston Martin will have luxury electric competition in the form of Pininfarina, who hopes to become a standalone luxury electric maker.

Pininfarina has ambitions to expand its capability from a globally revered design house to become the world’s first luxury electric carmaker.

RELATED – ELECTRIC PININFARINA HK GT SPREADS ITS WINGS IN GENEVA

The announcement was made at the 2018 Geneva motor show when CEO and current patriarch, Paulo Pininfarina, hinted to guests and VIPs that a luxury electric vehicle strategy was now in the pipeline with parent company Mahindra. ‘My father’s dream was to build a car company and his father’s dream was also to build a car company,’ he said. ‘Now I plan for that dream to come true.’

Pininfarina HK GT

Paulo was, of course, referring to the men that put House of Pininfarina on the map. The company was founded by Paulo’s grandfather, Battista Farina, who as the 10th of 11 children was nicknamed Pinin (‘the baby’). Battista was apprenticed as a coachbuilder to his older brother Giovanni in the Stabilimenti Farina company, but in 1930 broke away and established his own company which he called Carrozzeria Pinin Farina (later Pininfarina). Paulo’s father Sergio, who graduated as an engineer in Turin in 1950, became managing director in 1961.

If a luxury brand requires heritage and an award-winning back catalogue to build brand credentials, then Carrozzeria Pininfarina requires no introduction. Farina bodywork has regularly appeared on a multitude of car brands including Fiat, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Rolls-Royce and Volvo. Most famously, the company defined Ferrari style from as early as 1952, but the company’s breakthrough moment came with the 1946 Cisitalia 202 GT car. It remains the only vehicle on permanent exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Yet Pininfarina remains relevant. Any coachbuilder in the modern era that is can transform a Ferrari 458 costing £175k, into a £3m Ferrari Sergio has serious equity. It’s clear that Mahindra boss Anand Mahindra wants to tap into this enhanced design capability, while offering customers the latest leading battery technology from four years in Formula E.

The House of Pininfarina has always been known as a pioneer, from computer aided design and digital mapping in the 1960s, to building the first full-size wind tunnel in Italy in the 1970s. When it comes to producing vehicles – it manufactured the 124-based Fiat Spider from 1982 to 1985, as well as other models for Alfa Romeo, Ford and Mitsubishi in the noughties – it’s been less successful, with mounting losses causing a company re-structure and the ultimate takeover from Mahindra in 2015. At the time, the deal was reported to be worth £122 million.

With design talent now merged with Mahindra finance, battery knowhow and an ex-Audi strategy director, there is hope that the venture could succeed. The company showed off its HK GT concept at the Geneva show, a look at what the company will be able to do when it gets going. Motor1.com expects to hear an official announcement made at the Formula E race in Rome on 14 April.

Pininfarina HK GT
5 photos
Pininfarina HK GT Pininfarina HK GT Pininfarina HK GT

Categories: General

Tags:

Leave a Reply

9 Comments on "Pininfarina To Become World’s First Luxury Electric Car Maker"

newest oldest most voted
Lamata

They have Primitive Gull wings doors that need Big Spaces when Opening, Or Otherwise Will Crash into the car or Objects Close to them . Unlike Tesla they don’t have the technology to make Falcon Wing Doors that Fold as they open, to avoid Crashing into any Cars Or Objects Parked too next to them ..

DJ

I thought Tesla was already a luxury EV marque. Some unintended honesty I am guessing 😉

SFTech

This is a joke, Tesla is the world’s first luxury #EV hypercar. Everyone else coming in the pipeline is coming after, which is fine but don’t try and steal Tesla thunder, they have the blood sweat and tears no other auto maker wanted to endure and they’ve earned that right

101101

Agreed Tesla is first by far. But this is also quite meaningful as the heart of Ferrari is finally coming along. Austin was fine but this feels different. This feels like the tide is finally really turning in a way that cannot be ignored anymore.
This is vindication. Now its time for reparation.

halfrican guy

Nothing to see here, just another concept…

windbourne

Too late. Tesla is first luxury EV car makers.

wavelet

Tesla probably shouldn’t be considered a luxury car (Tesla & Musk themselves call it premium), even if it’s in the same price range.
However, the Jaguar i-Pace is, as well as the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive. Quite possibly also the Rimac C1.
So why “first”?

Vexar

Agree on all points. This company is going to be exclusively electric, unlike Jaguar and Mercedes.

Harold T

I guess Tesla, Jaguar, are dog meat then? Vaporware, so far away from reality. It’ll be worse than an Alfa Romeo. Looks great but built by a design house and not a car maker.