Pininfarina Sergio Tribute Car Revealed
Pininfarina has officially lifted the lid on its Sergio concept car. The tribute car has also been supported throughout its development by Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo. The name of Sergio Pininfarina is inextricably linked to the Ferrari brand; the Sergio, therefore, also celebrates the importance of Pininfarina’s contribution to the history of Prancing Horse design.
“Throughout his career, Sergio was a model for designers who believed, like him and his father before him, that a car is not just a machine; it is a work of art,” Fabio Filippini, vice president design, Pininfarina, said. An ambassador of Italian design to the world, Sergio Pininfarina helped shape the company that his father, Battista “Pinin” Farina, founded in 1930, into a prestigious international design house.
The collaboration with Ferrari that began in 1952 has generated some of the most popular sports cars of the postwar period. The Sergio’s mechanicals are those of the 458 Spider, which remains unchanged in its wheelbase and tracks.
A real open air vehicle with a deliberate nod to racing cars, in the sense that a cupola is not fitted to protect occupants, and for which two helmets are provided, the Sergio represents an organic view of the mid-rear-engined two-seater barchetta. The exterior form revisits volumes and surface treatments from Pininfarina-designed Ferraris of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
To enhance the ‘purity’ of the body’s form, all the technical parts of the Sergio (handles, fins, air intake holes) are concentrated in dark parts of the body, leaving the red-painted parts free.
In the tradition of barchetta sports cars, the Sergio has no conventional doors but half doors with vertical rotation opening for ease of access; this design solution also safeguards the rigidity of the car’s side structure (as in racing cars).
On the front, the headlights are housed in a single transparent transversal element, as in the Dino Berlinetta Speciale 1965. Adapted to the size and technology of current car design know-how, this element also becomes an identifying mark.
The rear lights, meanwhile, reinterpret the circular themes of Pininfarina-Ferrari history. The round extrusions offer a dual function by providing the lighting function and also serving as exit points for hot exhaust air coming out of the oil coolers.
The interior take all the functional parts of an existing 458 spider (dashboard, seat structure, centre console and steering wheel) and develops them as an extension of the external surfaces: the black exterior slips into the car and creates the tank where the standard technical components are integrated. Even the engine bonnet descends inside, wrapping round the rear part of the seats. The door panels integrate the functions of the handle and armrest and are designed as floating elements separated from the tank.
One interesting element consists of the floating, aerodynamic headrest connected to the roll-bar rather than to the body of the seats. Besides ensuring maximum purity of the lines, this solution also acts as a head fairing in the rear.
The Sergio project has also seen Pininfarina extend its collaboration with CAD software maker Dassault Systèmes.
“We see technology as an enabler of innovation and efficiency that allows our designers to spend more time being creative,” Filippini said. “The Sergio Concept Car was an ambitious undertaking because we had very little time to see the project through to completion before the Geneva Motor Show,” he added. “With Dassault Systèmes’ (3DS) 3DEXPERIENCE Platform and CATIA for Creative Designers, our designers and engineers were able to work in concert to produce an esthetically innovative and aerodynamic design under a very tight schedule.”
Using new virtual clay modeling and 3D sketching features in CATIA for Creative Designers, Pininfarina designers were able to express their creativity and experiment in the earliest stages of development with a variety of approaches and designs, and to quickly converge on the most appropriate shape and configuration of the Sergio concept car. The 3D virtual model was rich in detail and production-ready Class A surfaces.
“We adopted a multi-phased approach in which we first created preliminary shapes with CATIA Imagine & Shape and then visualized each one with the Live Rendering application. The ability to experience each design variation in 3D in a realistic virtual environment was very much appreciated and helped us to rapidly converge on the perfect design for the Sergio Car,” Marco Capolicchio, responsible for surface modeling, Pininfarina said.