All The Cars That Go 200 MPH

Saturday of Monterey Car Week, I visited the Automobili Pininfarina Villa at Pebble Beach for a walkaround of the upcoming Pininfarina PF0 pure-electric hypercar, and to sit alongside potential owners and retail partners for the product manager’s digital presentations. Sitting on an elevated turntable in an alcove on the back side of the villa, PF0 showed well in the milky light of Carmel on a gloomy day. Pininfarina chief designer Luca Borgogno has drawn on several of the firm’s greatest designs of the past 70 years. Just like the business side has adopted best practices of firms like Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Rolls-Royce, Borgogno has assimilated best practices of current gasoline-powered mid-engine supercars.

Lead designer of Automobili Pininfarina's PF0, Luca Borgogno. He stands six feet four and served as template for the interior package and human factors. In short, American athletes who could never comfortably sit in a supercar might want to consider this one.Pininfarina

Borgogno stands six foot four and served as template for interior human factors, offering hope to professional athletes who cannot fit into a Ferrari or Lamborghini. PF0’s dihedral doors combine the best of McLaren 720S and Bugatti Chiron. Door lifted up and out, tall folks can lean sideways into PF0—head, neck and upper body cutting above the plane of the roof just like in a McLaren—before easing down into the seat. Shorter people can hop in, no limbo required. Unlike a McLaren, which even in MonoCage II form has high, wide sills, PF0 door sills are low, like the conventional doors of Bugatti Chiron. PF0 sills are narrow, too, unlike a Lamborghini Aventador’s. PF0 doors score high marks for practicality and drama.

Fenders, rockers, roofline, and the rear deck all have subtle creases that create tension and definition. The rear deck is defined in great part by the twin tail fins that flow from the shoulder top folding over, an interpretation of the type of bargeboards used at the rear of the BMW i8. This is an early concept sketch.Pininfarina

PF0 is not a dainty craft, looking more like an 11/10ths scale Ferrari EV concept car, even 12/10ths. Pininfarina has released one image, of the rear deck and fenders. The rear shoulders curl over to form broad, flat rear wings, like the “bargeboards” of a BMW i8. Yet the two wings, which are like the tucked-flat rear fins of a gliding sea creature, are subtle, requiring a double- or even triple-take to comprehend. They are aerodynamically functional, a product of Pininfarina’s full-scale rolling road wind tunnel. For aero work closer to the car’s claimed 200+ mph top speed, Pininfarina works in wind tunnels of aerospace firms.

The tease photo offered after Pebble Beach last week. The door tops and shoulder flow into something like a folded tail. It serves aerodynamic purposes. Important to note that Pininfarina owns a full-scale rolling road wind tunnel.Pininfarina

Flaps lift upward from the rear wings at higher speeds, increasing downforce, or serving as airbrakes under deceleration. Here again, Pininfarina is benchmarking McLaren and Bugatti active aero, but at rest the flaps are nearly imperceptible, part of a clean surface area. PF0 has no hydro-electric arms hoisting or trimming the angle of a big wing that is also a sort of sculptural addenda.

This concept sketch is exaggerated, but shows the curl of the two wide, flat wings out of the rear shoulder.Pininfarina

Unlike most current supercars and hypercars that emphasize surface aero componentry as forms of sculpture, PF0 has clean, gracefully curving surfaces, in great part free of scoops, vents, intakes, bulges, bumps, slots, and manipulated aero channels related to cooling and feeding a high-horsepower internal combustion engine. To paraphrase Borgogno, the car is silk. It’s as if the last 15 years of supercar design never took place. PF0’s shape requires a mental refresh.

PF0 makes the most of its simpler driveline, and offers graceful, simple chiseling. PF0 is informed by the high period of Pininfarina mid-engine design decades ago.Pininfarina

The parcel shelf behind the cockpit is much like in a McLaren 570GT, and can manage one TravelPro trolley, but not quite two. The answer is tailor-made soft luggage from a firm like The Bridge, using every inch of space. In a $2 million car, is spending a few grand more on luggage a great impediment?

Inside the villa, product manager Thomas Böhler presented interior and exterior renderings, defining atelier capabilities. “We like to offer colors and materials that bring out these reflections and lines of the body,” says Böhler. Exterior surfaces should respond well to 21st Century updates of the classic and vintage era colors one sees on the Pebble Beach fairway. Pininfarina is vetting suppliers who can color-impregnate carbon-fiber, as seen on Bugattis and McLarens the past few years. With only 150 PF0s planned, “We want the clients to express their character and each car will be as unique as the person who owns it,” says Böhler.

Modeled around the six foot four designer, the interior should accommodate more robustly scaled clients.Pininfarina

Dash, door panels and center console are flowing forms executed in fine materials without being overtly “luxury,” much like in a Ferrari. You won’t find a double-wide iPad stuck in the middle of a cheap dashboard, either. Without shift paddles, there’s no need for a complete 360-degree hoop steering wheel. PF0 is more high-speed bolide and boulevardier than hooligan car for chucking about, so those who like to shuffle steer will need to special order a chunky donut wheel. Steering wheel configuration may change as the car migrates through full global crash safety homologation, but the wheel on the concept is an exciting piece of design, like on a supercar go-kart.

Luca Borgogno, lead designer on PFO. They're always sketching, even at cocktail parties.Pininfarina

Left-side flat screen focuses on performance data. Right-side screen presents information normally found on a conventional car’s centerdash screen like rearview camera, GPS navigation, media, connectivity topics. I hope they also add a front camera, and split screens that include a planview that helps so much when placing an exotic in tight parking spaces. They can buy such tech from VW Group or BMW suppliers. A small screen dead ahead delivers a digital speed readout, and other top-level performance data. Screens distract, so the faster PF0 travels, the less information appears. “We have done a lot of benchmarking and competitor analysis. But the integration of functionality and esthetics is in the DNA of Pininfarina,” says Böhler.

Primary battery pack runs along the keel like in a BMW i8, a wide stripe down the belly. A secondary pack sits behind the cockpit ahead of the rear axle line. A skateboard battery pack can work for a sedan or SUV, but raises vehicle height many inches too high for a supercar architecture. Pininfarina has benchmarked wisely again.

Next month Pininfarina will announce technology partners, but the claimed performance and powertrain specs are oddly like those of a Croatian firm’s EV supercar, Rimac. Porsche recently took a 10 percent stake in Rimac, which has intriguing battery technologies.

Four electric motors mounted inboard, two paired up front, two at the rear, present a packaging challenge, and explain the relatively tall front deck height, and no reference to a “frunk.” In final form, the two electric motors may force a higher front deck and not allow the sort of intimate go-kart view of the road that so clearly defines the driving experience in a Ferrari 488 or McLaren 720S offers. Unlike the gas-electric hybrid Acura NSX, which packages two 36-horsepower motors in its nose, one for each wheel and just enough for all-wheel drive to trim cornering capability, PF0 will have motors that generate considerably more power.

If the computer scripting from Tech Mahindra and other suppliers works out, PF0 will have an evolution of the type of torque apportionment employed in the NSX, with four motors instantly metering optimal torque at each wheel. In theory, individual power for each wheel can give the car cat-like balance, and exceptional Launch Control when sprinting in a straight line. Both Audi and Porsche are no doubt wrestling to resolve such issues for e-tron and Taycan, which might explain the very lengthy run-up to the Taycan market launch.

Anand Mahindra, Chairman of parent company Mahindra-Mahindra, stated that PF0 is merely the first step, the car that defines Pininfarina’s highest altitude. Pininfarina can then fill white space below with high-performance EV sedans, SUVs, coupes, and sportwagens in the same price range as Lamborghinis and Bentleys. At this stage, Pininfarina must deliver a highly reliable and easily exploitable electric drive system. No do-overs or Mulligans on your first car.

Since “brand marketing” burst into automotive more than 20 years ago, the argument has been the pieces matter less than the brand itself, a dangerous path for mainstream car companies selling anodyne CUVs. But a Ferrari with an engine designed or even assembled by Hyundai would be considered trash, laughable, a disgusting insult. The motor is the pride of a premium carmaker. But an electric car is an assemblage of current battery technology and off-the-shelf electric motors. The brand value bar is set much lower. A battery is a function, not a musical instrument, not mechanical engineering fine art delivering sensation. Speed, acceleration, cornering, design and reliability will be the main measurables.

When presenting his 103EX electric-autonomous concept vehicle a few years ago, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös forwarded the notion of highly customized coachwork draped over a proven carbon-fiber hull that can be stretched and mutated. Architecture forced by a V8 or V12 engine is removed.

If Hermès wanted to produce one-off cars for favored clients—several firms offer such services for furniture—perhaps no more than a dozen cars a year, could Hermès turn to Automobili Pininfarina, whose design glories match Hermès? With bodywork that is entirely frangible, meaning sacrificed in an accident? Why not a Hermès-designed close-coupled 4-door sitting atop a Pininfarina hull and powertrain, moving silently through the chilly winter streets of Paris? In short, a 21st Century rebirth of carrozzeria. Can’t happen now, but it’s on the horizon.

Rimac, Panasonic, LG, Samsung, who cares? If an owner can park his Pininfarina PF0 at Solage in Napa Valley after an enjoyable afternoon visiting wineries, and head off to the bocce courts without a second thought, Automobili Pininfarina will be successfully launched.

 

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Saturday of Monterey Car Week, I visited the Automobili Pininfarina Villa at Pebble Beach for a walkaround of the upcoming Pininfarina PF0 pure-electric hypercar, and to sit alongside potential owners and retail partners for the product manager’s digital presentations. Sitting on an elevated turntable in an alcove on the back side of the villa, PF0 showed well in the milky light of Carmel on a gloomy day. Pininfarina chief designer Luca Borgogno has drawn on several of the firm’s greatest designs of the past 70 years. Just like the business side has adopted best practices of firms like Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Rolls-Royce, Borgogno has assimilated best practices of current gasoline-powered mid-engine supercars.

Lead designer of Automobili Pininfarina's PF0, Luca Borgogno. He stands six feet four and served as template for the interior package and human factors. In short, American athletes who could never comfortably sit in a supercar might want to consider this one.Pininfarina

Borgogno stands six foot four and served as template for interior human factors, offering hope to professional athletes who cannot fit into a Ferrari or Lamborghini. PF0’s dihedral doors combine the best of McLaren 720S and Bugatti Chiron. Door lifted up and out, tall folks can lean sideways into PF0—head, neck and upper body cutting above the plane of the roof just like in a McLaren—before easing down into the seat. Shorter people can hop in, no limbo required. Unlike a McLaren, which even in MonoCage II form has high, wide sills, PF0 door sills are low, like the conventional doors of Bugatti Chiron. PF0 sills are narrow, too, unlike a Lamborghini Aventador’s. PF0 doors score high marks for practicality and drama.

Fenders, rockers, roofline, and the rear deck all have subtle creases that create tension and definition. The rear deck is defined in great part by the twin tail fins that flow from the shoulder top folding over, an interpretation of the type of bargeboards used at the rear of the BMW i8. This is an early concept sketch.Pininfarina

PF0 is not a dainty craft, looking more like an 11/10ths scale Ferrari EV concept car, even 12/10ths. Pininfarina has released one image, of the rear deck and fenders. The rear shoulders curl over to form broad, flat rear wings, like the “bargeboards” of a BMW i8. Yet the two wings, which are like the tucked-flat rear fins of a gliding sea creature, are subtle, requiring a double- or even triple-take to comprehend. They are aerodynamically functional, a product of Pininfarina’s full-scale rolling road wind tunnel. For aero work closer to the car’s claimed 200+ mph top speed, Pininfarina works in wind tunnels of aerospace firms.

The tease photo offered after Pebble Beach last week. The door tops and shoulder flow into something like a folded tail. It serves aerodynamic purposes. Important to note that Pininfarina owns a full-scale rolling road wind tunnel.Pininfarina

Flaps lift upward from the rear wings at higher speeds, increasing downforce, or serving as airbrakes under deceleration. Here again, Pininfarina is benchmarking McLaren and Bugatti active aero, but at rest the flaps are nearly imperceptible, part of a clean surface area. PF0 has no hydro-electric arms hoisting or trimming the angle of a big wing that is also a sort of sculptural addenda.

This concept sketch is exaggerated, but shows the curl of the two wide, flat wings out of the rear shoulder.Pininfarina

Unlike most current supercars and hypercars that emphasize surface aero componentry as forms of sculpture, PF0 has clean, gracefully curving surfaces, in great part free of scoops, vents, intakes, bulges, bumps, slots, and manipulated aero channels related to cooling and feeding a high-horsepower internal combustion engine. To paraphrase Borgogno, the car is silk. It’s as if the last 15 years of supercar design never took place. PF0’s shape requires a mental refresh.

PF0 makes the most of its simpler driveline, and offers graceful, simple chiseling. PF0 is informed by the high period of Pininfarina mid-engine design decades ago.Pininfarina

The parcel shelf behind the cockpit is much like in a McLaren 570GT, and can manage one TravelPro trolley, but not quite two. The answer is tailor-made soft luggage from a firm like The Bridge, using every inch of space. In a $2 million car, is spending a few grand more on luggage a great impediment?

Inside the villa, product manager Thomas Böhler presented interior and exterior renderings, defining atelier capabilities. “We like to offer colors and materials that bring out these reflections and lines of the body,” says Böhler. Exterior surfaces should respond well to 21st Century updates of the classic and vintage era colors one sees on the Pebble Beach fairway. Pininfarina is vetting suppliers who can color-impregnate carbon-fiber, as seen on Bugattis and McLarens the past few years. With only 150 PF0s planned, “We want the clients to express their character and each car will be as unique as the person who owns it,” says Böhler.

Modeled around the six foot four designer, the interior should accommodate more robustly scaled clients.Pininfarina

Dash, door panels and center console are flowing forms executed in fine materials without being overtly “luxury,” much like in a Ferrari. You won’t find a double-wide iPad stuck in the middle of a cheap dashboard, either. Without shift paddles, there’s no need for a complete 360-degree hoop steering wheel. PF0 is more high-speed bolide and boulevardier than hooligan car for chucking about, so those who like to shuffle steer will need to special order a chunky donut wheel. Steering wheel configuration may change as the car migrates through full global crash safety homologation, but the wheel on the concept is an exciting piece of design, like on a supercar go-kart.

Luca Borgogno, lead designer on PFO. They're always sketching, even at cocktail parties.Pininfarina

Left-side flat screen focuses on performance data. Right-side screen presents information normally found on a conventional car’s centerdash screen like rearview camera, GPS navigation, media, connectivity topics. I hope they also add a front camera, and split screens that include a planview that helps so much when placing an exotic in tight parking spaces. They can buy such tech from VW Group or BMW suppliers. A small screen dead ahead delivers a digital speed readout, and other top-level performance data. Screens distract, so the faster PF0 travels, the less information appears. “We have done a lot of benchmarking and competitor analysis. But the integration of functionality and esthetics is in the DNA of Pininfarina,” says Böhler.

Primary battery pack runs along the keel like in a BMW i8, a wide stripe down the belly. A secondary pack sits behind the cockpit ahead of the rear axle line. A skateboard battery pack can work for a sedan or SUV, but raises vehicle height many inches too high for a supercar architecture. Pininfarina has benchmarked wisely again.

Next month Pininfarina will announce technology partners, but the claimed performance and powertrain specs are oddly like those of a Croatian firm’s EV supercar, Rimac. Porsche recently took a 10 percent stake in Rimac, which has intriguing battery technologies.

Four electric motors mounted inboard, two paired up front, two at the rear, present a packaging challenge, and explain the relatively tall front deck height, and no reference to a “frunk.” In final form, the two electric motors may force a higher front deck and not allow the sort of intimate go-kart view of the road that so clearly defines the driving experience in a Ferrari 488 or McLaren 720S offers. Unlike the gas-electric hybrid Acura NSX, which packages two 36-horsepower motors in its nose, one for each wheel and just enough for all-wheel drive to trim cornering capability, PF0 will have motors that generate considerably more power.

If the computer scripting from Tech Mahindra and other suppliers works out, PF0 will have an evolution of the type of torque apportionment employed in the NSX, with four motors instantly metering optimal torque at each wheel. In theory, individual power for each wheel can give the car cat-like balance, and exceptional Launch Control when sprinting in a straight line. Both Audi and Porsche are no doubt wrestling to resolve such issues for e-tron and Taycan, which might explain the very lengthy run-up to the Taycan market launch.

Anand Mahindra, Chairman of parent company Mahindra-Mahindra, stated that PF0 is merely the first step, the car that defines Pininfarina’s highest altitude. Pininfarina can then fill white space below with high-performance EV sedans, SUVs, coupes, and sportwagens in the same price range as Lamborghinis and Bentleys. At this stage, Pininfarina must deliver a highly reliable and easily exploitable electric drive system. No do-overs or Mulligans on your first car.

Since “brand marketing” burst into automotive more than 20 years ago, the argument has been the pieces matter less than the brand itself, a dangerous path for mainstream car companies selling anodyne CUVs. But a Ferrari with an engine designed or even assembled by Hyundai would be considered trash, laughable, a disgusting insult. The motor is the pride of a premium carmaker. But an electric car is an assemblage of current battery technology and off-the-shelf electric motors. The brand value bar is set much lower. A battery is a function, not a musical instrument, not mechanical engineering fine art delivering sensation. Speed, acceleration, cornering, design and reliability will be the main measurables.

When presenting his 103EX electric-autonomous concept vehicle a few years ago, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös forwarded the notion of highly customized coachwork draped over a proven carbon-fiber hull that can be stretched and mutated. Architecture forced by a V8 or V12 engine is removed.

If Hermès wanted to produce one-off cars for favored clients—several firms offer such services for furniture—perhaps no more than a dozen cars a year, could Hermès turn to Automobili Pininfarina, whose design glories match Hermès? With bodywork that is entirely frangible, meaning sacrificed in an accident? Why not a Hermès-designed close-coupled 4-door sitting atop a Pininfarina hull and powertrain, moving silently through the chilly winter streets of Paris? In short, a 21st Century rebirth of carrozzeria. Can’t happen now, but it’s on the horizon.

Rimac, Panasonic, LG, Samsung, who cares? If an owner can park his Pininfarina PF0 at Solage in Napa Valley after an enjoyable afternoon visiting wineries, and head off to the bocce courts without a second thought, Automobili Pininfarina will be successfully launched.

 

Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/markewing/2018/09/10/pf0-200-mph-electric-hypercar-will-launch-pininfarina-car-brand-a-walkaround-at-pebble-beach/

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