12.10.2004 Over the last fortnight at the Paris Mondial de l'Automobile, Pininfarina have presented an innovative proposal, 'Double-Face', for niche cars which differing characteristics to be built on a single chassis

Over the last fortnight, design house Pininfarina have been showing an innovative proposal at the Paris International Motor Show, for  two differing bodied cars to be built on one chassis.

This project took its place on a busy stand, that included the new Ferrari F430, a sportscar designed by the Italian firm, that was receiving its 'World Premiere' at the French show, the little Nido concept, which focused on safety issues, and the Lotus Elise-based 'Enjoy', which will be their first ever self-branded vehicle, when it goes into limited production next year to celebrate their 75th Anniversary.

However, with its series of eye-catching moving sections, centre stage went to the aforementioned project, known as 'Double-Face'.

Developed by their recently acquired French subsidiary, Matra Automobile Engineering, it focuses around the concept of offering significant future cost-savings in the production of niche vehicles.

The idea is for a multi-brand manufacturer to be able to produce a single chassis, which they describe as having "common technical features so as to reduce the impact of tooling costs on niche volumes". This chassis could then be clothed in individually styled bodies, for wholly differing applications.

In Paris, the Pininfarina 'Double-Face' idea was demonstrated with two body finishes, one which was in sheet metal, while the second was constructed out of composite materials.

The steel chassis, painted in metallic blue, was presented as a sporty hatchback, while in complete contrast, the composite material chassis, in a mix of red and grey colours, offered hints of off-road application, in the style of a currently fashionable 'Crossover' vehicle.

Pininfarina's visual presentation of the 'Double-Face' at the Paris Mondial de l'Automobile involved large cutaway sections that overlapped each other. Sliding on rails, the two different style bodies, moved out of the shadows at either side to neatly fit over a centrally mounted chassis structure.

by Edd Ellison

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At the Paris Motor Show on 23rd September, Pininfarina will present three new projects, Nido, Double-Face AND, the niche production vehicle, Enjoy