Pininfarina unveiled their latest show car, called the Sintesi, a four-seater which explores future packaging solutions around Quadrivium fuel cell technology, to an interested audience in Geneva.

Pininfarina unveiled their latest show car, called the Sintesi, to an interested audience at the Geneva Motor Show last Tuesday. The Sintesi continues Pininfarina’s recent line-up of concept cars, in particular combining the values of the Nido and Birdcage 75th. As the name suggests, Sintesi is a sythesis of Pininfarina’s design values, uniting sportive nature with practicality.

The Sintesi is a four-seater which explores future packaging solutions around Quadrivium fuel cell technology, distributing the engineering in a more fluid-like manner throughout the chassis which has generated new packaging solutions for a roomier interior and a more dynamic exterior design. The interior space, which is comparable to that of a Maserati Quattroporte, is housed within an extremely aerodynamic body measuring a drag coefficient of only Cd 0.27. This so-called “Liquid Packaging” also improves weight distribution and lowers the centre of gravity, to enhance driving characteristics.

In contrast to many concept cars which were unveiled at Geneva, the Pininfarina Sintesi focuses on a timeless form, rather than complicated ‘over styled’ detailing, which is a recurring malady with overstaffed modern-day style studios.

The first design sketches of the car were produced by Nazzareno Epifani. The young designer, who arrived at Pininfarina after studies at the IED in Turin, first explored the general shape, producing a monolithic form before applying the detailing. The exterior, in particular the glasshouse area, demonstrates a very strong graphic image. Slim LED lighting modules at the front and rear, developed by Osram, add to the simplicity of the monolithic form. Giuseppi Randazzo was the main Chief Designer on the project along with Lowie Vermeersch, Pininfarina Design Director. Contributions came from Jason Castriota, Pininfarina Chief Designer.

The exterior of the car presents a clear symbiosis of technology and sculpture. This is continued inside, where the interior space is incorporated into the chassis structure. The seats in particular underline this split-level design, with the seat backs being sensually cantilevered away from the base, and also being trimmed in lighter leather.

Lowie Vermeersch, the Belgian-born designer who has been working at Pininfarina since 1997, explains the interior features. “The dashboard, which is made from translucent plastic, contains a honeycomb structure which has been topographically engineered to ensure maximum strength and minimal material use. An identical form of design and engineering has been applied to the interior lighting module which runs along the roof of the car. This is a highly natural design process, where simplicity has played a very important role.”

The dashboard itself uses the latest touch-screen technology, and the car is furthermore linked to a handheld device. The floor pan section is wave-like in profile, which is repeated in the lower door shut line, which according to Jason Castriota suggests “a magic-carpet ride.” Despite this, Pininfarina are certain that the technology on the Sintesi is no fantasy, and showcases features which could be applied to production cars within the next decade.

by James Granger

© 2008 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed