Radical Pininfarina Sergio concept moving toward production


June 14, 2013

Pininfarina Sergio concept

Pininfarina Sergio concept

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The world usually sees cars like the Pininfarina Sergio at a few select international auto shows during the debut year. Then the outlandishly-styled cars retire to their designers' headquarters and museums, peeping out every so often for special events and shows. Sometimes they fetch millions at auctions. But the wildly impractical, often beautiful design exercises don't usually enter production. It's looking like the Sergio will be an exception to the rules.

Pininfarina designed the Sergio in honor of the late Sergio Pininfarina, the former head of the Italian design firm who passed away last summer. The luscious two-seat barchetta looked like the epitome of one-off Geneva concept cars, but Pininfarina built the car atop Ferrari 458 Spider mechanicals and said from the start it could easily be developed for exclusive limited run production.

According to several new media reports, Pininfarina wasn't just toying with rich folks lusting after the Sergio concept. Last week,Car & Driver reported that the Italian design house is listening intently to such folks, and they're hearing an overwhelming message: Build it and we will buy!

As the Sergio cruised on from the hustle and bustle of March's Geneva Motor Show to more relaxed gatherings of aficionados at last month's Concorso d'Eleganza Ville d'Este and a Pininfarina celebration in London, whispers and inquiries about production gained momentum, inspiring Pininfarina to look seriously at the possibility. Purchases would be limited to very wealthy folks closely connected to Pininfarina, because it is reportedly thinking of building just five models for around US$2 million a pop.

New 3-D modeling software that allowed Pininfarina to develop the Sergio concept in less than five months would make it financially viable for it to build a handful of models and sell them at a premium. That, plus the fact that the car was built upon existing 458 underpinnings, could push the argument for limited production over the edge.

Autocar added some juice to the rumor this week, quoting Pininfarina chief designer Fabio Filippini as stating that the Sergio could be homologated for sale in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Pininfarina would have to raise the nose by 12 mm to comply with pedestrian protection laws but would keep the production version mostly true to concept form, including its lack of a windshield.

Instead of simply creating an homage to Sergio Pininfarina's past work in creating the Sergio, Pininfarina chose to use the spirit of his design in a more futuristic interpretation. The car's inspiration is rooted in Pininfarina-designed Ferraris of the 1960s and 70s, and it was displayed next to the 1965 Dino Berlinetta Speciale concept car in Geneva. That inspiration is clear in its arched fender and forward-projecting rear. Pulling the car into the 21st century is an array of visually playful aerodynamic treatments like the front spoiler, hood deflector and side inlets, all wrapped together by a black insert. Pininfarina housed all of the functional components of the Sergio's exterior, including the aerodynamic pieces and door handles, in the black scarf, leaving the flowing, red body uninterrupted by utility.

Look at the front of the Sergio quickly, and you might mistake it for the rear. The roadster lacks a front windshield but has a rear windshield and roll bar that envelops the two seats. If it does become available for purchase, the Sergio will come with driver and passenger helmets to serve as protection in the absence of the windscreen. The large hood deflector also helps to divert some of the air flow. The Sergio is certainly not the most practical driving design, but with only five potential models selling for seven figures, it probably won't be seeing a whole lot of road time.

"My father would be proud of this concept car because it expresses the aesthetic values that always inspired him: the purity of the lines, the harmony of form, and balance," Paolo Pininfarina, Pininfarina Group Chairman, said during the car's Geneva debut. "Furthermore, he would be happy with this latest concept on Ferrari base, a brand to which we are related by a history that has helped define the most beautiful cars of all time in an evolution that has lasted 60 years and shows no sign of ending."

While you wait to find out whether the Sergio will make it to production, you can watch it move from rendering to reality in the video below.

Sources: Car & Driver, Autocar, Pininfarina

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

Something that will have to change are those headrests - totally unsuited to a seated driver wearing a helmet. Problem is, it looks it might be very difficult to homologate this car if helmets are to be worn. Best, surely to offer a 20's style deerstalker in Burberry with built-in Ray-Bans...


Geez. Not even available in Canada????

Colin Fox

That's what the world needs, more un-affordable cars that no one can even afford the insurance for. It's pretty, but walk away.

Ronald Cooper

The big thing to note here is the small side reference to the use of the latest 3D modelling software to enable rapid time to market. Cutting the development costs is the big story not a pretty but unsafe ride. BTW, I actually would like to see a variant with all the usual stuff we expect, like windshields, etc. so it actually could be safely driven.


Why does Ferrari have such a lock on design? What's stopping other designers from even holding a candle to them.


Beautiful! From several angles it reminded me of the Lancia Stratos, only sleeker. I hope they eventually offer a targa-roofed, windshield-equipped version at a (considerably) lower price.

Suman Subramanian

While I do want one, I'll have to wait until next year's model comes out. Then the price on these will go down, right?

Jeff Vandervort

Actually, though the "world" doesn't necessairily need such a car, their remains a handful of millionaires and billionaires that express a sigh of relief, that a car designer and manufacturer of the unsurpassed quality of Ferrari, continues to work their asses off to bring these automotive near miracles to reality. It's okay with me, because I know, that the enigineering excellence displayed by Ferrari in these supercars, eventually benefits us all.

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