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[NEWS] Pininfarina Pura Vision electric SUV previews brand's future

Pininfarina Pura Vision electric SUV previews brand's future

Pura Vision front driving

Firm's plans shaped by the striking Pura Vision concept, a rakish new electric ‘luxury utility vehicle'

A line-up of ‘pure-electric luxury’ vehicles from Automobili Pininfarina will be shaped by the striking Pura Vision concept, a rakish new electric ‘luxury utility vehicle’ – or e-LUV, as the company defines it.

CEO Paolo Dellachà said the concept is “the bridge from our present to an exciting new chapter”, hinting at the potential for the Pura Vision to heavily inspire future production cars.

Autocar first reported Pininfarina’s plans for an SUV in 2020, with then design boss Luca Borgogno suggesting it would ultimately enter production as a Ferrari Purosangue rival priced from around £300,000.

Plans to evolve the Pura Vision from concept to customer car have since gone quiet, but it nonetheless hints strongly at what to expect from the Italian brand in the near future.

Showing Autocar around the concept in 2020, Borgogno described it as “extremely close to production”. While dramatically styled and highly luxurious, it isn’t an especially unrealistic proposition.

The design features bladed headlights that will appear on future Pininfarina models and, according to new chief design officer Dave Amantea, it “embraces the DNA of iconic vehicles from Pininfarina’s past, to shape the future”.

The silhouette, sculpted mostly from lightweight materials, including carbonfibre, is a “unique sculptural statement”, with a low front end and flared arches inspired by the iconic Cisitalia 202 of 1947 – the first vehicle to enter the Museum of Modern Art’s collection in New York. 

The cabin heralds another radical new approach to interior design, with a stringent focus on functionality and space.

It’s a radically different approach from that of the compact Battista, which majors on driver engagement. ‘Floating’ front seats and a wave-shaped, raised rear bench – all inspired by sailing vessels – emphasise the drive for refinement and luxury, while a low roofline aims to emulate the feel of a sports car.

The driving position, the brand said, is also one more in common with that of a two-seater, despite the car’s raised proportions Pininfarina interior design director Francesco Cundari said such an approach sets the blueprint for future models, with passengers “cocooned” in a “light, airy and welcoming” cabin that “combines the personality of a sports car with the space and comfort of a luxury vehicle”.

This is largely due to the large glass roof, inspired by the 1953 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 Superflow concept, that Pininfarina previously said it was working to bring to production so that occupants would “feel connected to their surroundings, enhancing every trip”. 

The roof’s glass reflects sunlight to keep the interior temperature controlled in the summer, and it’s mounted over a tough aluminium frame that would protect occupants in the event of a rollover accident.

Other key features from the concept’s cabin that are tipped to make production includethe rising central touchscreen that can be stowed to minimise distraction, audio system speakers fitted into the headrests and an integrated wine cooler that’s reminiscent of ultra-luxury brands such as Bentley Mulliner and Mercedes-Maybach. 

Pininfarina has given no details of the powertrain, but the concept we saw behind closed doors in 2020 had a 1000bhp electric powertrain accommodated in a bespoke platform developed in-house. So equipped, it’s theoretically good for a 0-62mph time of around 3.0sec, a 186mph top speed and a range of up to 340 miles, Dellachà revealed at the time. It will also offer “some degree” of off-road capability. 

The Pura Vision will makeits first public appearance at Monterey Car Week in California later this month, where it will be joined by the first Pininfarina production car to take design inspiration from the concept.

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