Design Icon: Pininfarina

by . October 16th, 2012

In the world of automobiles and its design, only a few names in the industry will conjure images of design excellence and quality. For ordinary people, names like Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche would usually belong to this group. However, for those who directly work in the car manufacturing industry, this might not always be the case.

Unknown to most people, car companies sometimes employ the work of outside design firms and professionals for the design or redesign of their cars. One best example of firms that operate this way is the Italian car design firm and coach builder Pininfarina.

Pininfarina S.p.A. was founded as Società anonima Carrozzeria Pinin Farina in 1930 by automobile designer and builder Battista “Pinin” Farina. For the past 82 years, the firm has worked with various luxury car brands including Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa-Romeo, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce to name a few. In fact, some of the most stylish car designs from various popular car makers were designed by Pininfarina. Here are some examples.


Alfa Romeo Brera Spider. The Alfa Romeo Brera Spider is one of several production cars that Pininfarina manufactures and assembles in their plant in Turin, Italy. It was first introduced at the 2006 Geneva Motor show, where it also received the Cabrio of the Year award.


Alfa Romeo 1600 Spider (Duetto). Considered as a design classic, the Alfa Romeo 1600 Spider was a 2-door roadster produced by Alfa Romeo from 1966 to 1993. There were four series of this car designed by Pininfirina. The first three series were assembled in Grugliasco in Turin while the last one was assembled in San Giorgio Canavese.


The last 1600 Spider rolled out from the production line on April 1993. Plans for a 2015 version of the Spider, which will be done in association with Mazda have already been announced on May 2012.


Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is a GT car designed by Frank Stephenson and Pininfarina. It was Ferrari’s flagship vehicle from 2006 to 2012 replacing the 575 Maranello. The car debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in February 2006.


The car’s superb design and engineering made Evo Magazine and Top Gear Magazine to name it the Car of the Year for 2006.

Ferrari 458 Italia. The 458 Italia is a mid-engined sports car produced by Ferrari in Maranello,ltaly and was fully designed by Pininfarina. The 458 was designed to replace one of Ferrari’s most successful coupe – the F430.


The 458 Italia was officially unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor show on September 15, 2009. It has then received rave reviews and awards including Best Driver’s Car in 2011 by Motor Trend and Best Cabrio of 2011 by Auto Zeitung magazine.


1971 Fiat 130 Coupe. The Fiat 130 is a large executive car manufactured by Fiat in the 1970s and was designed by Paolo Martin of Pininfarina. It came either as a 4-door saloon, a 2-door coupe or a 5-door station wagon. Production of this car started in 1969 and ended in 1977.


1997 Peugeot 406 Coupe. The Peugeot 406 was a large family car made by Peugeot from 1995 to 2004. The car was available in three versions, a saloon, an estate and a coupe. Among the three trims, it was the coupe version that was designed by Davide Arcangeli & Lorenzo Ramciotti at Pininfarina.


1987 Cadillac Allante. The Cadillac Allante was the company’s first attempt to reach the luxury roadster market. Built from 1987-1993, the Allante’s body was designed and manufactured in Italy by Paninfirina, which are then shipped to Cadillac’s Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant.


The car was interestingly nicknamed as “The Flying Italian Cadillac” since it was shipped from Italy to Detroit using specially equipped Boeing 747s.


2003 Maserati Quattroporte. Quattroporte which means four doors in the Italian language is the name of a luxury four-door saloon made by Maserati in Italy. The fifth generation of Maserati Quattroportes was designed by Pininfarina and was unveiled during the 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show in September 2003.


2008 Maserati Gran Turismo. The Maserati Gran Turismo is a two-door 2+2 coupe produced by Maserati and designed by Jason Castriota from Pininfirina. The car shares the same platform as the Maserati Quattroporte V and was unveiled during the 2007 Geneva Motor Show.


There you have it guys, which design by Pininfarina is your favorite? Tell us by leaving a comment below. For other design news and stories, you can add us up on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus or subscribe to our blog using this link.