Pininfarina plots standalone future

From the Alfa Romeo Spider to the Ferrari Enzo, Pininfarina is responsible for more than a few of motoring's most iconic designs. But, after 88 years of sculpting for some of the biggest names in the business, the Italian coachbuilder has decided the time has come to go it alone.

Having acquired Pininfarina in late 2015, Autocar reports that parent company Mahindra will make an initial $100 million investment to get the new venture off the ground, with a further $400 million expected to be spent over the next five years. The first project to be funded will be a fully-electric, Chiron-rivalling hypercar - codenamed the PF-Zero - development of which is expected to begin this year ahead of a 2020 launch.

Headline-making halo cars are all well and good; as a manufacturer in its own right, though, Pininfarina faces the same requirement for revenue and growth as any of its rivals. And in 2018 that can only mean one thing.

Well, three things, in fact, with the company set to produce a trio of SUVs as part of its initial drive towards viability. The largest, codenamed the PF-One, will be a high-performance rival to Lamborghini's Urus, expected to produce around 955hp for a 0-62 time below three seconds. The other two, meanwhile, will use lesser versions of the same powertrain to go up against the Porsche Cayenne and Macan at the more 'affordable' end of the market.

All of Pininfarina's cars will make use of modular underpinnings co-developed with Rimac, whose own Chiron-chasing C_Two was unveiled at Geneva with 1,914hp. There's no word on how the cars will look yet, although based on the company's previous work, and its Geneva offerings, expectations will be high once Pininfarina officially announces its plans at its home Formula E race in Rome on April 14th.

An Autocar source added: "Pininfarina has always made very special cars, but usually for other people. When we have sold cars ourselves, like the Pininfarina Sergio (a 2013 concept of which six were built in 2015 and reputedly sold for $3 million each), we have always done very well. It is not difficult to see what the next step should be. The cars we make will be exclusive and, of course, very beautiful indeed."

P.H. O'meter

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