You're familiar with Pininfarina, the famous automotive design firm from Italy responsible for the exterior styling of many iconic Ferrari cars like the Daytona, the Testarossa, the F40 and the Enzo, just to name a few. The company has also penciled car bodies for such automakers as Alfa Romeo, Cadillac, Fiat, Jaguar, Lancia, MG, Opel, Peugeot, Rolls-Royce, even Hyundai. But one popular brand the design house hasn't worked with is the Munich-based BMW.
Until now, that is.
The German carmaker has announced that it has finally tapped the Italian design company to help it create a one-off model, the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe. The car is being unveiled at the 2013 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este event. Note that this car wasn't sketched entirely by Pininfarina--BMW's design team also had a hand in the project. This is, technically speaking, a 50-50 collaboration.
"The appeal of this collaboration with Pininfarina is that you get another, very different and special angle on facets like luxury and exclusivity," said BMW design head Karim Habib. "The Italian company, after all, has always been a byword for these criteria in particular, demonstrating time and again its keen sensitivity and exceptional finesse in these areas. In Pininfarina, we have found the ideal partner to lend shape to this vehicle concept."
"The result of this cooperative venture is far greater than the sum of its parts," countered Pininfarina design head Fabio Filippini. "When two such tradition-rich and experienced brands join forces to turn a vision into reality, something utterly new and exciting emerges. From start to finish, this project was defined by a mutual respect for the identity of the other company."
Among the key design features of the Gran Lusso Coupe, as explained by BMW, are:
* The "kidneys" (of the grille) are angled toward the road, citing the typical BMW "shark nose" and lending the front end an even more dynamic look, particularly when seen from the side. The front part of the bipartite kidney grille is made of matte-sheen aluminum, while behind it an identically shaped part in high-gloss black adds visual depth and makes for an exciting contrast of materials.
* Above the kidney grille, the hood stretches across the front of the car, its subtle contours appearing to emanate from the BMW emblem and lending the hood a dynamic elegance.
* The eye-catchingly sporty front apron concludes the front end as it dips toward the road. The flat, one-piece air intake accentuates the breadth of the front, an impression reinforced by chrome trim that adds a classy touch. The air intake is larger at the wheels and draws attention to the car's wide, sporty track.
* The high shoulder line extends almost horizontally along the entire side of the car, imbuing it with stature and presence. Above it, the long roof line flows elegantly into the rear to define the short tail end. Below the shoulder line, a striking countersweep to the roof line emanates from the Air Breather behind the front wheel. Ascending toward the rear, it lends the back section of the car a light and dynamic appearance.
* The matte-sheen embellishment behind the front wheel adds a stylish accent as it integrates the side indicator.
* Another signature BMW detail is the Hofmeister kink. Behind it, the V12 logo indicates the powerful engine within the coupe. Pininfarina lettering in the side panel points to the definitive role played by the Italian design company in creating this vehicle, with the Pininfarina logo above it indicating that the car was also built by the design house.
* The exclusively designed 21-inch wheels perfectly augment the sporty, elegant statement made by the coupe. Five trios of graceful yet powerfully sculpted spokes display a strong visual depth through the application of matte-sheen aluminum, black and black chrome. As such, the wheel design blends an elegant multispoke style with the sportiness of five-spoke rims.
* The elongated side profile leads to a slender and elegant tail end. Striking horizontal elements imbue the entire rear end with a very broad, flat impression. Precise contours and horizontal lines break up the rear aspect, resulting in a clever interplay of light and shadow that partitions the entire design and brings it alive.
* An eye-catching detail is the transition from the roof to the rear lid: Two elaborately shaped struts extend the roof pillar toward the rear, ensuring an elegantly fluid transition of the roofline into the tail section.
* Extending from the sides, the taillights embrace the rear end in a single sweeping gesture that brings the side and rear together visually. The taillights reveal elaborately detailed workmanship and lend the BMW L-shape a slender, almost filigree interpretation. They are set--jewel-like--within high-grade trim in matte-sheen aluminum. A particular highlight is their open design, allowing air to flow through them.
"The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe has an extraordinary impact," said the senior vice president of BMW Group Design, Adrian van Hooydonk. "It expresses hallmark BMW values such as luxury and sheer presence in a highly elegant form. I admire the reductive clarity and precision in Pininfarina's design. Their expectations for the end result have been just as high as ours, and their understanding of design perfectly complements the BMW design DNA for a vehicle of this kind."
So now, the question: Do you like it?