Not being very fanatical about cars, I always assumed those beautiful red Ferraris were designed by an in-house team of skilled Italians, toiling away up in Turin and emerging once in a while to speed around the Italian countryside in a ridiculously nice, fast car.
Turns out, though, that a lot of the classic Ferraris, plus several other cars (Alfa Romeos, Volvos, Maseratis, even Fords) are sometimes designed by a famous Italian company called Pininfarina. And now they’re entering the electric market.
Tons of electric cars have recently been announced–the Smart EV, the Renault Cleanova, the Nissan Nuvu to name a few–and now this Italian company, who have never before manufactured, but have designed a ton of cars, is entering the fray.
Teamed with a a French company called Bolloré, Pininfarina is priming the first production car entirely under the Pininfarina brand, and it’s 100% electric. It’s also called the B0 or B-Zero. That acronym, obviously, has no unfortunate second meaning in Italian like it does in English. ‘B.O.’ translates as puzza di sudore, which doesn’t really work for a car anyway.
Seinfeld also wasn’t syndicated in Italy, so there’s another reference lost. Regardless, they’ll probably change the name for the North American market just to keep us from making too many jokes.
Anyway, back to the car–it’s coming to dealerships at the end of 2009. Claiming that the battery can be recharged from a domestic main socket in a number of hours, the car should get 250km on a single charge, and will have a top speed of 130km/h. There’s also a fast 5-minute charge that’ll be enough for 25km of city driving.
This is a fully electric, zero-pollution car (as in it produces no pollution itself–generating the electricity to power it is, as we all know, another matter), with solar panels on the roof and hood to power some components and aid in the recharge, plus capacitors that do the same by drawing on the energy created as the car brakes.
It’s not going to be cheap at the outset: €25,000 ($33,600) when it’s released in Europe, the States, and Japan. That’s alright–new concepts are rarely affordable at the very start. The car is dedicated to Andrea Pininfarina, former chairman of the company, who died suddenly this summer after a Vespa crash in Turin.