The Pininfarina Sintesi concept made its debut this March at the Geneva Auto Show.
The radically styled four door sports car almost resembles something you would find in a Hot Wheels package, with its suicide scissor doors and aggressive, angular face.
Using a design process called “Liquid Packaging”, the mechanical components are combined into the aesthetic structure of the car’s body, instead of merely creating a body shell to be placed over an existing drive train.
This technique allows for components to be placed not simply where they are most convenient, but where they make the most sense from a design perspective, especially when taking into account weight distribution and center of gravity.
The Sintesi is completely electrical, and is designed to be plugged into a standard electrical outlet for recharging. A full 5 hour charge gives the driver a range of 150 miles, and a quick charge option gives you 15 miles for 5 minutes of plug-in time – perfect for a quick trip to the supermarket or for picking the kids up at school.
The vehicle is powered by hydrogen-electric fuel cells, which in keeping with the Liquid Packaging concept are positioned near the wheels at all four corners.
Pininfarina has even posited that it could take the concept to a more extreme application and place many small fuel cells all over the body, given that unlike a standard combustion motor, an electrical engine does not require a centralized fuel source.
The power generated by the hydrogen-electric motor in the Sintesi is in the 700 horsepower range – certainly more than enough for any city driving. Strangely, performance is not what you would expect from such beast-like power, with acceleration to 31 miles per hour taking 4.8 seconds.
Top speed is also a relatively low 80 miles per hour. Given all of their experience with Ferrari, one would think that Pininfarina would know better than to call a vehicle with such specs a ‘sports car’, but then again, not many people would need to be driving much faster than 80 miles per hour around town.
Aside from its extreme styling and green propulsion system, the Sintesi is also notable for something called the Clancast system. Installed in the concept, Clancast is a network which aims to facilitate communication between all cars on the road.
The primary infrastructure goal is the management of traffic patterns and elimination of the need for things such as speed limits and traffic lights. Highly ambitious, Clancast treats a highway system as though it were a living organism, and it represents the next step in intelligent cars and transport system design in major urban areas.