The Secrets of the Ferrari Sergio by Pininfarina

Classic Driver was recently granted extended access to Pininfarina’s stunning Sergio concept. We unlock some of its most interesting secrets...

First things first: technically, the Sergio is not a car as such – yet. Despite sitting on what’s essentially a mock-up of a Ferrari 458 chassis, the Sergio is currently a striking piece of rolling artwork, constructed largely from resin over a computer-milled buck. You might have glimpsed the Ferrari V8 engine through the rear deck, but that’s merely a cover: the Sergio does not actually run. The steering works, however, as it's needed for moving the concept around during events.

As ‘Speciale Barchetta No. 0’, this car is what Pininfarina hopes will be a precursor to a limited production run of between three and six cars, depending on customer interest and the associated economics. Should the bean-counters give the green light, Ferrari would deliver the relevant number of 458-based chassis, engines and interiors to the Cambiano headquarters of its long-time associate.

By the time the cars are finished, they’ll each weigh 150kg less than their donor, a feat achieved mainly by extensive use of carbonfibre but also through the obvious lack of a roof and windscreen. You might already be aware of the clever aerodynamic workaround (effective above 50km/h) employed to address the latter, but Design Director Fabio Filippini warns that it “only redirects air, and not insects or stones”.

Inspiration for the deflector came in the form of the Renault Sport Spider concept of the mid-90s; the Sergio also draws guidance from “the spirit of Pininfarina history, particularly the Sergio period between the 60s and 90s,” according to Filippini. “We wanted to revive those sensual, emotional designs – but not using retro styling.”

The ‘holepunched’ rear deck casts a nod to that of the revolutionary Modulo concept, while the single Plexiglass strip enclosing the headlights resembles the Dino Berlinetta Speciale of 1965. Incidentally, that was not only the first Ferrari styled completely under the direction of Sergio Pininfarina, but also the first rear-engined collaboration between the two Italian icons.

Things have changed considerably since those days: Filippini estimates 95% of the Sergio’s design process was completed using computer-aided modelling. There was no traditional clay model (only those milled by computers), but it was this which allowed the 8-man design team to fast-track it from an idea to the Geneva show floor in less than four and a half months.

The result is commendable, worthy of being both a tribute to its legendary late chairman and the latest offspring of possibly the most fruitful collaboration in automotive history. Finding a handful of buyers should surely be a formality.

Photos: Simon Clay