Pininfarina is pushing the boundaries with the Pura Vision, a concept for a Luxury Utility Vehicle that marks a departure from hypercars. The Italian automaker, transitioning from a design house to a full-fledged car manufacturer, is currently engaged in crafting bespoke Battista electric hypercars in Italy and Germany. However, with only 150 Battista units slated for production, Pininfarina aims to extend its unique approach to luxury electrification to a broader audience.
Unveiled during Monterey Car Week, the Pura Vision is, strictly speaking, a concept car. Positioned as a high-riding Luxury Utility Vehicle (LUV), it adopts a distinctive approach to high-end auto design. While skeptics may categorize it as just another SUV, an electrified version of top-tier models from Ferrari and Aston Martin, the Pura distinguishes itself by being all-electric from the ground up, featuring lower and unconventional proportions compared to a typical SUV.
In a conversation with Dave Amantea, Chief Design Officer at Automobili Pininfarina, he sheds light on the journey to this visionary concept and its implications for the future. “Everything we do as a company should have a strong vision,” Amantea explains. During the development of the Battista, the company aimed to create a vision that would influence its entire trajectory. Amantea emphasizes that the Pura Vision emerged from a desire for something different, an Italian reinterpretation of the SUV segment, capable of accommodating a minimum of four occupants.
Pininfarina’s customer base, though limited to date, seeks distinctiveness, especially in the realm of electric cars. A scale model of the original Pura concept was showcased to select customers at Pebble Beach in 2019 to instill confidence in the brand’s future. “We put our customers at the center of our scopes,” Amantea continues, noting that it wasn’t until 2022 that the concept was ready for a wider audience.
The Pura, with its raised ground clearance, rear-set cabin with wraparound glass, and unique bodywork, deviates from Pininfarina’s regular luxury rivals. Its design draws inspiration from the cinematic drama of 70s and 80s concept vehicles, featuring rear opening doors and a gull-winged glass roof panel for easier access to the four-seater cabin.
Last year’s unveiling exceeded expectations, challenging the perception that Pininfarina is solely about the Battista. Amantea asserts, “We’re ready to design anything, and this concept shows our vision of future luxury.” Inspired by the characteristics of gravel bikes, the Pura aligns itself with the world of off-road and sporting ability, offering a balance in luxury design.
While Amantea emphasizes that the Pura is a ‘design vision only,’ he acknowledges a solid study behind its presentation. Pininfarina’s select customer base actively contributed to determining the packaging and approach, making it likely that a similar offering will be available soon. Amantea concludes, “Our customers recognized Pura Vision as a new animal on the market,” emphasizing Pininfarina’s commitment to setting trends, indicating that this visionary concept is poised to become a reality.
Pura Vision, concept only, Automobili Pininfarina