A rolling homage to the visionary talent who guided one of Italy's most renowned design houses for four decades, the Pininfarina Sergio Concept was unveiled in Geneva. Like Sergio Pininfarina, who passed away last Summer at the age of 85, this striking 2-seat barchetta (little boat) is a true original that eschews conventional thinking to make its own memorable statement.

Based on a Ferrari 458 Spyder platform and running gear, the mid-engine Sergio Concept features distinctive and lighter-weight carbon composite body panels that meld futuristic design elements with more traditional cues that appeared in earlier Ferrari-based Pininfarina exercises. The Sergio's low-slung profile is further emphasized by the absence of a conventional windshield. Instead, a channeling element in the hood effectively directs airflow up and over the passenger's heads while a prominent lower front splitter helps maintain proper aero loading over the forward axle. The rear quarters, highlighted by a forward-angled roll hoop, black perforated engine cover and aggressively rendered diffuser/exhaust configuration add even more visual drama while huge carbon-ceramic brakes loom behind the car's 21-inch racing-style center-lock alloy wheels that mount ultra-high performance Michelin Pilot Sport 2 rubber.

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Access to the Sergio Concept's well-tailored cabin is by modestly-scaled demi-doors that pivot up and out. The black and light-gray mix that dominates this realm is a marked contrast to the car's bright red exterior. All of the main components are standard 458 pieces -- the better to hold down costs should the car be approved for a limited production run -- however the seats and upper dash element are unique to the Sergio. So too are a pair of matching helmets that reside in dedicated stow spaces adjacent to the doors when not being worn.

The Sergio Concept is a powered by an unmodified 4.5-liter Ferrari V8 that makes 570 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque which gets shipped to the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. That's sufficient motive force to get this stunning one-off from 0-60 mph in about 3.3 seconds and carry it on to a top speed near 200 mph.

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"My father would be proud of this concept car," said company Chairman Paolo Pininfarina at the unveiling, "Because it expresses the aesthetic values that always inspired him: the purity of the lines, the harmony of form, and balance. Furthermore, he would be happy with this latest concept on a Ferrari base, a brand to which we are related by a history that has helped define the most beautiful cars of all time in an evolution that has lasted 60 years and shows no sign of ending."


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