It is a new approach to luxury in the car, according to Pininfarina’s school of thought. The Cambiano is launched today, a concept car that is elegant and sporty, refined and comfortable. An enticing combination of pure, cutting edge design and uncompromising engineering that respects the environment in both in the engine and in the choice of materials.  The Cambiano is an expression of Pininfarina today, embodying all the company’s skills in terms of style, planning and research in the field of sustainable mobility. It is no coincidence that its chosen name is that of the town where Pininfarina has its headquarters. In 2012 the company celebrates a dual anniversary: the 30th anniversary of the Style Centre, which was set up in Cambiano in 1982 as “Pininfarina Studi e Ricerche”, and the 10th anniversary of the Engineering Centre, which was inaugurated there in 2002, adding contract engineering to its activities of styling and niche design/production, and concentrating cutting edge technological tools and a team of outstanding specialists in one place.


The luxury sports saloon embodies the innovative archetypes of Pininfarina design in full. Another example was a milestone in the company’s history, the Florida II, a concept car of 1957 which the founder Pinin Farina conceived and built for his own personal use, a saloon-coupé with an architecture and line that influenced global production for many years. In a way, it was Pininfarina’s first real concept car.

Today, in 2012, the Cambiano redefines and reinterprets the ideas that are the basic tenets of Pininfarina design: harmonious proportions, taut lines and fluid surfaces, and a simple element that extends all along the side to underline its dynamism. The result is a very strong visual impact, emphasised by an extremely pure, aerodynamic shape based on essential and purely functional stylistic elements.

The Cambiano breaks with the general trend of design that is overloaded with elements, and confidently embraces the return of pure form as the absolute value, in the best “tradition” of Italian Style, reflecting the deepest essence of Pininfarina Design.

The Cambiano reveals its true character at first glance, starting from the unconventional layout of the doors: on the driver’s side the car is a sports coupe with a single door, but on the passenger side there are two doors that open from the centre with no central pillar. This simplifies access and makes the most of the spacious, luminous passenger compartment.

The Cambiano is an expression of the car as a global project, and there is total consistency between every detail of the exterior and interior design, and between the colours, materials and the use of technology. Elegance and formal harmony blend in the association of complementary values: balance and contrast, the relation between full and empty, between solid and transparent. Formal purity and simplicity become elements of iconic design.

The proportions of the Cambiano convey dynamism and fluidity, thanks to the low tapered front and the light, fleeting rear-mounted cabin. The body of the car is one of simple, solid volumes, with large taut but sensual surfaces, enhanced by the golden grey colour and iridescent blue reflections. The metal inserts in the sides are a new take on decorative mouldings and they continue all along the side glazing, incorporating the lighting and opening functions of the doors. The large honeycomb roof is ethereal and transparent and completes the body of the car, imparting a sense of solidity and of elegant refinement.

The front, with its clean, essential design, returns to a motif that is typical of Pininfarina: headlights incorporated into the grille and protruding wheel arches. The grille also incorporates a dynamic opening that is an air inlet for the turbo. The LED front headlights are simple “blocks” of pure, crystalline light. The tail lights and side indicators are almost intangible: only the light exists, appearing as if by magic on the surface of the bodywork. In the purest spirit of Pininfarina, the essentiality of the form becomes a very elegant expression of pure function.

The light is an integral part of the Cambiano design concept, inside and out. The relationship with natural light is simplified by the panoramic roof, which is translucent in some areas and transparent in others. With a carbon honeycomb structure mounted between the outside glass and a polycarbonate inner lining, the roof enhances visibility in the car – heightening the sense of luminosity and space inside.

The light is not only a natural element, but also emphasises the sensory experience of the passenger compartment thanks to a refined and functional lighting system, which exploits light channels inserted into the ceiling, the doors and the floor. The Cambiano is the first car to incorporate into the passenger compartment a contemporary video-art projection, created specifically by the Spanish artist Javier Fernandez with a very personal language of manipulated, overlapping images. The work is projected onto the ceiling where it can be enjoyed by rear seat passengers during the drive. 

Elegant and modern design converges in the interior with comfort, ergonomics and environmental sustainability, maintaining the same stylistic approach of the exterior. Fluid, sensual surfaces, a light, essential environment, with clearly defined functional zones: interactive controls and surfaces turned towards the driver, a more comfortable and tactile area for the other passengers. A fine, light facia, light but enveloping front seats suspended between the consoles and the sill, in a delicate balance between solid and hollow designed to create tension. The asymmetrical access to the passenger compartment determines the leaf structure of the two rear seats, which are almost suspended in the car, where occupants enjoy an environment that is made more comfortable and refined by the generous legroom. The interior is upholstered with Foglizzo leather, personalised in certain points with a special diamond point punched patter. The leather used on the Cambiano was chosen from the Pininfarina Leather Collection for Foglizzo, a collection of personalised natural and imitation leathers developed by the two Turin companies. The uprights and door panels are upholstered with polylactic acid, a plastic derived from sugar substances, treacle and milk serum, a solution that reduces the use of petroleum.

Like the entire lower part of the passenger compartment, the perfectly flat floor is made of recycled wood. A choice dictated by the discovery of a wonderful material, which is both poor and noble: the wood of the “briccole”, the poles of European oak used to indicate the navigation channels and moorings inside the Venice lagoon.

Riva1920, a historical Italian producer of solid wood furniture that has been working with Pininfarina Extra for over ten years, had the brilliant idea of recuperating the wood of these 12 metre poles, thousands of which are replaced every year. The result is surprising and evocative. The material is about to embark on its third lease of life, and it reveals its unique texture and the wear and tear of passing time: the holes made by the marine molluscs are still visible on the surface. The atmosphere of extreme refinement in the car is underlined by another precious detail in the instrumentation: the clock created specially by the Swiss master clock makers Bovet, which can be extracted from the facia and worn on the wrist, mounted on a special strap. Bovet have personalised the chronograph developed with Pininfarina Extra in 2011 for the Cambiano.

The attention paid to detail is evident from the work carried out on the tyres. For the Cambiano Pininfarina specifically developed with Fate, Argentina’s largest tyre production and exporting company, the first tyre for top of the range cars, Concept Tyre, from Eximia by Pininfarina.

The Cambiano also sets new parameters for eco-sustainability in the high performance luxury car segment. The perfect integration of the styling and engineering activities has produced an extended range plug-in electric car that combines top performance and roominess with the comfort of a luxury car and total respect of the environment. The type of engine chosen and the position of the battery pack in the rear of the car (under the luggage compartment) have created a vehicle architecture with a perfectly flat floor, that is regular and low, guaranteeing excellent access, liveability on board and a lower centre of gravity. The drive system is based on four electric motors, one for each wheel, and the respective deceleration unit. The four motors, which are produced by Magneti Marelli, are mounted on the front and rear frames and each delivers a continuous supply of 60 kW with peaks of 150 kW for a total of 600 kW maximum power output, with torque of 640 Nm. The drive system incorporates an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) to charge the batteries and, when necessary, to supply energy directly to the motors: this is a 50 kW Bladon Jets micro turbine which normally runs on diesel but which can be calibrated to be compatible with various types of fuel. The battery pack developed by FAAM is installed between the seats and the rear axle, where it is protected from possible collisions and easily replaced during servicing. The battery is of the high power, high energy density lithium ion type, has a capacity of 50 kW/h, a peak power delivery of 500 kW, and can be recharged in 6 hours using a 6 Kw/h grid and in 52 minutes with the APU. Combined with the micro turbine, it guarantees a range of 205 km in the urban cycle in all-electric mode, and a total range in the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) mixed cycle of over 800 km in extended range mode, higher than that of luxury sports cars with conventional drive systems. 

Maximum length 5040 mm
Maximum width 2000 mm
Maximum height 1360 mm
Luggage compartment 450 Litres
Power train 4 independent motors with permanent magnetos, extended range with axial flow micro turbine
Package 3 doors, 4 seats
Chassis carbon and aluminium
Cd 0.28
Empty weight 1695 kg
Electronically limited speede 250 Km/h
Top speed 275 Km/h
0 a 100 km/h acceleration: 4.2 sec
Maximum power delivery of electric motors 600 kW
Peak power delivery of battery 500 kW
Range in NEDC mixed cycle – extended range mode 800 Km
Range ECE15 urban cycle – pure electric mode 205 Km
Pure electric range at top speed of 250 km/h 46 km (the battery charge gives a maximum range of 46 km at a speed of 250 km/h. With a dead battery and the turbo engaged, the car reaches a top speed of 152 km/h)
Plug-in charging time 6 hours with 6 kWh grid and 20% min. state of charge
Diesel fuel tank 50 litres
NOx 45 gr/km
CO2 0.05 gr/km

La Cambiano è stata sviluppata con la collaborazione dei seguenti partners:


APP TECH – Rims 


BLADON JETS – Turbine studies


BOVET – Watch 


FAAM – Batteries


FATE – Concept Tyre, from Eximia by Pininfarina: vanguard asymmetrical tread band; ultra-low profile; dimensions: front axis 245/35 R 21, back axis 265/35 R21; Green System technology: low rolling resistance, to contribute with the environment.




FOGLIZZO – PLeather upholstery (Foglizzo Nabuk PN 5/N Griffir, Foglizzo Classic Lord Leather LD011 and Foglizzo Leather PN 11 Lily White)


GF AGIECHARMILLES - Laser etchings on aluminium mouldings and plexiglass components


IEE – Internal instrumentation (Human Machine Interface)


MAGNETI MARELLI – Electric motors/Inverters/Control electronics


RIVA 1920 – Wooden interior parts


RÖHM ITALIA – Plexiglas® 




Pininfarina Style and Engineering Centre

Cambiano (Turin)


Debut at Ginevra Motor show 2011