PININFARINA ARGENTO VIVO (QUICK SILVER)
Pininfarina the famous Italian design house have been involved with the design of all shorts of vehicles since itsâ€™ humble beginnings over seventy years ago. Locomotives, boats, aircraft among others, but famously, cars. Today the company has two manufacturing plants and research and development facility with its own wind tunnel.
The Company most closely associated with Pininfarina is Ferrari. Since 1952 a total of 163 different types of Ferrari are Pininfarina designs, including the 250 GT Coupe, Dino 246 GT, Daytona, Testarossa, F40, F50, 360 Modena and the fantastic Ferrari P4/P5.
The Aregento Vivo was initially a formal and technological research prototype built in conjunction with Honda. This car was presented to the International press at the Tokyo motor show in 1995 by Sergio Pininfarina and Nabuhiko Kawamoto, President of Honda. The car won the â€śGolden Market Trophyâ€ť awarded by the Japanese magazine â€śCar Stylingâ€ť and the â€śBest in Showâ€ť from the American magazine â€śAuto Weekâ€ť.
According to Pininfarina the â€śArgento Vivo represents a refined exercise in style, an image car that projects its personality into the world of automobiles. With innovative solutions, like that developed for the convertible hard top, which can slide back automatically and then be housed in a space behind the two seats leaving the luggage compartment unencumbered. Argento Vivo is an automobile that marries hot Latin passion; a love for sporty aggressive cars, so typical of the Italian tradition, with the rationality of a sophisticated brandâ€¦ Argento Vivo evokes the concept of a sporty and technological elegance. There are few outstanding points of interest, including the return to the two-tone colour scheme, undertaken with a skilful blend of cutting edge fine materials. Aluminium, which with the basic structure constitutes the heart and spine of the new Spider Pininfarina, becomes a fundamental component in the two-tone interplay and in the enlivening of the cars surfaces. The engine and luggage compartments, the roof structure, the air intakes and the exhaust vents are all made of this material, which calls to mind sporty and competition vehicles of extreme class and, at the same time offers a sense of solidity, protection and functional refinement. The rest of the bodywork, on the other hand, is made of resin painted dark blue, a sort of support into which the aluminium parts are inset.â€ť
The Argento Vivo evolved from the Honda based car into further cars based on brand new Mercedes SL600 chassis. Brakes, suspension and gearbox are all AMG as is the 7.3 litre V12 engine. Developing 655 hp, the performance of the Argento Vivo is devastating, 0-60 in less than 4 seconds and a top speed of over 175 mph.
The enterior is custom built by Pininfarina especially for the Argento Vivo and consists of carbon fibre door panels, dashboard, centre console and special leather and carbon fibre seats.
Four of these cars were built for the Royal Family of Brunei. The original cost was over $2,500,000 for each car. Two remain in the Royal Garages in Brunei; the other two are at secret locations in England. The intense secrecy surrounding the special automotive projects that the Royal Family commissioned means that the very existence of these cars is unknown to anyone except those closely involved in the projects, indeed no pictures or details of these cars have been made available. With the Royal Family cutting back on their lavish spending, the specialist workshop facility that Pininfarina used for the construction of the special â€śBruneiâ€ť cars has now been closed, meaning that Argento Vivo will probably be the last Pininfarina Mercedes designed and coach built car.
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