Italian automobile design

09 octobre 1998
01m 57s
Ref. 00261


Summary :

On the occasion of the Paris Motor Show, a report on the latest luxury auto models of the big European car makers, created by Italian designers. Interview with Sergio Pininfarina who has been working in a partnership with the Peugeot company for over forty years.

Media type :
Broadcast date :
09 octobre 1998
Source :
A2 (Collection: Midi 2 )
Themes :


Beauty is luxury, this adage, claimed by the famous Italian automobile manufacturer Ettore Bugatti from the creation of his business in 1909, could also be that of each one of his original competition from the peninsular.

Maserati (1914), Ferrari (1947), Lamborghini (1948)... these brands have managed to mix technical demands and aesthetics by proposing models adapted to every sector (sport, tourism, luxury). From their conception they keep an image of prestige, elegance, performance and freedom.

Apart from the fluid lines of these models, Italian design is characterised by the use of emblems as symbols of strength and power (the rearing horse of Ferrari, the bull of Lamborghini, the Maserati trident), the choice of bright colours that quickly become indistinguishable from the brand (Ferrari red, Ducati blue, Lamborghini yellow). But behind the prestige of Italian design hides a less cheerful economic and industrial reality: shaken up by the crisis of the 1970s, several of these businesses have been bought out by multinational companies (Volkswagen, Peugeot and Fiat) in order to find second wind and to immortalise their brands.

Claire Sécail


Rachid Arhab
Because the automobile world also has its haute couture, Luc, you're going to introduce us to the undersides of certain car brands who call upon famous designers to draw up their most beautiful models. Amongst these designers, there is, most notably, Italy's Pininfarina, whom Luc Bazizin and Daniel Lévy met exclusively.
Luc Bazizin
Italians and their fluid lines have always been successful with the public. This is the precise reason why general carmakers are fighting over the big designers, which are symbols of luxury and dynamism. The Lamborghini bull, for example, hurries quickly into the arms of Germany's Audi. 250 models are anticipated this year. What interests a new owner, is more the brand's image than the number of vehicles manufactured. Nevertheless, this one costs 1,700,000 francs. This Bugatti, another legendary brand, was just designed by Italy's Giogaro, a guarantee of style for Volkswagen, which just took control and plans on imposing this monstrous 550 horsepower car on the market. Maserati comes back to life under the curves of this 3200GT, a property of Fiat, which also belongs to Ferrari. The arrival of a large corporation often allows new investments, and therefore the sale of new models. Other carmakers such as Peugeot only buy the designer's signature. This is the case with the 40 year old partnership with master designer Pininfarina. He imagined this 406 coupe but his design for the 206 was rejected.
Sergio Pininfarina
What's important is that the client, meaning the Peugeot company, retains our useful work whether it's approved or not. Because even if it isn't, sometimes, and this is true for everyone, it's a reason to reflect on things, a reason to confront things.
Luc Bazizin
Italian art is therefore making its contribution to the haute couture of automobile creations, a way for all carmakers to maintain the dream and to resuscitate the myths.