Pininfarina Cambiano: An eco-chic concept car

Pininfarina Cambiano side doors openNobody does concept cars like an Italian styling house. Half art studio and half coachbuilder, each company has a single focus: making cars look good. With Bertone bringing the low-slung Nuccio to March’s Geneva Motor Show, it was only natural that rival Pininfarina would answer back. The car above, the Cambiano, will make its official debut at Geneva but photos and technical information have already hit the Internet.

The Cambiano is named after the city where it was designed, and Pininfarina calls it an “elegant and refined sport sedan.” Like many sedans these days, the Cambiano has a distinctly coupe-like profile, with a steeply raked windshield, low roofline, and sculpted fenders.

Pininfarina calls the Cambiano a sedan, but it only has three doors: one on the driver’s side, two on the passenger’s. Looking at the Cambiano from the side, it takes a second to notice the seam between the two doors. Those suicide doors, lacking handles and B-pillars, are a cool classic touch (think 1960s Lincoln Continental), but probably aren’t production-feasible. It would be very hard to pass side-impact crash tests without a central pillar, but this is a concept car after all.

Pininfarina claims the 1957 Lancia Florida II as its inspiration. This Flaminia-based coupe was originally shown at Geneva, and was company founder Battista Farina’s personal car.

The company also said that it paid “great attention to the environment” when choosing the powertrain. The Cambiano is a plug-in hybrid, but unlike any currently in production. Each wheel is driven by a 60-kW electric motor, giving the car all-wheel drive and opening up some space within the wheelbase.

Providing the electricity is a battery pack that Pininfarina says has a 127-mile range. Charging the batteries is a diesel-powered gas turbine hooked up to a generator. The system is similar to the one Jaguar outlined for the concept version of its C-X75 supercar.

According to Pininfarina, all that adds up to a total range of 497 miles and a top speed of 155 mph (with short bursts up to 171). The Cambiano can theoretically accelerate from 0-100 kph (0-62 mph) in 4.2 seconds while emitting only 45 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.

On paper, the Cambiano is a svelte sedan with coupe-like lines, plug-in hybrid power, and near-supercar performance. Sound familiar? Henrik Fisker is probably glad that the Cambiano is only a concept car.


Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe wants his startup to be the Patagonia of electric cars

Rivian is the latest startup hyping new electric cars. But unlike most other startups, Rivian is focusing on off-road vehicles. It launched an electric pickup truck and SUV at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. CEO R.J. Scaringe explains the…
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.

Bosch is developing a Rosetta Stone for autonomous and connected cars

Bosch and start-up Veniam want to create a common language that autonomous and connected cars can use. The two firms have developed a connectivity unit that transcends the national boundaries of technology.

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.