Fittingly, Pininfarina celebrated its 75th anniversary at the 75th Geneva Motor Show. For the occasion, the Italian design house produced the sleek Birdcage 75th concept car. Pininfarina is most famous for its long-standing association with Ferrari, but many other brands use the talented company too, including Maserati for its elegant Quattroporte saloon. Pininfarina chose to use the Maserati MC12 as the basis for its birthday concept car you see here.
The Birdcage name sounds strange in isolation, but is a reference to the classic '60s Maserati racecars, which got the nickname from the unusual exposed triangulated tube chassis. Like those, the Birdcage 75th exposes its mechanicals with a massive expanse of glass. The new concept uses glazing for the complete teardrop-shaped cockpit, appearing seamless thanks to the huge one-piece windscreen, bonnet, roof and 'door'. Pininfarina describes the overall shape beautifully: "low undulating exterior has a natural but purposeful fluidity, appearing as if mercury was merely poured over the mechanicals." You must admit that the concept is refreshingly simple in design.
Taking a look at what lies beneath the carbon fibre bodywork leaves you in no doubt that the Birdcage 75th is anything but simple. Peer through the rear section of the glasshouse and you'll spy 12 carbon fibre inlet trumpets atop Maserati's 6.0-litre V12 engine. You may notice the unusual glass panel seemingly suspended in front of the steering wheel. If you've seen Minority Report, you'll be familiar with the idea of projected graphics and instruments, which of course would be customised by the driver. Motorola developed the on-board systems under the banner "Seamless Mobility". Included is a whole range of electronic devices designed to unite driver and vehicle and ensure that the car's occupants are always 'connected'. Wouldn't you just want to get down to the business of driving such a car?