“To celebrate our 75th anniversary our intention was to make a strong, clearly focused statement: to create a dream-evoking car that would recover a role that has always been a foundation stone of a company like ours.” This remark by Andrea Pininfarina contains all the spirit of the Birdcage 75th, a concept car that is avantgarde in its advanced technological content, but at the same time is faithful to the bodyworking traditions of yesteryear. An exciting project that was terminated in just a few months, as Ken Okuyama, creative head of the Turin firm, tells us: “The first concepts go back to July last year. We immediately moved on to virtual modelling without doing the physical models, a technique we had already experimented with on the Nido”.

The design of the car is based on the composition of two typical aerodynamic forms, the wing and the drop, in a balanced ensemble of great visual impact. “We wanted to keep the overall volume as low as possible,” explains Lowie Vermeersch, chief designer of the project, “so we started with the chassis of the Maserati MC12, eliminating roof and pillars but strengthening the sills, which create the high access point.

The Birdcage 75 th is a dream car in its pristine state, “but it hints at some of the graphical features that are basic to upcoming Maserati’s”, says Okuyama. The exterior derives from a proposal by the designer Jason Castriota, while the interior was defined by Lowie Vermeersch himself and by Giuseppe Randazzo, with help from Pininfarina Extra for the Motorola-supplied technological content, in particular the product portfolio with iDEN (integrated Digital Enhanced Network) technology: digital cell phones with wireless Internet access, two-way radio communication and text pager.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 152

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