The new Pininfarina Enjoy made its world debut at the British Louis Vuitton Classic Car Show held on 5 June 2004 at Waddesdon Manor (Great Britain). Inspired by the concept car of the same name which was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 2003, the car is likely to be manufactured in an extremely limited edition (only 75 units during 2005) to celebrate the company's 75th anniversary. And thanks to the development work on the Enjoy, Pininfarina has begun a new partnership with the prestigious luxury brand Louis Vuitton, which was commissioned to work on the interiors of the vehicle.
The, Pininfarina-branded Enjoy is an ambitious project - building an "exclusive" car with leading-edge design, technical features and performance, combined with the levels of craftsmanship required and a production run of less than a 100 vehicles is a very tall order.
The key to the equation is the recent acquisition of the engineering, testing and prototyping divisions of Matra Automobile, a company with a tried and tested culture in automotive mechanical development and construction. With this acquisition, Pininfarina has been able to extend its areas of expertise and become a genuine car manufacturer, turning the Enjoy into an exclusive and innovative product.
The styling and engineering development of the Enjoy were carried out in Pininfarina's headquarters in Turin, while the interior development was carried out by the technical staff of Matra Automobile Engineering. The production is planned for Matra's prototyping workshop and final delivery will take place at CERAM, another company of the Pininfarina Group.
This car thus shows that Pininfarina can now offer large manufacturers a full service, from styling and design through to niche production.
The Pininfarina Enjoy is Pininfarina's modern interpretation of the classic barchetta, an open wheel roadster which is in reality a thinly-disguised race car. It will have a limited edition, numbered, production run, reserved for an elite clientele of collectors and enthusiasts with what Pininfarina articulates, is "a genuine passion for cars, and a true appreciation of the value of exclusivity and tradition."
The Louis Vuitton group's involvement in the Enjoy project continues a long tradition which links Louis Vuitton to the motoring world, dating back to 1907, when twins Jean and Pierre Vuitton built their first car. In the first half of the last century, Louis Vuitton worked on exclusive fittings and trims for various manufacturers and bodyworkers, and since 1988 has been European patron, first in Paris, then in London, to the Louis Vuitton Classic, one of the most important vintage events in the world.
The radical design features of the Enjoy, like the elimination of the windscreen, highlight the way that style guided the project, the sole aims of which were to obtain the utmost in aesthetic quality and driving pleasure, without compromise. Thanks to an original technical solution, the wings can be dismounted and removed, transforming the Enjoy into an extreme open wheel roadster.
The Enjoy has a lightweight aluminium chassis and its body is entirely made out of carbon fibre. The aim to create the ultimate driving experience led to the creation of a very light vehicle (the track version weighs less than 800 kg) with an outstanding weight/power ratio of 4.3 kg/bhp.
The new double wishbone front and rear suspensions by Matra mean "track level" driving precision in all conditions. The top speed is around 250 km/h, while acceleration (from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds) and road holding are the car's key strengths.
"A year has passed since we presented what was essentially a fun concept in Geneva, which turned out to be a great success with critics and public alike," remembers Andrea Pininfarina, President and CEO of the Pininfarina Group, "and the Enjoy went on to win the Most Fun car award assigned by the prestigious American magazine Autoweek, as well as earning a special mention for the design originality of the project in the contest for the Most Beautiful Car in the World."
"This is what led us to decide on a limited production run, which was also an opportunity to take advantage of our extended business areas resulting from the acquisition of Matra. It is a unique opportunity to present a new model manufactured by Pininfarina itself."
"In order to develop such an important project, we needed partners which could enable us to build on our know-how. For the interior design we opted for Louis Vuitton's elegance and vast experience in the world of leisure. We hope that this is just the start of a long relationship with Louis Vuitton, and that these 75 cars, each of which is dedicated to a single year in the life of the company, find 75 true enthusiasts who appreciate its sporty spirit, unique design and true class".
"As creator of cars Pininfarina has been making our dreams come true for 75 years. Louis Vuitton is very pleased to contribute to the Enjoy project with all its know how in the design field", says Yves Carcelle, Chairman of Louis Vuitton.
INTERIOR DESIGN BY LOUIS VITTON
Designing the interiors of the Pininfarina Enjoy was all about creating a look dedicated to pure sporting pleasure in a car.
Starting from the 2003 concept, Louis Vuitton's innovation division redefined the ergonomics, instruments and accessories to enhance driving pleasure in its most "primitive" form, typical of a sports car, while keeping its distance from the radicalism of the classic British cabriolet, which is often a little too spartan and "bare" in terms of materials and instrument array. Louis Vuitton came up with a more luxurious atmosphere by selecting forms, materials, colours, trims and fittings "à la Vuitton".
A technical-looking facia, upholstered in leather and grouping both the instrument array and the opening mechanism, runs round the whole of the interior to reinforce the feeling of protection, while a second vertical band creates a racing car cockpit around the driving seat. The new layout of the instrument array was inspired by rounded shapes and the graphics of the Tambour watch designed by Louis Vuitton.
This being an open car, the materials chosen featured a combination of non-tanned chrome-coloured leather and weather-proof neoprene textiles, which lend a sporty but luxurious feel.
And because the Enjoy has neither a roof nor a windscreen, the company came up with a protective helmet. Louis Vuitton has been familiar with this accessory since its first model was launched in 1988.
The Enjoy helmet, which takes its colours from the car, features the Louis Vuitton Classic emblem and has two great innovations:
- a double structure which serves to protect the visor, which slides between two shells, and to conceal generous air vents, which enhance comfort;
- an original system of trims for the areas of contact, which enhances protection: a pair of sunglasses which fit the helmet perfectly.
Driving a race car also requires the right clothing. Louis Vuitton developed two driving suits, in men's and women's versions, in leather and neoprene in the colours of the car, with protection on the shoulders, hips and knees for greater comfort and to cling better to the seats. The Footwear Division also designed a pair of "car shoes" for city use, inspired by Louis Vuitton classic colours, graphic motifs and materials.
Just as in all high performance sports cars, every millimetre of space in the Enjoy is exploited to the max: with no boot the new Bellaix trolley suitcase (medium-sized model) can be positioned on the rear bonnet. This composite-material luggage offers full guarantees in terms of durability and capacity, meaning that users can safely entrust their belongings to it.
THE OTHER PARTNERS
The partnership between Louis Vuitton and Pininfarina is already a unique adventure in itself, but in order to complete the project other companies, leaders in their sectors sharing the same gift for excellence and creativity, were also involved.
The helmet houses a driver-passenger intercom system designed by Bang & Olufsen, one of the worlds most outstanding manufacturers of audio and video systems with a long-standing tradition for high quality, innovative use of technology and pleasing design. This high quality sound system is adapted to fit Bang & Olufsen's BeoSound 2 digital music player placed in custom designed holders in the doors, giving the driver and passenger an option for excellent sound and music reproduction on the road.
"We have embraced the opportunity to participate in this exciting creative partnership, together with leading companies in car design and accessories," declared Torben Ballegaard Sorensen, President and CEO of Bang & Olufsen. "We have seen this as an interesting challenge within design implementation and the exchange of ideas, more than a question of business."
Apart from the intercom/music system, Bang & Olufsen also supplies all aluminium interiors in the Enjoy car - manufactured with the high surface quality known from their audio/video products. Bang & Olufsen holds very exceptional competencies in crafting aluminium, and are at present supplying aluminium elements to other car manufacturers. But the aluminium used in the Enjoy car is of superior quality.
The extruded aluminium chassis and mechanical components of the Enjoy were supplied by Lotus, the world leader in vehicle dynamics, and which was a partner in creating the 2003 concept. The engine is a 4 cylinder 16-valve 189 bhp/192PS/141Kw Toyota VVTL-i, calibrated by Lotus.