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1997 Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina)

Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1997
Images: pininfarina spa.; www.conceptcars.it
Rating:  53    -24    +77
Design research prototype
The Nautilus is an exciting study of form meant to interpret in purely stylistic terms the theme of large and high-class sporty sedans. Realised in homage to the collaboration with Peugeot, is a balance of sportiness, luxury and innovation in a car with a lively personality that blended a passion for the Gran Turismo with the natural "importance" of a status symbol.


If there is a car that is going to mark the 1997 Geneva Motor Show for setting a new styling trend this is the Pininfarina Nautilus. A very exotic four door, four seater, sport sedan with great charisma, a strong design character and a unique style.

With plenty of details that perfectly enhance its shape and highlights. The silk, almost matt, silver colored paint to start with.

A pure styling exercise that Lorenzo Ramaciotti, general manager of the company's "Studi e Ricerche" think thank, felt is needed at this time of uncertain transition from the abused "bio-design" age into a new "design age".

As we had an opportunity to report on a previous occasion, Ford's designers also saw this "hole" coming and were first to take action, delivering what they call their "new edge" design philosophy.

"After a phase through which it was difficult not to adjust to the bio-design trend, car design hasn't any strong reference and there is a great freedom to look for new and individual aesthetic proposal", comments Ramaciotti.

Clearly, Nautilus is born from this newly found freedom and, unlike most of Pininfarina's recent research cars, it is more a dream-car than a "concept car", such as the Ethos series, "Argento Vivo", Sing and Song, and Eta Beta prototypes.

Listening to Ramaciotti one understands that the design objective was to answer a question that may not be fundamental but is certainly intriguing: must the stately flagships of the King Of The Hill be conservative and orthodox limousines, with classic, neutral and rational style or can they have the allure and style of lively sculpture. Capable of stimulating emotions and speak of dynamic elegance?

If the answer is "yes", than one might have found a way to challenge the German makers domination (with few exceptions, such as Jaguar) of the German Three.

In recent years, French makers believed to have found a way; with the Renault Safrane, the Citroen XM and the Peugeot 605 but they did not really made it.

It doesn't take much to understand that one of the key reason, was the inadequacy of their style, not just nation, company and product image. But the lack of design charisma.

What Audi has eventually achieved with its latest A4 and A6, after a long series of failures (including their Audi 100) show the difference and what needs to be done.

Pininfarina's answer to the "if" and "how" the Germans can be successfully challenged, is very encouraging and, as far as it style goes, it is convincing. With some exaggeration we would say that they are opposing a generation of Carl Lewis to an old and well established class of Sumo players.

The body style of Nautilus is new, is solid, is elegant and expresses a strong sense of quality. It is original, even though the subject of a "luxury, high performance, sport sedan" was tackled and superbly developed by the 12 cylinder 1980 Ferrari Pinin project.

That 1980 Pinin and this 1997 Nautilus share the classic architecture of a four door, four seater, sedan and the overall dimensions of a large car, but speak two very different styling languages.

Other major differences include the chassis and powertrain. Nautilus is a running prototype built over the modified front wheel drive Peugeot platform and is powered by the brand new 24 valves 3.0 litre V 6 French engine.

This very unique running prototype is impressive for its stance as well as for its style: it is significantly bigger than the Ferrari Pinin itself. It is 1948 mm. wide with 1650 mm. wide track (1640 at the front) and its huge 19" Bridgestone tires fitted on 9.5" wide rims are laid-down on the ground to grant a 2,950 mm long wheelbase. The overall length is just 10mm. shorter of the 5 meters. Wheelbase and width had to be massive because of the relatively low 1355 mm height of the Nautilus and its small, curvaceous and sloping roof.

The silhouette is, no question about it, sleek and very dynamic, yet the cabin is very comfortable.

Once the proportions have been set, the overall sculpture have been modeled to convey a strong sporty image. How they did it? The car itself tell it all. Starting with the long bonnet, which central part dramatically hangs over the front axle as to bring forwards the Peugeot symbol as to announce the arrival of a king.

On its turn, the lower part of the body sides, introduces a new way of holding together large steel panels in a very elegant and three-dimensional form originated by two overlapping sculptured volume. A very innovative approach to form shaping first applied by Pininfarina designers with the 1989 Ferrari Mythos barchetta. With the difference that here the car is a four door and the waistline is fairly high.

This area is of great interest not only for its "structured shape", its crisp, headlight and its physical dimensions but also because it does with no doors (integrated into the pillars, just above the waistline), without conventional rear view mirrors (replaced by a video camera) and the doors take a major importance, as they wrap the lower structure.. To provide a strong feeling of protection (that looks to be real) to the passengers and limit the "fragile" but heavy glass area. The risk here is to reduce the sense of lightness inside the car (as delivered by the Audi TT) but this does not appear to be the case. Courtesy, of the roof colored glass roof.

The rear of the Nautilus is also very attractive and interesting. Here one cannot but appreciate that the tail is really a nice thing to look at to the advantage of those driving behind the car (actually seeing the rear of the car for much longer time than those crossing it).

We leave to pictures and captions to describe the car in detail, for both the exterior and interior design.

Here. we have to stress the reasons for the rather peculiar combination of material and colors for the cabin, which serves different purposes but primarily that of "communications".

We are not just referring to the TLC (telecommunication) equipment fitted (or to be) inside the car but primarily to stresses the designer's "user suggestions".

According to Ramaciotti, "the concept that inspired the passenger compartment and guided the design of the interior refers to the type of use that a car of its class can be earmarked for: a sports car driven by its owner, or a chauffeur-driven limousine."

It is for this reasons that the front passenger area is very different from the one dedicated to rear passengers.

The front passenger seat is sportier, while the rear seat tends to emphasize the living room aspect.

Also the instrumentation can be delivered in two different modes: digital for a more relaxing driving style, analogue for a sportier style.

At first sight the concept sounds intriguing and attractive but in the reality of the Nautilus the outcome is not fully convincing. There is a lack of harmony inside the cabin and hence a feeling of disorientation. In few words a wonderful opportunity for designers to refine a concept, and work at an area where there still is a lot of room for improvements.

Is this a merciless critic? Not at all. Just the rational observation of a research project that, as such, finds out about solutions or, on the contrary, shows that certain ways are not as good (or have not been implemented as well) as originally intended and anticipated when the project was launched.

Probably the best performance of Nautilus is that if fully succeed in being that poetic automobile, reflecting the emotional and optimistic romantic science described in his books by Jules Verne, the French author who dreamed and described a future that has became true.

The question now is whether the Nautilus by Pininfarina will also become a reality in a not too distant future.


В 1997 году внимание всех посетителей Женевского автосалона привлекла неординарная внешность нового концепт-кара, представленного ателье Pininfarina - Nautilus. Плавные линии кузова Nautilus, созданного на базе Peugeot, удачно сочетают в себе две противоположные концепции - мягкую округлость биодизайна и агрессивную угловатость "граненых" плоскостей. Внешность почти двухтонного, оснащенного 194-сильным 24-клапанным мотором Peugeot, нового концепта туринской фирмы несколько напоминает серийные Fiat Coupe, Alfa GTV и Spyder. Что впрочем и неудивительно - облик этих автомобилей также разрабатывался в сотрудничестве с дизайн-центром Pininfarina.

Дизайнеры туринской фирмы, под руководством шеф-дизайнера Pininfarina Лоренцо Рамачотти, решили по-новому взглянуть на устоявшийся образ представительского седана. Вместо классического угловатого консервативного лимузина они предложили элегантный, спортивный седан, обладающий поистине скульптурными формами.
Source: pininfarina spa.; www.cardesign.to
Coachbuilder: Pininfarina
1912 Fiat Tipo Zero (Pininfarina), 1937 Lancia Aprilia Aerodinamica (Pininfarina), 1947 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Cabriolet (Pininfarina), 1947 Cisitalia 202 (Pininfarina), 1947 Maserati A6 1500 Berlinetta Speciale (Pininfarina), 1950 BMW 501 (Pininfarina), 1951 Packard 2-Door Fastback (Pininfarina), 1952 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Sprint Coupe (Pininfarina), 1953 Lancia Aurelia PF200 (Pininfarina), 1953 Lancia Aurelia PF200 C Spider (Pininfarina), 1954 Alfa Romeo 1900 TI Coupe (Pininfarina), 1954 Cadillac PF 200 Cabriolet (Pininfarina), 1954 Lancia Aurelia B24 S (Pininfarina), 1954 Maserati A6GCS Berlinetta (Pininfarina), 1955 Ferrari 375 America Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina), 1955 Fiat 8V Berlinetta Speciale (Pininfarina), 1955 Jaguar XK120 (Pininfarina), 1955 Lancia Florida (Pininfarina), 1955 Nash Special (Pininfarina), 1956 Alfa Romeo Super Flow I (Pininfarina), 1956 Alfa Romeo Super Flow II (Pininfarina), 1956 Ferrari 410 Superfast (Pininfarina), 1956 Fiat 1100 TV Speciale (Pininfarina), 1956 Fiat Multipla Marine (Pininfarina), 1956 Rambler Palm Beach (Pininfarina), 1957 Alfa Romeo 2000 Coupe Speciale 'Sestriere' (Pininfarina), 1957 Buick Lido (Pininfarina), 1957 Ferrari 4.9 Superfast (Pininfarina), 1957 Lancia Appia Coupe (Pininfarina), 1957 Lancia Florida II (Pininfarina), 1958 Buick XP-75 (Pininfarina), 1958 Cadillac Skylight (Pininfarina), 1959 Alfa Romeo Super Flow III (Pininfarina), 1959 Cadillac Starlight (Pininfarina), 1959 Ferrari 250 GT SWB (Pininfarina), 1959 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina), 1959 Fiat 2100 Coupe (Pininfarina), 1960 Abarth Monoposto da record (Pininfarina), 1960 Alfa Romeo Super Flow IV (Pininfarina), 1960 Chevrolet Corvair Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina), 1960 Ferrari Superfast II (Pininfarina), 1960 Pininfarina X, 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS Spider (Pininfarina), 1961 Cadillac PF Jacqueline (Pininfarina), 1961 Fiat 600 Y Aerodinamica (Pininfarina), 1961 Maserati 5000 GT 'Gianni Agnelli' (Pininfarina), 1962 Alfa Romeo 2600 Cabriolet Speciale (Pininfarina), 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS Coupe (Pininfarina), 1962 Austin Healey 3000 (Pininfarina), 1962 Ferrari Superfast III (Pininfarina), 1962 Ferrari Superfast IV (Pininfarina), 1962 Fiat 2300 Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina), 1962 Lancia Flavia Coupe (Pininfarina), 1963 Alfa Romeo 2600 Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina), 1963 Chevrolet Rondine (Pininfarina), 1963 Fiat 2300 Cabriolet Speciale (Pininfarina), 1963 Fiat 2300 S Lausanne (Pininfarina), 1963 Lancia Flaminia Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina), 1963 Pininfarina PF Sigma, 1964 Abarth 1000 Spider (Pininfarina), 1964 Fiat 2300 S Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina), 1964 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL Coupe (Pininfarina), 1965 Abarth 1000 Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina), 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia 1600 Sport (Pininfarina), 1965 Ferrari Dino Berlinetta Speciale (Pininfarina), 1965 Fiat 2300 S Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina), 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale (Pininfarina), 1966 Fiat Dino Speciale Prototipo (Pininfarina), 1967 Ferrari Dino 206 Competizione (Pininfarina), 1967 Ferrari Dino 206/246 GT (Pininfarina), 1967 Fiat Dino Parigi (Pininfarina), 1967 Pininfarina BMC-1800 Berlina-Aerodinamica, 1968 Alfa Romeo P33 Roadster (Pininfarina), 1968 Bentley T1 Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina), 1968 Ferrari 250 P5 (Pininfarina), 1968 Ferrari P6 (Pininfarina), 1968 Fiat Dino Ginevra (Pininfarina), 1968 Pininfarina BLMC 1100, 1969 Abarth 2000 (Pininfarina), 1969 Alfa Romeo P33 Coupe (Pininfarina), 1969 Ferrari 512S Speciale (Pininfarina), 1969 Fiat 128 Teenager (Pininfarina), 1969 Pininfarina Sigma Grand Prix monoposto F1, 1970 Ferrari Modulo (Pininfarina), 1971 Alfa Romeo P33 Cuneo (Pininfarina), 1971 Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer (Pininfarina), 1971 NSU Ro-80 (Pininfarina), 1971 Peugeot 504 Break Riviera (Pininfarina), 1972 Alfa Romeo Alfetta Spider (Pininfarina), 1973 Autobianchi A 112 Giovani (Pininfarina), 1973 Chevrolet XP-897GT Two-Rotor (Pininfarina), 1974 Ferrari CR 25 (Pininfarina), 1974 Fiat 130 Maremma (Pininfarina), 1975 Alfa Romeo Eagle (Pininfarina), 1975 Fiat 130 Opera (Pininfarina), 1975 Rolls-Royce Camargue (Pininfarina), 1976 Lancia Gamma Coupe (Pininfarina), 1976 Peugeot Peugette (Pininfarina), 1978 Fiat Ecos (Pininfarina), 1978 Jaguar XJ Spider (Pininfarina), 1978 Lancia Gamma Spider (Pininfarina), 1978 Pininfarina Studio CNR, 1980 Ferrari Pinin (Pininfarina), 1980 Lancia Gamma Scala (Pininfarina), 1981 Audi Quartz (Pininfarina), 1982 Lancia Gamma Olgiata (Pininfarina), 1983 Fiat Ritmo Coupe (Pininfarina), 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO (Pininfarina), 1984 Honda HP-X (Pininfarina), 1985 Peugeot Griffe 4 (Pininfarina), 1986 Alfa Romeo Vivace Coupe and Spider (Pininfarina), 1987 Ferrari F40 (Pininfarina), 1988 Ferrari F90 (Pininfarina), 1988 Lancia HIT (Pininfarina), 1989 Ferrari Mythos (Pininfarina), 1990 Pininfarina CNR E2, 1991 Opel Chronos (Pininfarina), 1992 Fiat Cinquecento pick-up (Pininfarina), 1992 Pininfarina Ethos, 1993 Pininfarina Ethos 2, 1994 Ferrari 512 M (Pininfarina), 1994 Fiat Spunto (Pininfarina), 1994 Pininfarina Ethos 3, 1995 Ferrari F50 (Pininfarina), 1995 Honda Argento Vivo (Pininfarina), 1995 Honda SSM (Pininfarina), 1996 Fiat Sing e Song (Pininfarina), 1996 Pininfarina Eta Beta, 1997 Peugeot 406 Coupe (Pininfarina), 1997 Peugeot Nautilus (Pininfarina), 1998 Alfa Romeo Dardo (Pininfarina), 1998 Peugeot 206 (Pininfarina), 1999 Fiat Wish (Pininfarina), 1999 Pininfarina Metrocubo, 2000 Ferrari Rossa (Pininfarina), 2001 Citroen Osee (Pininfarina), 2001 Ford Start (Pininfarina), 2002 Ferrari Enzo (Pininfarina), 2002 Hafei HF Fantasy (Pininfarina), 2003 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti (Pininfarina), 2003 Maserati Quattroporte (Pininfarina), 2003 Pininfarina Enjoy, 2004 Ferrari Superamerica (Pininfarina), 2004 Pininfarina Double-Face, 2004 Pininfarina Nido, 2005 Chery M14 (Pininfarina), 2005 Maserati Birdcage 75th (Pininfarina), 2006 Ferrari P4/5 (Pininfarina), 2007 Brilliance BC3 Coupe (Pininfarina), 2008 Pininfarina B0 (B Zero), 2008 Pininfarina Sintesi, 2008 Rolls-Royce Hyperion (Pininfarina), 2010 Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta (Pininfarina), 2010 Lancia Stratos (Pininfarina), 2010 Pininfarina Nido EV, 2011 DeTomaso Deauville (Pininfarina), 2011 Ferrari FF (Pininfarina), 2012 Pininfarina Cambiano, 2013 BMW Gran Lusso Coupe (Pininfarina), 2013 Pininfarina Sergio, 2016 Mahindra Formula E (Pininfarina), 2016 Pininfarina H2 Speed, 2017 Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo (Pininfarina), 2017 Hybrid Kinetic K550 (Pininfarina), 2017 Hybrid Kinetic K750 (Pininfarina), 2017 Pininfarina H600
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