approximately 3307 lbs
hp per liter
Pininfarina Press Release) With the
Birdcage 75th, based on the Maserati heritage and on its most
advanced mechanicals and realized in collaboration with Motorola,
Pininfarina revives the storied theme of the true dream car now
proposed in a synthesis of the vision of the three companies:
exclusive design, sports DNA and technological innovation.
Pininfarina’s prosperous collaboration with Maserati, marked by the
great international success of the Quattroporte, is celebrated with
this rolling hi-tech sculpture that evokes a new future context,
imaginary but possible, while simultaneously paying homage to the
strong and distinctive brand characteristics of the Tridente.
In celebration of Pininfarina’s 75th anniversary, Birdcage 75th
returns to the storied tradition of extreme sports prototypes which
highlighted the Italian renaissance of car design, born in the
Fifties and prolonged in the Sixties and early Seventies. This
period of optimism and boundless creativity produced some of the
world’s most astounding and beautiful automobiles. Never before had
our love affair with speed and beauty been so abundantly expressed.
Boldly challenging our aesthetic ideals, these prototypes were
exercises in creativity and passion, unconstrained by the
regulations and the limitations of today’s context and
considerations. They were true dream cars that evoked images and
sentiments of a utopian future.
Beginning with the Maserati A6 GCS of 1954, whose clean-lined design
and harmonious proportions made it one of the most memorable
projects from that period, Pininfarina embarked on a prolific period
of extreme sports prototypes based on the era’s state of the art
racing car mechanicals. In 1965 the stunning Ferrari Dino Berlinetta
Speciale made its debut, while in 1967 the Dino competizione
combined voluptuous beauty with some of the world’s first studies on
moveable aero devices. The following year brought about the aero
study of the Alfa Romeo 33 and the sensual Ferrari P5, which
demonstrated a future vision of Le Mans prototypes. 1969 bore three
radically different prototypes, the Abarth 2000, the sinuous Alfa
Romeo 33 Prototipo Speciale and the extreme wedge study of the 512s
which stood less than 1 meter tall. Finally, in 1970 arrived what
many consider the preeminent dream car of the era, the audacious
Ferrari Modulo. A radical research vehicle which abandoned
traditional styling and construction techniques in favor of extreme
geometric simplicity. Originally shown at Geneva, Turin and the
Osaka World Fair, the excited and shocked public was forced to
question its very context. How and where did this vehicle come
about? Where would this vehicle take us? Effectively, the Modulo
represented the ultimate manifestation of the dream car spirit, for
it succeeded in transporting its viewer to another time and place.
For 2005, in celebration of its 75th anniversary, Pininfarina has
chosen to rekindle this creative spirit. The Birdcage 75th is a
concept of a road car where everything – style, performance, use and
conception of the car – is extreme so as to get the maximum impact
on the collective imagination. The car is a futuristic extension of
the Maserati brand, and at the same time it serves to reinforce the
Tridente’s potent design heritage, and continues its grand tradition
of advanced technology enveloped in sporting elegance. Integrating
some Motorola technologies make the Seamless Mobility vision real,
or the fluidity of the technologies as a subsequent stage of the
The Birdcage 75th, in
homage to the spirit of the dream car era, is based on the road
racing chassis of the Maserati MC12 and seeks to capture the
ultimate expression of speed, sensuality and elegance – to create a
functional and dynamic automotive sculpture. The contrast struck
between its organic fluidity and the severe tension of its
mechanicals, creates a dynamism seldom realized.
The clear goal of breaking away from traditional styling solutions
and creating a coherent and unique visual experience, led to a
particularly innovative integration of the exterior and interior
design and construction. Rather than pen the exterior in a
traditional manner, and thereafter by consequence approach the
design of the interior, the Birdcage 75th was designed as an
integrated singular object.
THE DESIGN CHALLENGE
While the main goal of
the Birdcage 75th was to push new stylistic boundaries and
techniques, the Maserati’s over 700 horsepower V12 engine signified
that the design concept had to be true to certain race car ideals.
Without limiting the project’s creative potential, the design began
with the study of the mechanicals themselves, and how they
themselves could relate, and thus communicate with the impending
exterior design to create a coherent and seamless object.
The first necessity became to envelope the mechanicals in the most
efficient manner possible. As research has shown, the aerodynamic
forms most effectively and frequently applied in race car design are
the teardrop and the inverted wing form. With this in mind, the
concept of the Birdcage 75th was born. Upon studying the
mechanicals, one can see the chassis is naturally blessed by its
delta shaped plan view as the small and efficient passenger cell
tapers rearward to embrace the engine and drivetrain. So, the
concept became clear, a teardrop central volume would encapsulate
the passenger cell and the mechanicals creating an extremely
streamlined and efficient frontal area. In turn, this central cell
is suspended within a vast inverted wing form which maintains an
exceptionally low profile to aid in the air flow above and under the
The floating central cell is seamlessly divided into two halves, the
upper portion being transparent, and the lower portion serving as a
structural aerodynamic skirt. The large transparent area of the
upper surface not only grants its occupants outstanding visibility,
but allows all of the Maserati mechanicals, from its pushrod
suspension to the beautifully crafted carbon fibre inlet trumpets of
its V12 engine to be showcased and appreciated.
Staying true to its race car roots, the exterior surfaces are kept
as low and uncluttered as possible only to ebb and flow into the
four independently pronounced fenders which house the massive alloy
wheels. The alloy wheels, which measure an impressive 20’’ (front)
and 22’’ (rear) in diameter respectively, are specifically designed
to recall the Tridente’s logo, and as on the racing cars, are
attached via a single center locking wheel nut. The low undulating
exterior has a natural but purposeful fluidity, appearing as if
mercury was merely poured over the mechanics. The result is a
powerful yet elegant form which, at a mere meter tall, gives the
impression of movement even at a standstill.
Not incidentally, the resulting geometry of volumes is a futuristic
extension of the great Maserati race cars of yesteryear, whose
bodies stemmed from a simple extruded fuselage onto which the
independent fenders were grafted.
It is therefore no coincidence the name of the prototype directly
recalls the legendary Birdcage Tipo 63. Nicknamed the birdcage due
to the radically triangulated tube construction of its chassis,
these cars were truly unique in that the chassis and mechanicals
were left in view under unusually large transparent front wind
screens. The central engine initially mounted was a 4-cylinder 260
HP model later replaced by the V12 3000 developing 320 HP at 8,200
rpm, based on the 350S prototype and the 250F T2 Grand Prix. Over
and above fourth place in the Le Mans 24-Hour event, the Tipo 63
also achieved excellent results in 1961 with Walt Hangsen in
American races, winning at Bridgehampton, New York and the Elkhart
Lake 500-mile in Wisconsin.
To further underline the Maserati heritage, great care was taken in
the rich jewel-like details which contrast the elegant simplicity of
its streamlined form. The nose, which like the Quattroporte’s
features the traditional trapezoidal Maserati plan view, culminates
in the large oval mouth flanked by low horizontal eyes. The gaping
mouth adorned by a large chrome trident, feeds the central mounted
radiator and brake ducts, as well as acting as a downforce creating
wing surface. The lights, developed in partnership with OSRAM Opto
Semiconductors, feature the world’s first homologated LED technology
headlamps with OSTAR module. The light housings are milled from
solid blocks of aluminum and double as cooling ducts for the heat
The rear of the vehicle is characterized by its imposingly deep
diffuser, complemented by active aero panels on the upper surface,
which raise and lower accordingly to produce the necessary levels of
downforce for stability at any speed. When raised, the wings reveal
engine bay cooling outlets, which also serve to lower air pressure
underneath the wing surface, and thus aid in creating more downforce.
The ultra-thin taillamps also utilize the latest LED technology, and
feature hot air outlets to aid in engine compartment cooling.
Finally, in Maserati tradition, the exhausts are adorned with robust
oval tips finished in chrome.
The interior of the
vehicle plays an important role in the visual impact and historic
ties to Maserati. True to the concept of the car, the interior is an
extension of the car itself, seamlessly integrated in the carbon
Glancing through the canopy, one can see the large carbon fibre
structure of the nose section, which tapers rearward to embrace the
passenger cell. Inserted into the cell is an independent passenger
sled partially upholstered with Alcantara and the suspended head up
display that doubles as the IP. It is here at the center of the car
that we see how the car brings together two worlds: the future
oriented technology of Motorola combined with the pure and sometimes
raw race DNA and heritage of Maserati.
The transparent head up display reveals the intelligent core of the
car, updated with its surroundings and connected to the future. In
contrast with the virtual non physical nature of the display is the
triangulated structure that supports it which nostalgically recalls
the interior of the Birdcage Tipo 63, essential in its approach and
therefore visually connecting to the mechanicals of the car.
In this way the interior reflects the conviction that successful new
technologies are the ones that seamlessly integrate without denying
that which is already great today. A symbiosis symbolized in the
central typical Maserati clock, physical and virtual at the same
As a further characteristic, the car was built entirely of
sustainable materials, emphasising the use of recycled components
rather than natural resources.
The Birdcage 75th also extends the concept of car/user interface, as
our needs are forever shifting towards a car/mobility interface. The
car becomes a central element in our daily communication activities.
Through a central mounted navigation device you can navigate through
a personalized array of functions and menus. But not only that, the
numerous cameras positioned on the car allow you to share your
driving experience with others, while projecting the images of the
infrared cameras on the transparent head up display allow you to
enhance your own driving experience at night.
SEAMLESS MOBILITY BY MOTOROLA
The Birdcage 75th is an
application of Motorola’s vision of seamless mobility. Telephony has
revealed the existence of a world in constant movement, to the point
that it is difficult today to imagine life without the mobile phone.
Nowadays, when we travel, we are no longer content to just make a
phone call: we also want to be able to access all manner of services
with our phone. Motorola has made all this possible. And it doesn’t
end there. We want to be able to send images and listen to music:
our wishes have been fulfilled. Now Motorola is ready for the next
step. People are constantly on the move and they want to have
everything with them. They want a seamless mobility world. Solutions
that make you live the experience of always being connected, to
everything and with all services available. “Mobility” is the next
stage in the Internet revolution; it will enable users to
communicate and handle information independently of the place they
happen to be.
The technologies integrated in the concept car fulfil this vision of
seamless mobility and use payment systems, an iPen and a mobile
router, putting projection screens into service for man-machine
The idea of building a concept car with Motorola arose when the
company in the Pininfarina group dedicated to industrial design,
Pininfarina Extra, already a Motorola partner in the design of its
last line of cell phones with iDEN technology, began to plan the new
line of terminals. The new portfolio of iDEN products combines
attractively designed lines with the very latest available
technologies, digital cell phones with last generation wireless
access to Internet, text pager and two-way radio communication which
enables users to communicate instantaneously with one or more
individuals simply by pressing a button. So we have integrated
Motorola’s seamless mobility into a technologically advanced concept
This challenge was taken up and carried forward by Pininfarina Extra
through its cooperation in the design of the cabin and the
accessories of the concept car.
The design philosophy of Motorola’s iDEN cell phones is based on the
study of bionics: the relationship between design and nature. The
design of the concept is inspired by the shark which moves through
the water guided by a sensor. In the same way, the car perceives the
environment in which it moves.
frame in carbon fibre and Nomex honeycomb with front and rear
structure in aluminium. Bodywork in carbon fibre.
Front and Rear Suspensions: articulated quadrilateral with push-rod
layout; single-calibrated shock absorbers and co-axial coil springs.
Brakes: Brembo system with four self-ventilated and drilled discs.
Front 380 mm x 34 mm, Rear 335 mm x 32 mm; callipers in light alloy
with six front and four rear pistons.
Drivetrain: Longitudinal rear-mounted gearbox with rigid connection
to the engine.
Mechanical drivetrain with 6 sequential gears. Engine: 12 x 65°
V-cylinders, displacement 5998 cm(3). Power output: more than 700HP.