Pininfarina wind tunnel turns 50
Pininfarina is marking the 50th anniversary of its pioneering wind tunnel. Inaugurated by chairman Sergio Pininfarina in Grugliasco, Turin in 1972, it was Italy's first wind tunnel built specifically for testing full-scale cars, one of only seven in the world at the time. It made Pininfarina a leader in aerodynamic research, not just only in the automotive field, but also nautical, aerospace and industrial design.
Chairman Paolo Pininfarina said: “I am very proud for something that was born out of my father's genius. Without a doubt, Pininfarina has a real passion for aerodynamics. It all began with my grandfather Pinin, whose visionary intuition in aerodynamics is exemplified by the Lancia Aprilia Aerodinamica of 1936.” Supporting these conclusions, Pininfarina’s wind tunnel was used to measure the drag coefficient of the 1947 Cisitalia some years ago, and returned a figure of 0.37. The tunnel was initially thought of as a means of improving speed and handling, but the energy crisis of 1973 quickly confirmed the importance of aerodynamics in fuel efficiency.
Among the most famous cars developed in the wind tunnel are several Ferrari Formula 1 cars, the Lancia Montecarlo Group 5 and the Lancia Rally 037. Pininfarina also tested the torch for the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games here.