Pininfarina B0 (B Zero)

While we've known for some time that an electric car would be forthcoming from the partnership between the fabled firm of Pininfarina and the French industrial giant Bolloré, the two companies have avoided any embarrassing premature publication of photos until the predetermined moment at the Paris Motor Show. Any speculation that the final product resulting from the French-Italian marriage might be beautiful but impractical or just plain French ugly can now be put to rest. When this sophisticated four-seater, four-door hatchback rolled out of the factory in Turin we can imagine dark clouds parting and a spotlight of sunshine beaming down to illuminate the B0 (pronounced "B Zero") with a voice, not unlike that of Homer (the donut-eating yellow guy, not the Greek poet), intoning thunderously with lots of reverb, "Sweeeet."

And sweet it is! After thousands of miles of testing with the BlueCar platform, the companies have refined that technology in this new design and hit all of their performance benchmarks including a 153-mile range and a top governed speed of 80 Mph. Although the advanced solar panels built into the roof and hood are quick to catch the eye with their high tech appearance, the real secret weapon in this city car is the lithium polymer "LMP" battery matched up with a supercapacitor. The elegant energy storage component not only allows for excellent regenerative braking and acceleration capabilities but also extends the life of the battery. It is stressed that the B0 is not a concept car or a prototype but an actual production model that will be built in Turin by the end of 2009. The Pininfarina-branded B0 is dedicated to the memory of Andrea Pininfarina who was a big believer in this project.

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[Source: Pininfarina]