Life in a birdcage would be fine, just fine
What a way to celebrate an anniversary. Some get cakes and parties, while others enjoy cruises to the Bahamas, and a lucky few get something sparkly to put on their finger.Pininfarnia do it better. In recognition of 75 years, the design house has teamed up with Maserati and Motorola to create the Birdcage 75 concept, a step back to an era when they specialized in extreme sports prototypes, a time many automotive enthusiasts consider a golden age in Italian car design. Indeed, heroic shadows dance on the smooth white body of the Birdcage 75, shadows such as legendary prototypes like the 1954 Maserati A6 GCS, the 1965 Ferrari Dino Berlinetta Special, and the 1970 Ferrari Modulo. Whether this prototype, or concept, takes its place among the great Italian design exercises is up to time and evolution. As it is, showcased at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Birdcage 75 stands a great chance for being remembered as a sexy, sporting dream with an edgy communications future. The name helps, of course, as the concept carries the famous title of the Maserati “Birdcage” racing car built from 1959 to 1963 – so named because of its tubular chassis. Based on the chassis of the Maserati MC12, the goal of the Birdcage 75 is to stretch the boundaries of design and techniques. For example, the Birdcage 75 was built as a single object, instead of a sequence of parts, and was designed to convey a futuristic representation of sultry lines and power. To that end, the concept features Maserati’s 700-horsepower V12 engine tucked into a teardrop shell with a “floating” center that is purposely uncluttered and smooth, a streamlined design intended to facilitate air flow, and, as a result, speed. The wheels are 20 inches up front and 22 inches in back, and the chassis is made of carbon fiber. The theme of the Birdcage 75 continues into the interior of the concept, with an uncluttered design meant to convey the racing heritage of Maserati and the communications force of Motorola. Indeed, with features such as a head’s up display, projection screens and advanced cell phone communications technology. The ideal represented in the Birdcage 75 is a communications system that includes all facets of man and machine; a totally integrated environment which naturally connects driver to passenger, road and information.