Pininfarina thinks the 2020 Karma Revero is “a magnificent, elegant, and statuesque vehicle that sparks a lot of emotion,” but the Italian company wanted to create a more assertive vehicle, something with more traditional “Italian sports car” flair. It settled on a GT, or “Gran Turismo;” traditionally, a GT is a two-door, rear-wheel-drive luxury car comfortable enough to drive long distances, but also fully capable of spirited driving when the road starts to curve. Pininfarina started its GT build by stripping down its donor Revero and prepping the all-aluminum frame to mate with a totally new, two-door body.
The Karma GT designed by Pininfarina respects the Revero’s recognizable proportions, but its exterior is drastically and wonderfully different. Most notably, this is a two-door coupe, which required Pininfarina to build new body sides from the ground up. The door handles are flush with the bodyside in order to keep the volumes as pure as possible because its surface language is simplified; with relaxed shoulders and a softer feature line, the car expresses personality through choice modifications to the body. A tasteful contrasting black roof complements bone gray paint, and trim work is finished in either piano black or smoked gun metal gray. The front end is more aggressive, with a symmetrically slatted grille and squinty LED headlights. The outside corners of the front fascia kick upward to match the dramatically styled, cross-cutting rocker panels that ground the GT. The back of the car is very powerful yet pure and elegant. Its two iconic boomerang-shaped tail lamps confer to the rear volume lightness and modernity. The Karma GT’s seductive, sucked-in waistline looks best in plain view, but its powerful, proud stance is better appreciated from a crouch.
White and off-white leathers blanket the bright, inviting interior, and elegant burgundy piping underlines the main shapes of the cabin and contrasts nicely with the creamy leather. The seats feature a new quilting scheme to emphasize the sensation of comfort. Bits of soft, velvet-like nubuck hide and satin aluminum trim create a modern atmosphere with a hint of old-world sophistication. Multi-tone stitching adds to the atmosphere of the carefully elevated interior, and a small, embossed Italian flag on the exterior side of the seat backrests is a playful reminder of the Karma GT’s providence.
Working together on tomorrow
Typically, Pininfarina reserves the “Gran Turismo” designation for only its most exceptional, in-house builds; this is the first time in Pininfarina’s history that “GT” will grace a collaborative product. It’s a true Pininfarina, and a great Karma; if the Karma GT by Pininfarina piques the interest of enough enthusiasts, Karma Automotive could introduce a limited run of production vehicles. If that happens, Pininfarina will build the cars in its atelier outside of Turin and will invite customers so they can personally configure their GT, making their car a “tailored suit”, as only Pininfarina can do. For now, though, Karma Automotive is capturing select characteristics of the Karma GT designed by Pininfarina and working them into forthcoming production vehicles.
While Karma Automotive and Pininfarina are at very different places in their respective histories, the two companies are now serendipitously aligned, at the start of a long-term partnership, standing together on the edge of a new automotive era. Both are ambitious, both want to grow, and both want to learn from one another’s missteps and successes, and in turn develop a deeper, broader relationship. Together, Karma Automotive and Pininfarina will continue challenging convention in automotive design, and hopefully the Karma GT designed by Pininfarina is only the first of many coach-built Karmas to come.