If you’re going to build an electric SUV, it may as well look cool, right? That seems to be the guiding premise behind Pininfarina’s Pura Vision design concept, which will debut at Pebble Beach and previews a possible “electric luxury utility vehicle” that they’ve dubbed “e-LUV”. Not to be confused with the Chevy LUV.
To your first and most obvious question: Yes, it does have whitewall tires, possibly the first 23-inch whitewalls we’ve seen. And somehow, that works! It also has forward-hinged doors, rear-hinged doors, and gullwing doors. If the rear hatch were a pair of Lambo doors, that would really cover all the kinds of doors, but we’re still impressed. The gullwing sections span both the front and rear door openings and are hinged to a central overhead backbone. Since there’s no B-pillar, opening everything up creates a portal you could drive a Chevy LUV through. Whether this setup is production-feasible remains to be seen, but concept cars are supposed to be about probing the outer reaches of possibility, not simply previewing a done-deal production car. (Unless they’re Porsche concept cars. Then they’re probably previewing a done-deal production car.)
The Pura Vision is a two-plus-two, in the manner of the Ferrari Purosangue. Between the back seats is a wine cooler, and not the Bartles & Jaymes kind—it’ll chill a bottle of your favorite plonk en route to the Hamptons, or Lake Tahoe, or wherever it is that people in Dubai drive for vacations. The upholstery on the upper seat backs and headliner is 30 percent wool and 70 percent recycled polyester, which the company says, “already meets Automobili Pininfarina durability standards for production vehicles.” (Sounds like a hint, there.) The central touchscreen can be powered down into the dash for those times when you’d like to banish touchscreens from your field of view for at least a few minutes.
As for the powertrain, well… this isn’t that kind of concept. At Pebble, it’ll be static. But the Pininfarina Battista has 1877 horsepower, so if an upcoming e-LUV got that powertrain, it would probably be able to tow a decent-sized Boston Whaler up the boat ramp. Even with half that corral, it would still be far more powerful than any production internal-combustion SUV. Alas, we’ll have to wait and see on that, and pricing.
Whether horsepower is a four-digit number and pricing is a seven-digit affair depends on how high upmarket Pininfarina intends to go. Based on their recent history, the answer there would be: all the way to the top.
Ezra Dyer is a Car and Driver senior editor and columnist. He’s now based in North Carolina but still remembers how to turn right. He owns a 2009 GEM e4 and once drove 206 mph. Those facts are mutually exclusive.