Was the 1995, and Mazda had just presented in society the MX-5 NB. The market for roadsters was beginning to animate: Porsche moved tab with the Boxster and BMW did the same with the Z3. Honda wanted part of that pie, so the same year he had no less that two prototype convertibles. The first was the Honda SSM Concept, a clear preview of the Honda S2000. The other was designed by Pininfarina, and was called Argento Vivo. A prototype forgotten that it could have been the goat chosen for production by Honda.
Pininfarina had already worked with Honda in 1984, for the development of the HP-X, a sporty mid-engine that would become the NSX.
In 1995, Pininfarina had established itself as a manufacturer of vehicles, to expand its business model beyond its traditional bodywork. Honda contacted Pininfarina with the aim of creating a convertible luxurious. Not so much a sport created to search for curves, but a GT comfortable and dynamic, in line with the BMW Z3. A car heavier, but much more refined. Pininfarina built this beautiful roadster on a chassis of aluminum, on which was mounted a stylish body-duotone cutting almost sailing.
Chrome abundant, large wheels and blue tones were their main signs of identity. Interestingly, it was the only Honda of the era in having a logo without outline, located in a calender of curious shapes. Optical front sharp and a behind bulbous, but refined closed a outer downright stylish, although with little chance of being produced in series. In its interior, had an abundance of noble materials such as leather and wood, again with the goal of driving the roadster seems to pilot a yacht.
Honda chose to produce in series a roadster authentically sporty, the fantastic S2000 with a maximum power of 240 HP.
The really striking aspect of this prototype is the fact that it was fully functional. This two-seater was powered by a Honda engine of 2.5-liter, five-cylinder in-line, with a power output of around 190 HP. Moving the rear wheels through a manual gearbox. It was intended to circulate in the open air – with its polished aluminum shining in the sun – but in case of bad weather, it had a nice retractable hard top motor. A ceiling that is as a novelty was transparent.
And came to the Sultan of Brunei
Sultan of Brunei was in the throes of buying crazy cars in the nineties. Dozens of Mercedes of the same color, unique cars manufactured by Ferrari or Bentley… and put the Argento Vivo between eyebrow and eyebrow. Pininfarina is committed to fabricarle four identical drives, but without a single shred of technology Honda, we imagine that intellectual property issues. The basis of these four sports ended up being a Mercedes 600 SL. And the result was not nice, talking about christian.
Pininfarina left the roadsters germans, and instead of using their V12 series, he opted for the gigantic V12 of 7.3 liters of the SL 73 AMG. Harnessed to the 555 CV, they were able to do the 0 to 100 km/h in about four seconds, despite its weight. Each unit built would have cost about $ 2 million, and instead of having an interior of wood and leather, it would have been in charge of carbon fibre. It is assumed that the Sultan still two of the cars in its possession, as part of his massive private collection.