Celebrated Italian Style

That same year, Leonardo Fioravanti founded his Fioravanti firm. In order to not create a conflict of interest, the original focus was architectural design in the Japanese market, due to his continuing work with auto companies. Four years after the founding of Fioravanti, the company began working exclusively for the Fiat Group’s automobile marques—Fiat, Lancia, and Alfa Romeo. It then expanded, and since that time, Fioravanti has been responsible for one-off and concept cars for brands like Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, Toyota-Lexus, as well as the original three from Fiat.

His decision to launch his own brand was borne of a desire to continue to innovate the industry without restriction. “I wanted to be more free to explain my thinking on the automobile design—architecture, too—and other matters concerning Italian design, what it means to be made in Italy,” he explains from his office in a 15th-century building in Moncalieri, a historic town outside of Turin. The setting is in line with the brand’s philosophy, which is rooted in the history of Italian design while simultaneously pushing the envelope through the study and research of innovative concepts.

Fioravanti says that in his mind, the designs his company creates are “original, simple, and, when we are fortunate and lucky, beautiful….In fact, we have more than 35 international patents that are the expression of cars’ originality.”

That originality is exemplified by the first-ever Ferrari Special Projects car, the SP1, which Fioravanti designed for Japanese businessman and Ferrari collector Junichiro Hiramatsu. It is the first custom auto officially sanctioned by Ferrari, meaning it is an auto enthusiast’s dream come true. “This car was designed on the mechanical specs of the F430,” explains Fioravanti. “The main dimensions are strictly the same as the Ferrari 430….Our capability was integrating new parts as much as possible.” The SP1 offers sweeping door scallops and rear haunch intakes, a wraparound carbon fiber undercarriage, and revised treatments for the canopy and rear fascia. Fioravanti explains that he took his design cues from the ellipse, focusing on making the SP1 as aerodynamic as possible.