The Torch that Pininfarina designed was a modern interpretation of the traditional wooden torch, in which it is the metal that seems to catch fire and burn. The flame envelops the body of the Torch rather than exiting from a hole on the top, like earlier torches. A dynamic, innovative shape was created to develop this concept, which recalls the tip of a ski but also the building that is a symbol of Turin, the Mole Antonelliana.

Pininfarina was responsible for both the styling and engineering of the Torch and for its manufacture; a total of 12 thousand numbered examples were produced for the Olympics and 125 for the Paralympics. The Olympic Flame passed through the hands of over 11,000 torchbearers, crossing all the Italian regions and provinces, and covering a distance of 11,000 kilometres.

The design won the “Lorenzo il Magnifico” award, the highest prize from the Florence Biennale of Contemporary Art, with the following motivation: “The Magnificent Lorenzo de Medici bows before the pure beauty of the Olympic Torch created by the multiform genius of Turin and the sublime master craftsman, Pininfarina”.

The Olympic Torch designed by Pininfarina is a cutting edge technological instrument designed to meet a number of essential technical requirements: it cannot be relit and it must not go out even in adverse climatic conditions like rain, snow or wind of up to 120 km/h; it must stand up to temperatures ranging from -20° C to +25° C and the flame it produces must have a constant, controlled height and burn for 15 minutes. The Torch, which is 765 mm high, has a diameter of 108 mm and weighs 1.850 kg; it must function both at sea level and at an altitude of 5000 metres. And to guarantee that it can be seen on television in daylight or at night, the flame produced by the combustion is yellow-orange, and the smoke is non-toxic and odourless.

Where the materials used are concerned, the exterior shell is made of aluminium, the inner mechanism is made of steel, copper and technopolymers, and the surface has an embossed finish that makes the Torch easier to grip, and a special paint that is resistant to high temperatures. The Torch is supplied by a blend of hydrocarbons (propylene-butane) contained in a standard aluminium spray canister. A new, exclusive combustion system guarantees the stability of the flame, resistance to extinguishing and visibility.

12 thousand numbered pieces. More than 11 thousand torchbearers

As Official Supplier, Pininfarina contributes to the Torino 2006 Olympics and Paralympic Games designing and manufacturing the Torch, that is the best expression of the design house skills and competences: design, engineering and manufacturing mastery.

A team of 25 people from all sectors of activity of the Pininfarina group was involved in the project to optimise the functioning and performance of the Torch in all environmental conditions, and to perform the necessary tests also in Pininfarina Wind Tunnel.



Industrial design