The 1980s started a period of expansion for Pininfarina.

In 1982, the company opened "Pininfarina Studi e Ricerche" in Cambiano. It was separate from the factory and wind tunnel in Grugliasco to keep design and research activities independent from manufacturing. On 14 October 2002, Pininfarina inaugurated a new engineering center. The new facility, built at the Cambiano campus, gave greater visibility and independence to the engineering operations.

In 1983, Pininfarina reached an agreement with General Motors to design and build the Cadillac Allanté. The Allanté project led to the building of the San Giorgio factory in 1985.

In 1996, Mitsubishi entered into talks for Pininfarina to build their new compact SUV, the Pajero, in Italy. While Mitsubishi recognized Pininfarina's expertise in design and engineering, the reason for choosing them was that manufacturing costs were half of those in Germany. After entering into an agreement in 1996, Pininfarina purchased an industrial site at Bairo Canavese near Turin, Italy. in April 1997, Bairo Canavese was dedicated to the production of the new Mitsubishi Pajero Pinin.