Pininfarina is a name that needs no introduction among car enthusiasts. The Italian design house has historically been associated with many legendary automobile brands including Lancia and Alfa Romeo and gained even more acclaim for its long-standing relationship with Ferrari. So when Pininfarina announced earlier this year that it would relaunch as an electric car brand, the news was met with much excitement and anticipation, especially as the first model will be an all-electric hypercar that was codenamed PFO. Last week, Automobili Pininfarina announced that the new hypercar will be officially called Battista after the marque’s founder Battista “Pinin” Farina.
Set to be revealed at the Geneva motor show in March next year, the Battista could well be the most powerful and fastest Italian car when it hits the road in late 2020. Pininfarina claims the Battista’s electric powertrain will put out 1,900bhp and 2,300Nm, with a potential to accelerate to 100kph from 0 in less than two seconds, and a top speed of more than 400kph. And despite this blistering performance, the company expects the hypercar to return a zero emissions range of over 480km on a single charge.
Being a model from Pininfarina, we have high hopes for the new car’s design, but will the fledgling carmaker be able to deliver on the performance it promises? Ever since the announcement of the brand, the company has been headhunting the right talent for its key departments. Michael Perschke, an ex-BMW and Audi senior executive is the CEO. Christian Jung, who is the Chief Technology Officer, has been with the BMW Group in Germany and the USA, and more recently with Porsche where he was Director for E-Mobility Systems Design and part of the initial project lead team for the Mission E and other electrification projects. Meanwhile, Senior Technical Advisor Peter Tutzer brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles at Porsche where he was Chief Engineer for its race car programme and more pertinently at Pagani and Bugatti, where he was responsible for the development of the Zonda and the Veyron respectively. The company has also entered into a multi-million-euro commercial partnership with Rimac Automobili, for electric powertrain and battery technology.
The all-electric hypercar will be designed and hand-built in very limited numbers at Pininfarina SpA, which is now owned by India’s Mahindra Group, and headed by Paulo Pininfarina, Battista’s grandson. “This is genuinely a dream come true,” says Paulo. “My grandfather always had the vision that one day there would be a stand-alone range of Pininfarina-branded cars. This hypercar will boast world-beating performance, technological innovation and of course elegant styling. For me, we simply had to call it Battista. His dream becomes reality today as we link our glorious past with the future of motoring,” he adds.
The production run will be limited to just 150 cars, and the Battista is estimated to cost between $2 million (Dh7.34 million) and $2.5 million (Dh9.18 million). Out of these, 50 cars will be allocated to the USA, 50 to Europe and 50 to the Middle East and Asia.