Will the Pininfarina Battista finally make the world fall in love with EVs?
Almost one year since the Indian conglomerate Mahindra launched Automobili Pininfarina in Rome, the company has revealed the Battista, a 1,900HP limited-production luxury hyper GT that realises founder Battista’s unfulfilled dream of building cars under Pininfarina’s own name.
From an aesthetic point of view, the Battista follows Pininfarina’s elegance, purity, and innovation principles to the book and is in visual harmony with such Pininfarina icons as the Ferrari 512S Modulo and the Sergio. It’s a clean, evocative mid-engined design with some novel aerodynamic features that distinguish it enough from internal combustion-powered supercars such as the McLaren 720S. The minimal and ultra-ergonomic interior is equally impressive, emphasising the car’s luxury and Grand Touring credentials.
Of course, the Battista’s mighty performance figures pitch it more in line with the 720S’s bigger brother, the new three-seater Speedtail. Thanks to the use of Rimac’s cutting-edge electric powertrain, which develops a colossal 1,900HP and 2,300 Nm of torque, and a lightweight carbon-fibre monocoque and body, the Battista is expected to accelerate from 0–62mph in less than two seconds, 0–300kph in below 12 seconds, and onto a top speed of 350kph. Perhaps more impressive is the claimed 450km of range from the 120kw lithium-ion battery pack, facilitated in part by the regenerative capabilities of the enormous carbon-ceramic brakes and rapidly-improving global EV infrastructure.
Naturally, the driver will be able to exploit the Battista’s versatility by selecting from a number of driving modes, including those for different aural characteristics, none of which, thankfully, will be artificially augmented. Given the extreme headline figures, Pininfarina has interestingly focused on driving dynamics rather than all-out performance with the four-wheel-drive Battista.
In fact, when the production Battistas arrive in 2020, Pininfarina’s 90th year, they will be the most powerful road-legal cars ever designed and built in Italy – a fittingly impressive feat for such a legendary automotive name. No more than 150 will be built in Cambiano and distributed equally via a global network comprising between 25 and 40 dealers.
There’s no official word on price yet, but previous reports suggest in the region of 2m euros. A hypercar of the future inspired by a legendary company’s near-90-year history, the Battista has a hell of a lot riding on its shoulders. Will it be enough to convince devotees of the internal combustion engine to part with their hard-earned cash? Who knows. For now, we can only commend Automobili Pininfarina’s ambition and anticipate how its rivals might respond in what is arguably an exciting turning point in the world of performance cars.
Photos: Automobili Pininfarina