Pininfarina Battista unveiled: 1,900-horsepower electric hypercar is an absolute stunner
No car design studio has a more compelling portfolio than Pininfarina, so expectations have been sky-high for the first car to have that famous logo on the back as well as the sides. So sit back and enjoy our first look at an Italian electric hypercar masterpiece for the new age.
Let's get performance specs out of the way; the rumors we raised last time we spoke with the Pininfarina team are true. The Battista will indeed use a Rimac powertrain with a highest level specification very close to the ludicrous Rimac C_Two. As we said when we first saw the C_Two, if you can class anything with more than a thousand horsepower as a hypercar, we're going to need a new category for these nigh-on 2,000 horse monsters.
The Battista can be specced out with up to 1,900 horses and 2,300 Nm (1,700 lb-ft) of all-electric torque from four separate motors. Such numbers are so alien to us that we can't properly fathom what it'll be like to pound the pedal to the floor – certainly, it'll be the tires' adhesion to the road that places any limits on acceleration. Fitted with bespoke Pirelli P Zero hoops on 21-inch rims, Pininfarina says it'll hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than two seconds from a standing start, and that sounds about right. Keep the pedal down, and you'll reach triple that speed in just 10 more seconds on the way to a top speed above 350 km/h (217 mph).
The body is a full carbon monocoque, aluminum crash impact absorbers at the front and rear. All bodywork is also carbon, and the T-shaped Rimac battery pack is located in the center tunnel, and behind the seats, giving a rear engined feel to the handling as well as allowing a proper hypercar-low seating position that wouldn't be possible if the batteries were under the floor. The pack's capacity is 120 kWh, giving the Battista a range up to 450 km (280 miles). Knowing what the lives of many supercars are like, it may not need to be charged at all by the first few owners.
The multi-mode, tuneable electronic suspension will come set for a balance between dynamic driving and on-road comfort, at least to start with, and the brakes will be absolute whoppers: 390 mm carbon/ceramic discs front and rear, clamped by six-piston calipers. If you're moving quick, the active rear wing will flip up to give you an air brake in addition.
Pininfarina wants to address the lack of roaring engine noise that separates combustion hypercars from electrics. From the press release: "The driver will be able to ... tailor the noise the 1,900 hp car makes – the Battista's on-board sound programme will focus on using vehicle hardware to generate acoustic entertainment, rather than generate artificial sounds." We'll be interested to hear how that translates to reality, and whether it tickles the adrenal glands like a dinosaur burner reaching redline.
The cabin looks absolutely sumptuous, with tasteful colors, patterned stitching and two large screens flanking a carbon steering wheel that's ready to receive some of the whitest knuckles this side of a rollercoaster. This, Pininfarina would like to remind you, is luxury as well as lunacy.
And so to the design, which after all is Pininfarina's calling card, having penned more than 100 Ferraris over the years and contributed to many other famous brands. Everyone's going to have their own opinion, of course (and we're interested to hear what you think in the comments below) but there's certainly some familiar-looking lines to enjoy.
The headlights, for example, make the front end look like a McLaren from some angles. The blacked-out, recessed cabin reminds us a little of a LaFerrari – ironically one of the Ferraris not designed by Pininfarina. The sharp hip lines recall the Ford GT, and the bifurcated, wraparound rear panels give us shades of the futuristic BMW i8 design.
From the upper rear, it almost has the feel of a diving bird, its wings held back as it prepares to hit the water; the way the rear wheel arches wrap over and transition into the active rear wing is the signature design element, and the neon-lit charge point behind the rear window sits there looking as futuristic as a flux capacitor. The doors open upwards.
Aerodynamics-wise, you'll notice splitters, diffusers, subtle side skirting and a deep, deep hood scoop to help stick this thing to the road, as well as rear venting to get cold air into the five radiators charged with cooling the powertrain. The overall design, says the company, was not intended to be a revolutionary or futuristic, but timeless – and in our opinion, it's as beautiful a design as anyone would expect, with some interesting twists to set it apart. It'll be a feather in the cap of Pininfarina SpA, the design company, as much as for Automobil Pininfarina, the car company.
Pininfarina has brought no less than three Battistas to Geneva for this coming out party – an appreciable percentage of the total number to be built, which is capped at 150 with sales already well underway. Each is expected to be a full custom build, and the three expo cars reflect different color options in satin grey and pearlescent white, although Blu Iconica is intended to be the brand's signature color going forward.
This is a significant car. It represents not only the dream of the Farina family to design its own supercar, and not only one of the first of a new breed of electric super-hypercars, but an absolute hero vehicle and flagship for Pininfarina's new ownership. Mahindra & Mahindra is an Indian-based auto manufacturer with a monster market to work with, a number of brands underneath it and a serious resumé in Formula E electric racing.
With staggering beauty, and more than enough power for four very fast cars, the Battista goes to the very top tier of high-end exotica on debut. We'll take two, thanks. Don't miss Mike Hanlon's interview with the Pininfarina team from last year.