2019 Monterey Car Week starts today, and will be the epicenter of the automotive industry for the next seven days. Cars of all kinds and ages, accompanied by thousands of enthusiasts and companies are flocking to the streets of Monterey, California to take part in one of the biggest automotive events.
It’s an important week for Automobili Pininfarina as well. The newly established automaker will be presenting its nearly complete Battista hypercar at Pebble Beach. The EV will tour along with past cars designed by the legendary studio, celebrating 89 years of Pininfarina S.P.A
These are the first shots of the Battista in its natural environment – curvy scenic roads, high-end seaside resorts, and luxury yachts.
Pininfarina Battista – the next-gen electric hypercar
Like every other car bearing the name, the Pininfarina Battista is an exquisite thing – exciting, bold, and different from every angle. It’s a kinetic artwork, sculpted in carbon fiber and aluminum.
Pininfarina cars are beautiful first and everything else second, but the Battista isn’t just a show car.
Beneath the carbon fiber monocoque is a cutting edge electric powertrain developed by Rimac. The electric motors at all corners produce 1,900 horsepower and 1,696 lb-ft of torque combined.
That’s enough to accelerate the two-ton vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in under 2 seconds, and to 186 mph in under 12 seconds.
Automobili Pininfarina CEO – Michael Perschke stressed that although they have similar power levels, there are only 50% common components between the Battista and Rimac’s C_Two Concept.
The race for the EV hypercar market
2019 is an important year for EV development. Electrification is imminent with practically every high-performance vehicle manufacturer launching an EV, a hybrid, or announcing their plans to build one.
Porsche and Audi have already set their sights at the premium EV sector and will be bringing competition to Tesla later this year.
Ferrari launched their SF90 Stradale hybrid. And between the F1-derived Mercedes-AMG One and Aston Martin’s Valkyrie and Valhalla, there’s hardly any space for a new hybrid, especially from a brand new manufacturer.
So, Automobili Pininfarina is shooting for the stars and aiming at the very top of the food chain – EV hypercars with thousands of horsepower, breakneck acceleration, and museum-worthy design.
There are only three competitors in this niche so far. So, let’s look at them side by side:
|Rimac Concept 2||Pininfarina Battista||Lotus Evija|
|Power / Torque||1,914 hp / 1,696 lb/ft of torque||Over 1,900 hp||1,972 hp|
|0 – 60 mph acceleration||1.85 seconds||Under 2 seconds||Under 3 seconds|
|Weight||4,300 lb||Around two metric tons||3,703 lb|
|Battery pack / Range||120 kWh / 403 miles||120 kWh / 400+ miles||70 kWh / 250 miles|
|Price||$2.1 million||$2.2 million||$2.11 million|
The Concept Two is a demonstrator vehicle for Rimac, who needs to prove their design, engineering and manufacturing expertise in competition with the world’s most renowned carmakers.
Pininfarina hasn’t revealed the final specification of their powertrain and performance, but given its source, we can assume they are not far off from the C_Two.
The manufacturer says their target audience is drivers who value high performance, but only in combination with lush interiors and long-distance comfort.
In this regard, the Battista can be considered the electric equivalent of a Bugatti – an equally powerful and luxurious hyper GT.
On their part, Lotus surprised us, going all out with the electric Evija hypercar. It’s undeniably a Lotus vehicle, focusing on performance and driving dynamics, rather than practicality. Don’t be fooled by the vague numbers, this car packs a lot more than it claims.
Yet the Evija can only be described as a moving artwork. It’s definitely the most dramatic vehicle of the three, and depending on your taste, the most beautiful one.
Automobili Pininfarina planning a range of ultra-luxury EVs
In 2015, Pininfarina S.P.A was purchased by Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group. Mahindra is one of the biggest carmakers in India and has extensive experience in mass-market and electric vehicles.
The purchase was backed by the intent to launch a range of all-electric, ultra-luxury vehicles under the Pininfarina name, who are already synonymous with high-end design and top quality craftsmanship.
The design house has an 89-year track record of creating successful designs like the 1947 Cisitalia 202, 1965 Dino Berlinetta Speciale, 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider, 1984 Ferrari Testarossa and many more.
Pininfarina is one of the most renowned names in the automotive industry and using the brand for a new product line is as good as it gets.
For the first time, Pininfarina also gains unprecedented creative freedom to design vehicles which don’t have to fit the vision of another carmaker.
Automobili Pininfarina CEO – Michael Perske commented:
“It’s our clear strategic intent is to become a significant player in the hypercar and super-luxury segment…We have a very clear intent to not remain a one-hit wonder.”
The Battista is, without doubt, the crown jewel in the automaker’s portfolio.
But just like Lamborghini, Pininfarina understands that hypercars aren’t what you drive your children to school with or make shopping trips in. So, they will be bringing an all-electric SUV as an alternative to the Urus.
So far, the project goes by its codename – PF1 and we know there have been talks with Rivian Automotive to use the platform underpinning the R1T Pickup truck and R1S SUV.
Michael Perske confirmed the technology will not be coming from Volkswagen Group, who are developing the PPE platform (Premium Platform Electric) for use in the next generation Audi and Porsche electric SUVs.
The company is talking to other prospective suppliers as well, so any guesses about range and performance will be purely speculative for now.
One thing is obvious though. While Mahindra is determined to produce vehicles under the Pininfarina brand, it intends to keep the company’s focus on design and production and source the powertrain and battery technology as an already developed and proven package.