The electric Pininfarina Battista, recently shown at the Geneva Motor Show, is the fastest road car ever built in Italy, and possible the fastest in the world. At a cool $2.7 million, the vehicle, designed by Automobili Pininfarina, reportedly goes zero to 62mph in less than two seconds, 186mph in under 12 seconds, has a top speed of over 250mph, and runs for 280 miles on a single charge.
The Battista’s brake horse power (bhp) is equal to 1,900, nearly twice that of a Formula 1 car. According to Automobili Pininfarina chief executive Michael Perschke, the power "is crazy," adding that the car proves that high performance and electric propulsion can be succesfully combined. The Battista joins Rimac's Concept Two car and Tesla's Roadster in Geneva, both of which challenge conventional wisdom regarding battery technology.
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This Blu Iconica Battista represents the closest of the three cars to the traditional Pininfarina brand colour with a new interpretation of Pininfarina blue. More electric in tone than Pininfarina’s traditional blue, reflecting the technological innovation within, multiple layers of paint make it a deep blue representing the ambition to deliver electric performance in a luxurious package.
Automobili Pininfarina, which is just over a year old, has exceeded expectations, yet it has an impressive pedigree. The automaker is an offshoot of Pininfarina, the iconic Italian design house behind many Ferrari and Alfa Romeo models. The Mahindra Group, an Indian conglomerate, purchased a majority stake in Pininfarina in 2015. The company also owns South Korean car company SsangYong Motor, and has a team in the Formula E racing series.
Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group, would like to take a different path than Tesla, which has adjusted its price point and sales strategy. He wants to show that electric cars can also be luxurious, fashionable and collectable. "Why is Mahindra betting on the luxury segment? Because there will also be vehicles that people will want to buy because they are objects of desire and passion," he adds. Though Mahindra wants to remain competitive in the EV field, he says that mass marketing “is not going to affect people's desire for things of beauty and make the heart beat faster."
Paolo Pininfarina, chairman of Pininfarina and grandson of the company's founder, said his intent was to design something beautiful. "We are designers, we are Italian. We could not compromise on the car's beauty," he said. "Also, as we are designers, we are not tied to any particular powertrain like Ferrari or Lamborghini. So we could approach the design as a new frontier."
The Battista features a T-shaped battery along the middle and behind the seats, which gave designers more space than the internal combustion engine vehicles they are accustomed to developing. "It created different aerodynamics. We were able to explore and experiment," Pininfarina said. "Cooling is less of an issue than on petrol cars, so it does not have the large grilles seen in many high-performance vehicles. To have been able to design a car with such power, torque and speed, and yet emit zero-emissions, is, we think, truly outstanding."
The Battista, which is named after Pininfarina's founder Battista "Pinin" Farina, will join a range of luxury electric cars, including a sports utility vehicle. We'll keep you updated!