Pininfarina Battista: 1900bhp EV shows off restyled front end

Italian car maker Automobili Pininfarina has revealed a subtly redesigned version of the Battista in its home city of Turin, as the 1900bhp electric hypercar prepares for advanced testing programmes later this year.

The front end, reworked following the last stage of aerodynamic testing, features more defined creases along the bonnet, while the wing mirrors appear to have been reshaped to enhance airflow.

The Battista will now head back into the wind tunnel before beginning a rigourous track testing programme under the guidance of ex-Formula 1 and Formula E racer Nick Heidfeld.

The Battista’s makers claim that it’s the most powerful road-legal car ever produced in Italy, with a motor for each wheel that, collectively, deliver up to 1900bhp and 1696lb ft. Pininfarina says that will be good enough for a sub-2sec 0-62mph time, 0-186mph in less than 12sec and a top speed of around 217mph.

The fastest SUV will offer around 940bhp from a battery pack of about 140kWh, enabling a 0-62mph time of less than 3.0sec. Its smaller SUV siblings are likely to use lower-output versions of the same powertrain but their performance will still be at the sharp end of their segments.

An insider told Autocar: “Pininfarina has always made very special cars, but usually for other people. When we have sold cars ourselves, like the Pininfarina Sergio [of which six were built in 2015 and sold for a reputed $3m each], we have always done very well. It is not difficult to see what the next step should be. The cars will be exclusive and very beautiful.”

A source said that the Pininfarina car brand will be given an initial investment of $100m (about £71.6m) from Mahindra to fund the creation of its model range.

Mahindra intends to invest a total of about £358m into Automobili Pininfarina over five years. The new brand will work independently of its parent’s EV division, Mahindra Electric, with operations based in Europe.

From design house to manufacturer

Pininfarina’s new car brand comes after Paolo Pininfarina said at the 2018 Geneva motor show that he hoped the dream of his grandfather, company founder Battista Farina, to build cars would “come true in the not-distant future”.

“Establishing Automobili Pininfarina as a leading sustainable luxury brand is our strategic vision and will be a dream come true,” Perschke said. “It will combine 88 years of iconic design heritage with leading-edge electric vehicle competence of the Mahindra group and Mahindra Formula E racing. It’s a powerful combination.”

Perschke has more than 25 years of industry experience, and is joined at the helm by chief operating officer Per Svantesson, who has previously worked at Volvo.

Speaking to Autocar, he said the company was embracing the challenge of creating Pininfarina’s first production car: “We’re aiming to do something new and modern, without losing the DNA of the company of doing timeless designs. Look at the Cisitalia: it’s 71 years old.

“We want to make sure that years from now, people will look at the car and say: ‘Wow, it’s beautiful.’ That this the kind of design that will hold its timelessness in 30-50 years.”