The gorgeous Pininfarina Battista was unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show in March and it has continued to make news everywhere it has been shown. Billed as the “World’s First Pure Electric Luxury Hyper GT,” it boasts 1,900HP and almost 1,700 pounds of torque, acceleration of 0-60 in under two seconds and about 280 miles on a charge (your mileage may vary). Posting numbers like these sounds like something from a science fiction novel of yesteryear but in today’s world, they seem almost understandable. No wonder it’s being hailed as the “most powerful road-legal car ever designed and built in Italy.”
Stepping back a notch, Battista Farina founded the Pininfarina design and coachbuilding company about ninety years ago and the atelier has proceeded to create the bodies for many gorgeous cars since 1930. (As he was somewhat short of stature, his nickname was “Pinin,” Italian for “short” and, rather than calling his company “Farina,” the name “Pininfarina” apparently had a better ring to it and also helped distinguish it from his brother’s company. Interestingly, Mr. Farina legally changed his own last name to “Pininfarina” later in life.) In an homage to its founder, the company named the new car “Battista.”
For most of the past nine decades, the company was content to design and build automobile bodies but it then branched out to other areas, like trains and busses, yachts and airplanes. However, to the surprise of many, it entered the entirely new world of hypercar creator with the new “Battista” pictured here, which is the fruition of the company’s announcement in April of 2018 that it was in the process of creating the world’s newest car brand. You may remember hearing about the car when it was a prototype, called the PFO.
So how do you go about creating a hypercar with these stellar capabilities? A good place to start is with the genius bunch at Rimac Automobili, a Croation company founded by Mr. Mate Rimac a mere ten years ago, as a creator of drivetrains and battery systems, with a plan to create its own hypercar, which it also has done. Its Concept One was unveiled in 2011 and fans of The Grand Tour may remember the car for the time when Richard Hammond tried to disprove the laws of physics (seriously, it was a terrible crash, followed by a fire, and he was incredibly fortunate to survive relatively unscathed). Rimac (now partially owned by Porsche) is supplying the Battista’s batteries and drivetrain.
Pininfarina has been owned by India’s Mahindra (which, not surprisingly, owns a Formula E racing team) since late in 2015 and the presence of a major financial resource has allowed for the creation of this incredible machine. With pricing to be about $2.25 million, and with only 150 examples scheduled to be produced, the company expects that it will be highly sought-after. Deliveries are being scheduled for early in 2020.
Written by Tim Lappen