Iconic Italian name revived for Pininfarina Battista show car in Geneva


With an infusion of cash from Indian auto giant Mahindra, storied Italian automaker Pininfarina is branching out on its own with a new all-electric hypercar.

The company has shared some of its motivation for the relaunch, and teased sketches and photos of the car repeatedly, but finally revealed the actual car Monday night ahead of the Geneva auto show.

The Battista will have 1,900 horsepower, and 1,696 pound-feet of torque from four electric motors, mounted inboard at each wheel, enabling the sprint from 0-62 mph (100-km/h) in less than 2 seconds, faster than a Formula 1 car, the company claims.

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With performance like that, range isn't the Battista's forte, though it still manages an estimated 280 miles from its 120-kilowatt-hour battery pack, mounted down the spine of the car and behind the cockpit, rather than flat under the floor. Pininfarina executives explained last year that they couldn't mount the seats low enough to give drivers the "low-center of gravity feel" they expected from such a hypercar with the battery underneath.

The battery and powertrain come from Croatian startup electric carmaker Rimac and are fitted into a carbon fiber body with aluminum crash structures at each end. 

The company did not specify the charging speed, but did note that the charge port on the rear of the car pulses with light to indicate the state of charge, and that they expect most owners to charge the car at home.

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The Battista, named after the founder of the Pininfarina design house, is the first car from the brand to wear its name. The company has a long history as an independent designer, penning and even building cars for Ferrari, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Peugeot, and even Cadillac, but it has never built its own car before (save for a brief continuation of the Fiat 124 Spyder in 1979 and 1980.) 

Company founder Battista "Pinin" (little) Farina, who later changed his last name to Pininfarina, dreamed of the company one day producing its own car. His grandson Paolo now runs the design house, which was purchased by Mahindra in 2015. Last year they decided to give Battista his dream, forming a new auto company to build its own cars.

Following a run of only 150 Battistas starting in 2020, Pininfarina also plans to build an electric SUV. 

"It no longer works to launch an aspirational brand with a gas engine," said Pininfarina CEO Michael Perschke, in an interview with Green Car Reports last year. "You have to start in the 21st Century."

 
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