The Italian design firm Pininfarina will help design the Hercules Alpha electric pickup truck as well as other products, Detroit-based startup Hercules Electric Vehicles announced Tuesday in a press release.

Pininfarina is a legendary name in the auto industry, with a massive back catalog that includes the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider and Ferrari Testarossa. That pedigree could distinguish the Alpha from the many other electric trucks in development, at least.

In addition to vehicle design, the agreement also encompasses design input for Hercules retail locations, the company said.

The companies will begin collaboration immediately, while the Alpha is expected to launch in late 2022, according to Hercules. The truck will feature a four-motor powertrain with more than 1,000 horsepower, as well as torque vectoring, Hercules claims.

Pininfarina Battista prototype

Pininfarina Battista prototype

Nissan was reportedly in talks with Hercules last year, although it's unclear if those alleged talks went anywhere. Hercules publicity images show what appears to be a modified Nissan Titan pickup, indicating Hercules may have been seeking Titan donor vehicles to use as the basis for the Alpha. Pininfarina's design input could help further differentiate a Titan-based Atlas from the donor model.

Like Ohio-based Lordstown Motors, Hercules is a Rust Belt EV startup focusing on electric trucks. But now that the Ford F-150 Lightning and other Detroit Three trucks are so close, have they missed their window of opportunity?

Pininfarina, meanwhile, is developing a very different kind of EV to sell under its own brand.

Named after the company's founder, the Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-hp electric supercar, using powertrain components from Croatia's Rimac. Pininfarina unveiled the Battista in 2019, and plans a production run of 150 cars. At the time of the reveal, the company said an electric SUV was also in development.