The Beautiful Battista from Pininfarina, Glows At Geneva Motor show
Jeremy Webb takes a look at the gorgeous Hypercar revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. He finds the specifications very impressive which match its beauty.
A revolution in automotive performance, design and technical collaboration is revealed with the Pininfarina Battista, the world’s first luxury electric hyper performance GT. Delivering on a long-held Pininfarina family dream and a new target of zero emissions with extreme power, the Battista is the first solely Pininfarina-badged car and delivers unprecedented performance. The trio of beautiful Battista design models presented as part of the hypercar’s World Premiere in Geneva represent a new pinnacle of desirability for electric cars, stylishly resolving the paradox of beauty and performance in a pure, elegant and timeless Italian design.
When it arrives in 2020, the Battista will be the most powerful car ever designed and built in Italy and it will deliver a level of performance that is unachievable today in any road-legal sports car featuring internal combustion engine technology. Faster than a current Formula 1 race car in its 0 -100 km/h sub-two second sprint, and with 1,900 hp and 2,300 Nm torque on tap, the Battista will combine extreme engineering and technology in a zero emissions package.
The year 2020 is also the 90th anniversary of the legendary Pininfarina SpA design house, which has taken the design brief for the Battista and produced a classic Pininfarina: an elegant form that seamlessly integrates the car’s innovative engineering solutions to deliver unprecedented performance. It is the same design principle of form and function in harmony as seen in classic Pininfarina cars reaching back to the Cisitalia 202 of 1947 and through more than 100 Ferraris, the most recent of which was launched this decade.
The Pininfarina Battista’s place in automotive history is defined by its name. It is the first in a range of purely electric, zero-emissions, luxury cars solely branded Pininfarina, delivering on a long-held family dream that has been carried by founder, Battista, his son Sergio, and his grandson, the current Pininfarina SpA Chairman, Paolo.
Never before has a new brand and its first car been launched with such an emotive past, relevance for the present, and potential for the future – the Battista embodies timeless design as a piece of art.
Automobili Pininfarina CEO, Michael Perschke: “This is the most authentic and exciting automotive story imaginable. The Battista is the hypercar of the future, inspired by a legendary past. It combines true inspiration and innovation in its technical achievement and emotional appeal. Electrification unlocks the door to a new level of performance and a zero-emissions future, whilst a passion and respect for automotive history will define how this landmark car looks and feels. We aim for the Battista to be a future classic and automotive icon, writing its own page in automotive history books.”
The ingredients for success reach further than statistics and history. A group of automotive experts, the like of which have never been assembled before for the launch of a new car company, are working for Automobili Pininfarina and partnering with Pininfarina SpA and an enviable list of technology specialists headed by the likes of Rimac and Pirelli. The result is that the Battista will arrive next year having been developed through the expertise and inspiration of a team that have been integral to the launches of cars such as the Bugatti Veyron and Chiron, Ferrari Sergio, Lamborghini Urus, McLaren P1, Mercedes AMG-Project One, Pagani Zonda and Porsche Mission E.
The resulting hypercar will appeal to the world’s automotive connoisseurs from a technical and aesthetic standpoint, and also because of its rarity. No more than 150 Battistas will be hand-crafted in Italy and allocated equally between the regions of North America, Europe and Middle East/Asia. Exceptional customer service will be delivered through some of the world’s best luxury car retail specialists, from Los Angeles to London to Tokyo. Plans are in place for the opportunity to fully personalise each car at Pininfarina SpA’s Cambiano headquarters.
The Battista will set new standards in performance and desirability for an electric car. It will be the first poster car for the EV-generation and the halo model for a range of luxury electric cars from Automobili Pininfarina. It is more than simply a new car reveal, but a pivotal moment in time for the new automotive environment: the first zero-emissions, Italian luxury car.
The Battista seeks to break new ground in the history of automotive when it arrives in 2020. Named after Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina, who founded the Carrozzeria Pininfarina coachbuilding company in 1930, the all-electric hyper GT will be designed and hand-built in very limited numbers at Pininfarina SpA under the watchful eye of Paolo Pininfarina, Battista’s grandson and current Pininfarina SpA Chairman. The Battista, appropriately enough, will be the most powerful road-legal car ever designed and produced in Italy.
A carbon fibre monocoque chassis and visually stunning carbon fibre body provide the foundation and visual definition for the extreme levels of technology and functional, elegant driver-focused design solutions at the heart of the hypercar.
The result will be staggering performance for a road car: power and torque of 1,900 hp and 2,300 Nm, providing acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in less than two seconds (faster than a current Formula 1 car), 300 km/h in less than 12 seconds and the ability to achieve a top speed of up to 350 km/h. All with a potential zero-emissions range of up to 450 kilometres and an extreme focus on drivability.
The weight distribution of the T-shaped 120 kWh battery pack is configured to optimise the Battista’s dynamic potential, with four motors independently distributing torque and power to each wheel, delivering all the benefits of modern torque vectoring. Cooling circuits and systems are based around five radiators.
Whilst the car’s electronic brain serves up a thrilling new experience in dynamic driving, its braking system offers the back-up to that performance. Massive, carbon-ceramic 6-piston brakes (390 mm at the front and 390 mm at the rear) provide fade-free deceleration and hugely effective brake regeneration to the battery will be engineered into the system. The active rear wing features an air brake function.
The Battista’s suspension is tuned specifically to deliver a thrilling, engaging and yet comfortable dynamic experience. The driver will be able to electronically adjust the dynamic experience through multiple modes tuned to a range of driving scenarios and will also be able to tailor the noise the 1,900 hp car makes – the Battista’s on-board sound programme will focus on using vehicle hardware to generate acoustic entertainment, rather than generate artificial sounds.
Inspired by, and paying homage to, famous Pininfarina designs such as the Cisitalia 202, Ferrari Dino Berlinetta Speciale, Ferrari Modulo, and Sintesi concept cars – each ahead of its time and instantly influential when presented – the Battista will feature classic Pininfarina design cues and a unique blend of beauty and technological innovation in perfect balance. Battista owners are guaranteed the same vision, passion and innovation that comes with all the iconic Pininfarina-designed cars of the past.
 The proposed “Performance Package” aims to deliver a higher top speed in a controlled environment with specific trims and G
The Battista is the result of a close collaboration between the Automobili Pininfarina design team, led by Luca Borgogno, and Pininfarina SpA, led by its Design Vice President Carlo Bonzanigo. Pininfarina SpA will also hand-build every Battista in Cambiano, Italy.
At the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, Automobili Pininfarina will present two examples of the ground-breaking hypercar to prospective owners. Potential clients wishing to express interest in owning a Battista can meet the Automobili Pininfarina sales team to discuss their requirements at the new brand’s stand located in Hall 2 of the Palexpo exhibition centre.
The Pininfarina SpA stand is in the adjacent Hall 1 and hosts a third Battista design model. The Pininfarina SpA team will be promoting its own specialist design and engineering services to prospective corporate clients throughout the show. Any enquiries regarding sales or specification of the Battista hypercar will however be directed to the nearby Automobili Pininfarina stand.
The three Battista specifications being presented at Geneva reflect the potential for personalisation of the 150 cars that will be produced, highlighted by the Iconica by Automobili Pininfarina design pack on a Blu Iconica Battista. There is an ambition and expectation that each car will be unique, which will also underline the elegance and design purity of the car acting as a blank canvas upon which owners can paint their own masterpieces, with advice from the masters-of-design in Cambiano.
A Grigio Luserna satin grey Battista features accents in satin Blu Iconica and anodized aluminium detailing. With its unique wheel design and duo-tone black and tan interior, this specification presents a strong, well-defined and dynamic expression of Pininfarina design while still remaining elegant.
The Blu Iconica Battista represents Automobili Pininfarina’s signature brand colour with an interpretation of Pininfarina blue. It is a deep electric blue, reflecting the technological innovation within, and is made up of multiple layers of paint which results in a deep luxurious lustre. Aesthetically the car is more dramatic with modifications to the bonnet, visually connecting it to the windscreen via carbon fibre blades. The front wing above the front LED light strip is visually divided into two reflecting the car’s rear wing graphic and unifying the overall design.
The third Battista is a pure pearlescent white called Bianco Sestriere. Small colour details hark back to historical Pininfarina cars such as the legendary Ferrari Modulo concept, a classic example of how the Italian Carrozzeria produces understated, elegant and visually striking cars. One such design detail adds a red aluminium line along the flanks between the sill and door, immediately ahead of the front wheel and running along the back from the rear wheels. This adds a ‘light touch’ of design, adding to the overall elegance of proportions. Red calipers and red anodized lower aluminium trims, and a darker anodized aluminium strip over the window are the limits of decoration making this Battista the most purely representative of Pininfarina’s styling excellence.
The three Battistas, featuring bespoke colours defined by Automobili Pininfarina, clearly present Automobili Pininfarina’s solutions for ultra-high-performance and beautiful style. Each car’s exterior design also shows how to elegantly integrate active and passive aerodynamics and performance functionality.
On the inside, there is an ergonomic precision bordering on obsession to the car’s layout to ensure it is accessible to every driver regardless of their experience – the layout of controls completely focused on maximizing drivability at 30 km/h or 300 km/h. But this focus on ergonomics is not at the expense of style. The Battista’s interior becomes a truly special place to be for either the driver or passenger.
All aluminium parts are finished in brushed anodized aluminium, with many of these parts featuring special knurling for added grip. There is a luxurious level of quilting on the seats, door inserts, centre console and knee pads. A leather insert at the twelve o’clock position on the steering wheel, and a number of dials in the cockpit are finished in anodized Blu Iconica, whilst optional carbon fibre components and a ‘Battista’ plate at the bottom of the steering wheel are also presented. Between the seats on the three show cars is a special plate featuring a Battista signature and a dedication to the Battista’s Geneva world premiere.
Each Battista will be a beautiful, rare and pure performance car. There is no overt styling statement that defines the Battista as an electric car. The emissions-free benefits of the pure-electric powertrain do not dictate the Battista’s style, drivability or luxurious ambience, allowing future owners to enjoy the luxury of a hyper GT guilt-free. Zero emissions are a given; beauty and power are the goal.
Paolo Pininfarina, Chairman, Pininfarina SpA, said: “This is genuinely a dream come true. My grandfather always had the vision that one day there would be a stand-alone range of Pininfarina-branded cars. This hypercar will boast world-beating performance, technological innovation and of course elegant styling. For me, we simply had to call it Battista. His dream becomes reality today as we link our glorious past with the future of motoring.”
Automobili Pininfarina is a brand-new car company, equipped with a clear vision developed from the dreams and ambitions of two families from different continents but with a shared passion for innovation and beauty.
As the automotive world addresses the transition from the internal combustion engine to electrification, Automobili Pininfarina launches as a purely electric car brand delivering only beautiful, exciting and highly desirable luxury cars. Over the next two decades, electrification will revolutionise car design, car ownership, and even the set-up of car companies. But from 2020, the Battista will immediately set new standards and inspire true love for EVs as the world’s first luxury electric hyper GT.
Automobili Pininfarina has secured the first round of specialist retailers in its global network of an initial 25 partners. All are proven specialists in building strong relationships with owners of luxury and high-performance cars. The first 13 retail partners in North America and Europe are in place and taking orders for the maximum 50 Battistas that will be sold in each region. The first partners in Asia and the Middle East have also been confirmed for Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Saudi Arabia as part of a combined network that will also receive a maximum of 50 cars. No more than 150 Battistas will ever be produced and the first car’s arrival in the second half of 2020 will herald an annual release of luxury, electric, beautiful and innovative Pininfarina-branded cars.
Luca Borgogno, Design Director, Automobili Pininfarina: “Pininfarina designs cars where form and function are equal. We wanted to use as many sensual shapes as possible – very Italian, with curves, to give back a feeling of the cars of the ‘60s and the moment in time when sensual design in cars was to the fore and when Pininfarina really became iconic.
“We looked into the extreme functionality we needed, so added in the technical detailing of the sills, the front carbon splitter and strong large active rear diffuser adding downforce. This is all typical Pininfarina, integrating functionalities into the bodywork. We don’t want the car to be over-winged or have too many distracting details. The body must speak the language, with the details adding the accents and personality.”
Carlo Bonzanigo, Design Vice President, Pininfarina Group, said: “Throughout history, Pininfarina-designed cars have always combined creativity and technical rationality in a unique way. This search for the right equilibrium between emotion and reason, together with our constant quest for beauty and elegance, and the will to eschew useless formalism and excessive adornments, has led to some of the most beautiful cars in automotive history. This is the Pininfarina way to conceive cars; and we aim to deliver these standards to all future Pininfarina cars starting from the beautiful Battista hypercar.”
Luca Borgogno, Automobili Pininfarina’s Design Director, devised a succinct design brief for Pininfarina SpA: to create the world’s first beautiful, all-electric hypercar.
The Battista is being developed by the Pininfarina SpA design studio under the management of Pininfarina Group Design Vice President, Carlo Bonzanigo. Together Borgogno and Bonzanigo’s teams have designed, and will develop, a hypercar with unmatched standards of performance, beauty and elegance, combining form and function in perfect harmony.
The Battista is the flagship for the new Automobili Pininfarina brand and the platform for a level of performance and technology never before experienced. It is the trail blazer of the EV movement and the purest expression of Pininfarina’s philosophy: it resolves the apparent paradox between the functional design of wings, vanes, splitters, inlets and outlets, and beautiful design that is defined by clean, elegant, pure and sensual surfaces. This is typical of the challenge that Pininfarina has mastered over its almost 90-year history – yet this particular journey is truly ground-breaking as it is Pininfarina’s first hypercar fully integrating EV technology.
Luca Borgogno said: “The automotive world is ready to see a marriage of beauty, electric power and performance. It is this combination provided by Pininfarina SpA working shoulder-to-shoulder with us at Automobili Pininfarina that will make the Battista more than just a ferocious performance car and more than just a visual work of art. Styling, balanced with ultimate performance, producing a genuine Pininfarina: the beauty of power and the power of beauty.”
Combining form and function is Pininfarina SpA’s forte. The Cisitalia 202 GT started this tradition stunning the automotive world when it arrived at the Villa d’Este in 1947 with an unprecedented aesthetic and technical level of purity and elegance that transformed post-war automobile design.
This passion to hide ground-breaking technical innovation beneath a beautiful and luxurious body is the Cambianese calling card, and forms the basis of the development of the Battista. The result will combine the engineering and technology that can power a 1,900 hp fully electric hyper GT with luxury, beauty and elegance inside and out, in an accessible and drivable package as enjoyable on a hot lap around Monza or on an evening out in Monaco.
Borgogno continued: “The greatest challenge is how to marry technology and history, make it look contemporary and iconic, and not force the product to shout, “I’m an EV”. Technical and performance is ‘easy’, but timelessness and beauty? That takes skill and experience. And the reason for us to exist is beauty.”
The Battista is a typically elegant Pininfarina design. Renowned for being able to define their cars in just two lines, the Battista is no different, presenting a full carbon body that is curvaceous and sculptural, with a cabin encased in sweeping glass. A single dynamic strip of LED light is proudly positioned at the front of the car between the Battista’s headlights.
The most important line encircles the car, and it starts at the front, where the design line creates the effect of a floating wing. This runs along the flank to create a sensual and sculpted side profile before climbing over the rear wheel arches and around the rear wing. This highlights what Borgogno considers to be the most iconic design feature of the Battista.
Defining the wing in this way connects the rear of the car with the front visually and subtly draws attention to its strong functional purpose of creating significant levels of downforce and acting as an airbrake.
The simple accent line around the car outlines the classic teardrop cabin shape that defines many of the most iconic Pininfarina designs; a particularly difficult challenge for a hypercar. As a result, the roof is a very aerodynamic shape – cab forward with a long, sloping rear end – and makes the cabin almost look like it is floating within the car’s overall body structure.
The roof itself is darker than the body, which keeps attention on the elegant body sides and front and rear design flourishes, and it is partly formed by the tops of butterfly wing style doors that dramatically lift and tilt to ensure easy entry and exit. At its rear lower edge, the charging e-port adds a level of drama and intrigue as it pulsates to indicate the Battista’s charge status.
A simple line of aluminium connects A- and B-pillars, defining the shape of the doors and side windows, and ending just above a carbon fibre bridge that connects the cabin to the rear flank and channels air into the rear cooling zone. These design details are the first steps into personalisation.
Battista Interior Design
To match the exterior seamlessly, the interior design has a strong, elegant ambience with a purity of purpose. The Battista is an ultra-high-performance car operating at a level never before experienced in the automotive world, so the interior is totally focused on the driver interface.
Inside the car, the cockpit must be equally as inspiring as the exterior design in both form and function. Pininfarina SpA is defining what Borgogno calls a ‘vanishing point’ concept for the main dashboard display which will be both unique and exciting, focusing the driver’s attention – a new definition of a driver-centric layout.
Core to this concept are the two screens located either side of a compact steering wheel and angled towards the driver. Conventional dials have been eliminated, with all the vital information immediately in front of the driver via an additional slim screen located in the centre.
The left-side screen controls dynamics and performance, with the right screen controlling media and navigation. They are in the perfect ergonomic position: close to the steering wheel, close to hand, and therefore close to the line of vision.
Lower down, and again working on the left/right principle, are ergonomically refined rotary controls that change drive mode settings (on the left) and provide control of the transmission (on the right).
There are almost endless opportunities to personalise the interior through materials and colour. Automobili Pininfarina’s design team is particularly focused on offering ways of layering colours around the dashboard and door panels in a theme that simulates the flowing lines on the exterior of the car. Ambient lighting around the dashboard reflects the front LED and the LEDs on the wings at the rear.
Borgogno said: “The Battista interior clearly reflects our PURA design philosophy. It is aesthetically pure but also shapes how the driver interacts with car – it’s intuitive, with minimal buttons and switches. It is an example of design influencing behaviour for the driver’s benefit without the driver even realising.
“Before starting on the Battista, we agreed what we believed were the key elements of a Pininfarina design, which should also define the Battista: clarity of execution, where the car can be sketched with just one or two lines of a pencil – a single line defines the Duetto or Cisitalia; harmony between function and aesthetics, such as in the F40 and many of the Pininfarina-styled Alfa Romeos; and the spark of innovation, which we saw in the Dino Berlinetta Speciale of 1965 or the alternative-fuel concept Sintesi with its full-width front light.”
“Structuring the car around these three principles meant we designed something sculptural and less aggressive than other modern hypercars. The lines and surfaces generating air flow, the proportions, and the cooling solutions are all very different because Pininfarina’s expertise is in limiting the visual distraction of technical solutions, generating fewer obvious openings and air ducts than you would expect for a car of such unprecedented performance. We can be more sculptural in the body shape, the front and back are cleaner, and we have more area for bodywork surfaces and therefore colour, instead of gaps and holes. This adds a luxurious element to the hypercar segment.
“I love the rear wing. On other supercars the rear wing or airbrake that is supposedly integrated into the body leaves an ugly, dead hollow space when its raised, but in the Battista the wing is so thin it leaves just a shallow indentation, the floor of which we have perforated so that you can see into the rear air flow section. Also, the rear wing looks like two separate fins, but is actually one piece with a central carbon fibre panel in the middle. So, it is a wing with multiple functions, and a subtle design flourish.
“Two other design details I am pleased with are the side mirrors, which are sculptural and almost floral in their finish, and the charger e-port in the rear of the glass where an integrated light bar can be seen from the outside that pulses in a really cool way indicating the car’s charge status.
“We challenge ourselves and verify every step along the design process to ensure innovation is not just defined by the car’s electrification. The development of bodywork of this quality in carbon fibre and the use of carbon is ground-breaking: the way that the suspended rear wing connects to the body without shut-lines on the body side would not be possible in metal. The way that surfaces and forms are blended into the wheel arches would probably not be possible in metal either.
“I am really proud of what we have achieved. Making everything work together on such a technically advanced car, such as the aerodynamics and the layout defined by electrical systems whilst keeping the design simple and sculptural has been a new challenge. I don’t see many pure, sculpted, elegant car designs with extreme performance on the roads. We believe this is timeless and a car that will age well. A true Pininfarina.”
The Battista’s 450 kilometre range will cover virtually all possible journeys, especially as 90% of owners are expected to charge the car where it is garaged, and it will have the capability for DC fast charging. Long-distance driving is expected, the car’s ergonomic and luxurious interior reflects that, and by 2021 using App-based charging networks will be normal for many owners. The 10% who drive the car to its range limit will be well prepared.
The T-shaped lithium/manganese/nickel liquid-cooled 120 kWh battery pack’s weight distribution is configured to optimise the car’s dynamics. Four motors, one per wheel, mean torque vectoring becomes a key performance parameter, as it independently distributes torque and power to each wheel allowing for extreme dynamic opportunities. With well over twice the normal levels of torque that future Battista owners experience in their existing supercars, torque vectoring is required to manage infinitely variable dynamic responses in lieu of the traditional stability control and traction control systems that would simply not be able to cope with the sheer impact of this level of instant torque delivery.
The four motors are internal permanent magnet reduction systems in pairs, front and back, housed together yet working independently of each other. They have a near limitless and maintenance-free operating life and maximum torque from standstill which, in effect, provides an independent and ultra-flexible powertrain at each wheel.
Whilst the car’s electronic brain supports the driver to deliver a new dynamic driving experience, its braking system offers the back-up to match that performance. Massive 390 mm carbon ceramic discs with six-piston cast and painted monoblock calipers provide powerful fade-free deceleration and hugely effective brake regeneration to the battery. The active rear wing features an air brake function.
The benefits of individual motors supplied with power from a battery are manifest, but the challenge remains to package this completely new type of vehicle architecture within a carbon chassis and carbon-bodied car. The greatest opportunity is the low centre of gravity and near-perfect weight distribution that the battery supports when compared to an internal combustion engine-powered supercar, ultimately meaning that the Battista will feel lithe, agile and exciting across its dynamic range.
A full carbon monocoque, bonded carbon roof, rear carbon subframe with crash structures of carbon fibre and aluminium, and a full carbon body featuring lift and tilt butterfly wing style doors shows weight management and strength are the focus for the development team.
The driver will also be able to set his or her bespoke sound settings with no artificial sound amplification. Supercar drivers love the sound of a high-performance engine and the authentic electric hypercar noise must compare with the experience. Automobili Pininfarina is creating a signature Battista sound, which is partly legislative – electric cars travelling below 50 km/h must have an audible presence – and also to give the car its hyper-personality. Key factors in sound generation include the electric motors, the air flow, the HVAC system, and carbon monocoque resonance.
Christian Jung, Chief Technical Officer, on electrification
“Battery technology is now well understood and the road map over the next five to ten years is there to take on the internal combustion engine. We know we can overcome all the hurdles, but the biggest challenge remains the market – is it ready and can it be serviced? Is our customer base necessarily seeking zero emissions and levels of autonomy with extreme power? These are very important questions for us as we know many are looking for new experiences, which an electric hyper GT can provide. Equally, they will need a zero emissions car if they want to enjoy driving through their local cities in a Pininfarina. This is where brand expectations meet electric technology.
“Ultimately, the Battista has to drive like a hypercar not an electric car. Electrification allows us to support hypercar development with instant torque. We might even have to dial it down as its reaction time is up to 20 times faster than an ICE! We are trying to go to the extremes that neither Tesla nor the major OEMs are targeting as we firstly take an absolute focus on what a traditional hypercar customer wants in a car, then what he or she will expect from new technologies within a new package. We are producing an individual product not based on an historical line-up. It’s bespoke to our needs and character and a flag-bearer for our future range of luxury cars.
“The two biggest technical challenges for us are in integrating heavy batteries into a carbon structure and how we apply the car’s control systems.
“The battery pack needs mounting to a monocoque along the length of the chassis in a tunnel rather than isolated into the rear alone like a typical V10 or V12 engine which have well-established engineering solutions. The high power with massive torque then needs controlling for the car to be driveable in many situations. ICE hypercars are easily comparable with each other, but we have no benchmark to compare and we have to define the electric hypercar experience. Agility and manoeuvrability will be more defining than speed alone I suspect.
“I am responsible for all the technology development and validation but am also pushing the broader team to look at the big picture. I am personally challenged by the sustainability opportunities that electric cars will offer within their own markets and how industry and consumer behaviour as a whole integrates. The traditional internal combustion engine hypercar is pound-for-pound the most polluting car on the road, but we are proud that the Battista is a lighthouse shining the way to cleaner motoring, in a way that should push suppliers to develop better sources of materials. The media looking critically at us is a good thing and shines a light on the challenge that motivates us all.”
Working on the logic that not one of the future Battista customers will have ever driven a 1,900 hp electric car, yet many may well have experience of driving some of the cars Nick and Peter piloted or produced respectively, then Tutzer and Heidfeld are ideally placed to combine their experiences and produce a new paradigm in performance cars. They will be responsible for honing the Battista vehicle dynamics programme, with a clear ambition to help develop the most enjoyable electric performance car in the world.
This will be no mean feat given that four electric motors provide a combined output of 1,900 hp and 2,300 Nm of torque, acceleration from rest to 100 km/h in less than two seconds and on to 300 km/h in less than 12 seconds, and a top speed of at least 350 km/h. Statistics neither of them have ever worked with on road or track.
Peter Tutzer, Automobili Pininfarina Senior Technical Advisor, said: “Year after year we become familiar with numbers, so I get more impressed with the reality of making an extreme car useable and useful. Top end numbers are less impressive as they are a ‘given’ these days. The driving experience for whoever buys it is the key.”
The Battista’s development programme will match immense power and ultimate drivability, simultaneously developing the car to be adaptable and personal to each of the 150 owners and making it fun at all speeds. So, it will be quick, predictable, balanced, and comfortable. The most powerful road-legal car ever produced in Italy will offer a huge challenge for owners who look for a new level of extreme driving, yet Automobili Pininfarina also want owners to drive the car from the track, to their villa and on to the opera.
Torque steer, not torque alone will define the car’s personality, delivering ultimate drivability, control and safety. This ability to put far more control in the hands of the driver than in a traditional internal combustion engine performance car will be reinforced through Automobili Pininfarina’s work on the response of acceleration and deceleration in combination with torque steer.
Tutzer continued: “Every owner must enjoy the car in whatever situation they are in and Nick’s input as an owner of supercars is vital. We start with specifications of course as the numbers have an influence on the headlines that attract the clients, but then we make sure those performance targets are drivable.
“The Veyron targeted 1,000 hp in 2001 when 500 hp was a headline – we doubled the power – and the first question was how can we put 1,000 hp on the road? It has taken nearly 20 years to double that figure again, and that huge gap is not down to a lack of technical ability in the engineering community but is probably only possible with electrification. The really extreme challenge remains putting the power on the road and adding performance values not in the 0 – 100km/h range but at 300 – 400 km/h. Our partnership with Pirelli will be key to solving that challenge.”
Automobili Pininfarina has already presented the Battista in PF0 prototype form at over 20 events. Orders have been taken and the brand’s first clients are reinforcing early expectations about who will own one of the 150 Battistas.
Initial demand is coming from traditional supercar and hypercar collectors who know Pininfarina well with understandable interest in the driving experience and performance expectations. Early previews are also seeing clients with strong knowledge of car design, with others taking their first step into hypercar ownership. It’s clear that many of the cars will be used on the road as the engineers intended, but others will be stored and invested as the first ever pure Pininfarina road car. Battista owners will be drivers and collectors.
The collectors value heritage, design and style, and if they know a car is an innovative performance car then that adds to the collectability. For the drivers, the Battista engineers’ efforts and focus will be embraced. So, the next 20 months spent producing a level of technical performance never before seen on the roads will not be wasted on even one of the 150 cars produced.
With the initial prototype PF0 tour of the USA focusing on the New York Tri-state and California regions, there has also been significant interest from technology leaders looking for automotive innovation who had not previously considered internal combustion engine hypercars: the technology promised on the Battista, and the future range of cars, overcoming any prejudice against the impact of high-performance engines.
In client meetings, Automobili Pininfarina found that fewer people than anticipated had experienced an electric car and some remain sceptical over predictable issues such as charging and range. But with an anticipated 450 kms of range targeted, combined with the anticipated use of the car, then charging and range anxieties become almost redundant. Those clients that have owned or driven powerful electric cars are evangelistic and the assumption is that once an owner experiences an electric car they will stay electric day-to-day.
Automobili Pininfarina is building on the recently announced first phase of specialist partners that will be appointed in its new global network. These partnerships will be defined and managed by Automobili Pininfarina’s new Munich-based sales team to ensure the pinnacle of customer experience is achieved when the world’s first pure Pininfarina road car comes to market in 2020.
Since the company was announced in April 2018, Automobili Pininfarina’s CEO, Michael Perschke has prioritised the selection of the world’s leading specialist car retailers to support the company’s ambitions for the new luxury brand. There will be a network of between 25 and 40 Automobili Pininfarina retail partners, all proven specialists in luxury and high-performance car owner relationships.
Automobili Pininfarina has secured partners in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia, and will complete these regions’ specialist dealer networks during the course of 2019. Demonstrating the company’s global reach, its North American partners include those located in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. Europe will be served by specialists in Birmingham, Brussels, Düsseldorf, London, Monaco, Stuttgart and Zürich. Automobili Pininfarina has also announced that its first partners in Asia will be located in Hong Kong and Singapore, whilst Middle East partners are confirmed in Riyadh and Dubai.
Perschke said: “Starting from a blank sheet is ideal. We can pick the right partners with the right facilities, right finances, right mindset and approach we are looking for with our clients. We are working with the retail partners on how clients will experience Automobili Pininfarina and the Battista and working closely with Paolo Pininfarina and his team in Italy because introducing the retail partners to Pininfarina’s history and cars is crucial. It is a big part of why they want to work with us.
“In automotive it’s difficult to differentiate with product alone but the Battista does that really well. It’s even more difficult to differentiate a customer experience and we believe each of our customer’s experiences should match their experience of their car.”
Range 450 km
Acceleration 0-100 km/h Under 2.0 secs.
Acceleration 0-300 km/h Under 12.0 secs.
Power output Up to 1,900 hp (1,400 kW)
Max. torque Up to 2,300 Nm
Top speed Over 350 km/h
Drive All-wheel-drive with torque vectoring function
Drive modes 5 different drive modes