The Battista’s design was led by Pininfarina Automobili styling boss Luca Borgogno, who said his team had a battle to get the original concept through to production reality. The finished car will be homologated for sale in both Europe and the US.
The original proposal for pop-up headlight covers didn’t make production. Borgogno said: “That was a kind of dream for us to bring those back to the market, but sadly the car is for worldwide homologation and it was too difficult to do that.”
Despite its radically different powerplant and low-mounted battery pack, the Battista has kept the proportions of a classic mid-engined supercar.
“We wanted the car still to be perceived as a hypercar – and the normal proportion is with the cabin pushed forward and the rear flank very strong,” said Borgogno. “Technically, it is the right solution as well. For weight distribution, we wanted to put the most part of the car between the wheelbase and the batteries are more or less where the IC [internal combustion] engine sits in a normal car.”
Customer deliveries will start by the end of 2020 in Europe, with sales in the US and Asia following in 2021.
SUVs to follow
Automobili Pininfarina will follow the Battista with three SUVs that are all set to arrive within five years.
The biggest, codenamed PF-One, will be a high-performance answer to the Lamborghini Urus. The other two will be rivals to the Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Macan respectively. All will use their own version of the same modular underpinnings.
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.