After dropping several teasers, Automobili Pininfarina has finally lifted the veil off its Battista electric hypercar at its world premiere in Geneva. Built in strictly limited numbers, the striking new model will be the Mahindra-owned brand's fastest and most expensive of the range, which will also include performance SUVs.
Stylistically, the hypercar is the result of a close collaboration between the Automobili Pininfarina design team, led by Luca Borgogno, and legendary design house Pininfarina SpA. It also uses a similar design principle seen in many Pininfarina-designed cars as well as Ferraris. In true Pininfarina fashion, the Battista has a simple, yet elegant design with lots of swoops and curves. It combines form with extreme functionality integrated into the body work. Some of the technical detailing includes a large bonnet scoop, a front carbon-splitter and large active rear diffuser, which adds downforce.
The highlight of the front-end is a single LED strip that runs across the width of the car between the Battista’s headlights. The contrast roof is aerodynamically shaped and has a cab-forward design – ideal for packaging, as the batteries require a long wheelbase – but a design feature of the Battista that stands out is the split tail-section. The cut-outs on the top of each end of tail section look like two separate fins but are actually joined by a carbon-fibre panel, forming a pop-up spoiler. This serves as an air brake, while also creating downforce.
"On other supercars the rear wing or air brake that is supposedly integrated into the body leaves an ugly, dead, hollow space when it's raised, but in Battista the wing is so thin it leaves just a shallow indentation. The lines and surfaces generating air flow, the proportions, the cooling solutions are all very different because Pininfarina’s expertise is in limiting the visual distraction of technical solutions," according to Borgogno.
The charging port is situated at the rear, behind the tail-section, and looks extremely hi-tech with an integrated light bar to indicate the charge level.
The cabin is a combination of high-tech and classical styling, focused entirely on driving experience. The driver-centric layout includes two screens located on either side of the steering wheel and angled towards the driver. There's an additional small screen located at the centre, which immediately provides all the vital information to the driver. The left screen controls dynamics and performance and the right controls media and navigation. The drive mode can be toggled via rotors situated lower down on the left, while rotors to control the transmission are located on the right. The interior can be personalised by way of materials and colour.
The Battista sees extensive use of lightweight materials in an effort to keep weight under 2,000kg. It uses a full carbon-fibre monocoque, a carbon roof and a rear carbon subframe.
The Battista will sit on race-derived, Pirelli P Zero tyres mounted on 21-inch alloys. For a car that hits 350kph, shedding speed effectively is also absolutely crucial. Brake specialist Brembo has developed special 6-piston carbon-ceramic brakes (390mm at the front and 380mm at the rear) for the Battista to provide sufficient power for a car of its weight. Brembo will also bring in its valuable know-how and expertise from Formula E as it is the exclusive supplier of the braking system for all the cars in the electric racing series.
There will be multiple drive modes to control the level of power. Pininfarina will also offer a “performance package” with the Battista with an aim to deliver a higher top speed in a "controlled environment" such as a race track, with specific trims and tyres.
The Battista will use a 120 kWh lithium battery – the same as its powertrain and battery-technology supplier Rimac’s C_Two hypercar; and will even have the same 2,745mm wheelbase as the C_Two. The brand is also taking inputs from the Mahindra Racing Formula E team, which has huge experience in battery-management systems. There's all-wheel drive capability with four individual motors at each wheel - with a highly efficient torque vectoring system in place - producing a total of 1,900hp and 2,300 Nm of torque, propelling the Battista from standstill to 100kph in under 2sec. 300 kph can be achieved in less than 12sec and the hypercar is capable of achieving a top speed of 350kph (using the performance package). The hypercar will provide a range of 450km.
"Ultimately, the Battista has to drive like a hypercar not an electric car," Christian Jung, chief technical officer, Automobili Pininfarina said. "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 company wants the Battista to have a ‘natural’ sound, as opposed to a recorded artificial engine noise. Company engineers will tune the body work and use a combination of wind noise and airflow. Company engineers will tune the body work and use a combination of wind noise and airflow. Other key factors in sound generation include the electric motors, the air flow, the HVAC system, and carbon monocoque resonance. Interestingly, the driver will have a choice to be able to set his or her bespoke sound as well.
Expected to cost $2 million, the Battista will go on sale in 2020, a year that marks the 90th anniversary of the Pininfarina design house. The hypercar fulfils the dream of Pininfarina's founder Battista Farina, after which it is named, of having a road car under its own brand name. Pininfarina plans to build 150 Battistas, with sales split equally between Europe, the US and Middle East/Asia. The Battista will be followed by an Urus-rivalling SUV which, unlike the Battista, will have a right-hand-drive version.
“We strongly believe that currently no other new energy venture nor existing luxury car brand has our combination of skills and heritage. There is no guarantee that a Pininfarina-designed all-electric 1,900hp hyper GT hand-made in Italy in very low volumes will be a success. But it looks good from here and we believe that all the ingredients are in place to ensure we have every opportunity of writing automotive history in 2020 with the launch of the Battista and future cars to come,” said Automobili Pininfarina’s CEO, Michael Perschke.