First Look: Pininfarina Battista

Pininfarina Battista

Battista ‘Pinin’, The name is steeped in history. Battista Pinin Farina founded in Turin, Italy, in 1930. The 1947 Cisitalia 202 coupe he designed was the first car to become part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection in New York. Pininfarina has also designed and built cars for Ferrari, as well as Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, and Cadillac (remember the Allante?), among others. But the Battista is a digital-age, crowd source-era hypercar, combining traditional notions of Italian design and craftsmanship with financial and technological resources that simply weren’t available 10 years ago.

It has 1,874 horsepower and 1,696 lb-ft of torque. It’ll hit 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, 100 mph in 4.3 seconds, and 186 mph in 11.8 seconds. Quarter mile? Gone in 9.1 seconds. Top speed? An autobahn-busting 218 mph. And there’s not a single turbocharger or camshaft or piston to be found. Welcome to the shocking future of the hypercar. Welcome to the Pininfarina Battista, one of the star cars of this year’s Geneva auto show.


Inside Pininfarina Battista

Pininfarina SpA, which will build the Battista in Italy, is today majority owned by Indian automaker Mahindra, best known in the U.S. for its range of tractors and the Roxor off-roader, an ancient CJ Jeep clone it has built for decades. Automobili Pininfarina, which developed with the Battista concept and will sell the car, is 100 percent owned by Mahindra and staffed by highly experienced executives and engineers who have variously worked for Porsche and Pagani, Lamborghini and Bugatti, as well as Alfa Romeo and Audi.

The Battista’s potent e-powertrain is from Croatia’s Rimac Automobili, whose electric-powered Concept_One and C_Two hypercars are quick enough to frighten a Bugatti Chiron. Rimac pricked the pop-culture zeitgeist in 2017 when former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond threw a Concept_One off the road while filming an episode of The Grand Tour. But performance-focused Rimac has also attracted attention from respected auto industry heavyweights: Porsche quietly took a 10 percent stake in the company last year. Rimac is also supplying high-performance hybrid battery systems for the forthcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie, and Koenigsegg’s Regera.

Designed by Pininfarina SpA, the Battista at first glance looks vaguely like a reworked Ferrari 488. The Ferrari vibe is perhaps understandable, given the company’s long association with Maranello, even though the brief for the Battista came from Automobili Pininfarina design director Luca Borgogno, who worked at Lamborghini’s studio in Turin, most recently on the Urus SUV. Automobili Pininfarina insiders insist, however, the carbon -iber monocoque and body panels are all new and unique, a fact substantiated by doors that are cut into and are hinged at the roof, and swing forward and upward like those of a McLaren 720S.

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