A closer look at one of the stars of the 2019 Geneva motor show
Typically, when people hear the name Pininfarina, they think of the work it’s done designing and building cars for other Italian automakers such as Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Lancia. But at this year’s Geneva motor show, Pininfarina showed up with a car that it intends to produce under its own name—the Pininfarina Battista. If that’s piqued your interest, here are seven things you need to know about the Battista.
There’s a Story Behind the Name
You might assume the Battista gets its name from an Italian word for something aggressive or possibly war-related, but that’s far from the truth. The name is actually a big part of Pininfarina’s history. That’s because the car is a tribute to Battista “Pinin” Farina, the company’s founder.
There’s no hand-built V-12 powering this hypercar. Croatian automaker Rimac supplied Pininfarina with an electric powertrain that consists of four motors and a 120-kilowatt-hour battery pack. That’s said to be enough to give the Battista a 280-mile (450-km) range under normal driving conditions. Flat-out, it should still have enough juice (and the necessary cooling) to complete two full laps of the Nurburgring without a significant loss in power.
It’s Terrifyingly Quick
With four-motor all-wheel drive, the Battista actually has the traction to make use of the powertrain’s 1,874 horsepower and 1,696 lb-ft of torque. The result is a car so quick, it’s almost hard to comprehend. Pininfarina says it will launch from 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, hit 100 mph (160 km/h) in 4.3 seconds, and run the quarter mile in 9.1 seconds. It does, however, top out at a slightly less-crazy 218 mph (350 km/h).
That’s No Ferrari
Looking at the design of the Battista and knowing Pininfarina’s longtime association with Ferrari, it would be easy to assume it’s built on a modified 488 platform. The headlights have a little McLaren in them, but the overall shape is very Ferrari. Pininfarina would say that’s a coincidence resulting from basic mid-engine proportions and aerodynamics. The carbon-fiber monocoque is actually Pininfarina’s own design.
Expect It to Handle, Too
The Battista’s power and all-wheel drive will definitely make it quick, but Pininfarina made sure it could corner, too. To make that happen, it brought in Nick Heidfeld, the former Formula 1 and Le Mans driver who currently works as a development driver for Formula E. In the past, Heidfeld headed up engineering for Porsche’s racing program before moving to Pagani and then Bugatti. With a resume like that, we fully believe the Battista will handle just as well as it accelerates.
It’s not Entirely Italian
Pininfarina was founded in Italy in 1930, and that’s where it plans to build the Battista. But in addition to sourcing the powertrain from a Croatian automaker, Pininfarina was bought by the Indian automaker Mahindra back in 2015. On top of building its own cars, Mahindra also owns the Korean automaker SsangYong Motors and the majority of Peugeot Motorcycles. Without Mahindra’s cash injection, it’s unlikely the Battista would have ever been built.
Very Few Will Be Built
Pininfarina has yet to announce a price, but considering the Battista’s performance figures, we have to assume it will cost “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” money. Early estimates suggest a base price north of $2 million USD. But even those who could easily afford that may have a hard time getting their hands on one. Pininfarina says it only plans to build 150 Battistas starting next year.