More than perhaps the world’s most famous automotive design studio, Pininfarina will become an automotive brand. Automobili Pininfarina has announced plans to become “the world’s newest sustainable luxury car brand” with its first vehicle — an electric hypercar — launching in 2020.
Though the famed Italian styling studio is owned by Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. of India, the new luxury-car company will be based in Europe and “will design, engineer and manufacture high technology, extreme performance, luxury electric vehicles for the most discerning global customers,” according to its news release.
“Italy’s renowned design expertise produces objects of true beauty and unique style,” Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group, was quoted in the announcement. “Drawing upon the pedigree and design vocabulary of the Pininfarina aesthetic heritage we will develop a rare collector’s item that only a handful of connoisseurs will ever own. It will be an innovative and pioneering product powered by high technology.
“The Mahindra Group has bet big on electric vehicles,” he added. “They are the future, and when power, beauty and high end EV technology come together in one car — that will be the perfect luxury vehicle, that will give car lovers the freedom to roam without impacting the planet adversely.”
“We believe that this is the perfect time to launch Automobili Pininfarina,” added Pawan Goenka, managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and chairman of Mahindra Racing. “Given Mahindra’s growing EV expertise from our participation in Formula E racing where we are currently second in the constructors’ and drivers’ championships, and Pininfarina’s design expertise that will allow us to develop stylish, extreme-performance, electric vehicles for global markets.”
Heading the supercar development program will be Michael Perschke, a long-time automotive executive, most recently with Audi.
Continuing as chairman of Pininfarinia SpA is Paolo Pininfarina, grandson of Battista “Pinin” Farina, founder of the design firm.
“We are pleased to welcome the new company, Automobili Pininfarina which represents an additional client for Pininfarina SpA, joining the list of the many prestigious car makers for which we will be designing cars in the future,” he said. “This project helps me and my family to realize my grandfather’s dream of seeing outstanding innovative cars solely branded Pininfarina on the roads.”
Pininfarina SpA traces its history to 1930 and has designed vehicles for many of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers, including Ferrari. Mahindra Group, most widely known for producing utility vehicles and tractors, employs about 250,000 people in 100 countries. It acquired Pininfarina in 2015.