Pininfarina is known as the birthplace of many concept cars and the designer of production vehicles for Ferrari and others. But a year ago, the Italian company set out on a new course, to put its own name on vehicles, and these vehicles will be powered by electricity rather than petroleum.
The company rented a house near the Pebble Beach golf course during the recent Monterey Car Week to showcase not only some of its historic designs but to display the progress it’s making on its new mission.
A year ago, Automobili Pininfarina had three employees, noted chief brand officer Dan Connell. Today it has 85 and they have been recruited from around the globe, said Connell, who is British, and was on the team that provided the electric-powered Jaguar E-type for the royal wedding.
Pininfarina’s first vehicle is the Battista, a $2.25 million electric-powered hypercar that has recently been updated after the completion of aerodynamic testing of the prototype version. As a result, the car will sprint to 62 mph in 2 seconds, reach 186 mph in 12 ticks, can be recharged to 80 percent of battery capacity in 20 minutes and provide a range of 310 miles, said sports car engineering director Rene Wollmann, a German.
Wollmann added that the recent aerodynamic tweaks added more than 30 miles to the car’s range.
The Battista is named for company founder Battista “Pinin” Farina. Pininfarina will produce 150 such cars, and reported that half of the U.S. allocation (of 50 vehicles) already have been sold. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in early 2020.
To illustrate the company’s attention to detail, Wollmann noted that Pininfarina knows that the sound a car makes is an important factor in owner satisfaction, and Wollmann said the Battista will not be silent, nor will the sound it makes be something artificial. Instead, it is working on technology that will make tones from the electric motors audible, while also giving the driver the option to silence those sounds if desired.
Several of the buyers and potential customers for Pininfarina’s vehicles were invited to the “House of Automobili Pininfarina” at Pebble Beach and they also will be invited to take part in the “Cambiano Experience” in October, when they will go through an electric hypercar driving program, and then will be invited back to Italy in the spring of 2020 for another Battista driving program.
While at the house, they also got a sneak peak of another Pininfarina project, the Pura Vision.
“Battista will not be a one-hit wonder,” Wollman promised.
Inspired by the acclaimed Alfa 6C cars, and empowered by some innovative technology, Pininfarina designers have created a vehicle that combines aspects of a grand touring car and a shooting brake into what the company is categorizing as a S-LUV, a Sports-Luxury Utility Vehicle that at some point will join the Battista on the road.