After months of teasing, Italian automotive design-outfit-turned-manufacturer Pininfarina has revealed its first car, the Battista. It’s a sleek $2.6 million hypercar with power that lives up to its brawny-sounding name, and it’s sure to blow nearly any other car in the world off the asphalt, all without using a drop of gas. Just 150 will be made.
Pininfarina says the Battista is “the most powerful road-legal car ever designed and built in Italy.” Considering Italy is the country that birthed the two companies most people associate with supercars, it’s hard to think of a more obvious “shots fired” statement.
But Pininfarina backs it up (on paper, at least) with some truly mind-boggling specs. The Battista uses four electric motors — one for each wheel — to create a total power output of 1,400kW, the equivalent of 1,900 horsepower. Drawing power from a 120kWh battery (20kWh more than Tesla sticks in the Model S or Model X), the car generates 2,300 Nm of torque and can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under 2 seconds. Top speed? North of 217 miles per hour. That’s not just quick enough to beat Ferrari’s own hypercar, it’s as fast or maybe even faster than Ferrari’s F1 car.
The Battista also should last about 280 miles on a single charge, Pininfarina says, though honestly it’s hard to imagine anyone ever driving this thing carefully enough to come close to that.
What’s wild about the current state of high-performance cars is that the Battista likely won’t even be the fastest EV on the planet when it arrives in 2020: Croatian automaker Rimac debuted a car called the Concept Two at last year’s Geneva Motor Show with 14 more horsepower and a top speed of 258 miles per hour. As for gas cars, the Battista’s top speed practically pales in comparison to the 300 miles per hour that Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg is promising in its own new hypercar unveiled at Geneva this week. Still, I’d watch that drag race.
With hypercars, some automakers get so laser-focused on speed that they start to strip away creature comforts in the name of saving weight. (See the McLaren Senna, which has no air conditioning, or the new Aston Martin AM-RB 003, which has no main infotainment screen.) But Pininfarina appears willing to relent. The Battista’s seats are quilted, and there are three screens on the driver’s side.
Showing up at the Geneva Motor Show with one of the most powerful cars of the year is no small feat. That’s why it’s impressive that, this year, that car came from Pininfarina — which has been a legendary design brand in the automotive world for decades, but is very new to actually making cars.
Luckily for the rich — CEO Michael Perschke told us last year that he imagines Larry Ellison or Marc Benioff types as customers — Pininfarina won’t be going it alone. Indian manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra bought a controlling stake in Pininfarina in 2015, and so the design house is now backed by a company with plenty of expertise when it comes to making cars. The rest of us poor suckers for speed will have to hope that some of the Battista’s DNA eventually trickles down into the cars Mahindra makes. (Even then, the company doesn’t export many cars to the US.) Otherwise, the only other option is to watch the Indian automaker compete in Formula E and daydream about the Battista.