A revolution in automotive performance, design and technical collaboration is revealed with the Pininfarina Battista, the world’s first luxury electric hyper performance GT. Delivering on a long-held Pininfarina family dream and a new target of zero emissions with extreme power, the Battista is the first solely Pininfarina-badged car and delivers unprecedented performance. The trio of beautiful Battista design models presented as part of the hypercar’s World Premiere in Geneva represent a new pinnacle of desirability for electric cars, stylishly resolving the paradox of beauty and performance in a pure, elegant and timeless Italian design.
When it arrives in 2020, the Battista will be the most powerful car ever designed and built in Italy and it will deliver a level of performance that is unachievable today in any road-legal sports car featuring internal combustion engine technology. Faster than a current Formula 1 race car in its 0 -100 km/h sub-two second sprint, and with 1,900 hp and 2,300 Nm torque on tap, the Battista will combine extreme engineering and technology in a zero emissions package.
The year 2020 is also the 90th anniversary of the legendary Pininfarina SpA design house, which has taken the design brief for the Battista and produced a classic Pininfarina: an elegant form that seamlessly integrates the car’s innovative engineering solutions to deliver unprecedented performance. It is the same design principle of form and function in harmony as seen in classic Pininfarina cars reaching back to the Cisitalia 202 of 1947 and through more than 100 Ferraris, the most recent of which was launched this decade.
The Pininfarina Battista’s place in automotive history is defined by its name. It is the first in a range of purely electric, zero-emissions, luxury cars solely branded Pininfarina, delivering on a long-held family dream that has been carried by founder, Battista, his son Sergio, and his grandson, the current Pininfarina SpA Chairman, Paolo.
Never before has a new brand and its first car been launched with such an emotive past, relevance for the present, and potential for the future – the Battista embodies timeless design as a piece of art.
Automobili Pininfarina CEO, Michael Perschke: “This is the most authentic and exciting automotive story imaginable. The Battista is the hypercar of the future, inspired by a legendary past. It combines true inspiration and innovation in its technical achievement and emotional appeal. Electrification unlocks the door to a new level of performance and a zero-emissions future, whilst a passion and respect for automotive history will define how this landmark car looks and feels. We aim for the Battista to be a future classic and automotive icon, writing its own page in automotive history books.”
The ingredients for success reach further than statistics and history. A group of automotive experts, the like of which have never been assembled before for the launch of a new car company, are working for Automobili Pininfarina and partnering with Pininfarina SpA and an enviable list of technology specialists headed by the likes of Rimac and Pirelli. The result is that the Battista will arrive next year having been developed through the expertise and inspiration of a team that have been integral to the launches of cars such as the Bugatti Veyron and Chiron, Ferrari Sergio, Lamborghini Urus, McLaren P1, Mercedes AMG-Project One, Pagani Zonda and Porsche Mission E.
The resulting hypercar will appeal to the world’s automotive connoisseurs from a technical and aesthetic standpoint, and also because of its rarity. No more than 150 Battistas will be hand-crafted in Italy and allocated equally between the regions of North America, Europe and Middle East/Asia. Exceptional customer service will be delivered through some of the world’s best luxury car retail specialists, from Los Angeles to London to Tokyo. Plans are in place for the opportunity to fully personalise each car at Pininfarina SpA’s Cambiano headquarters.
The Battista will set new standards in performance and desirability for an electric car. It will be the first poster car for the EV-generation and the halo model for a range of luxury electric cars from Automobili Pininfarina. It is more than simply a new car reveal, but a pivotal moment in time for the new automotive environment: the first zero-emissions, Italian luxury car.
All data shown are target estimations and subject to confirmation by manufacturer.
|Under 2.0 secs.|
|Acceleration 0-300 km/h||Under 12.0 secs.|
|Power output||Up to 1,900 hp (1,400 kW)|
|Max. torque||Up to 2,300 Nm|
|Top speed||Over 350 km/h|
|Drive||All-wheel-drive with torque vectoring function|
|Drive modes||5 different drive modes|
|Type||Carbon-ceramic 6-piston front and rear, 390 mm
front / 390 mm rear
|Supplier||Pirelli Tyre SpA|
|Type||Bespoke Pirelli P Zero tyre (mounted on a
21-inch rim in an exclusive new design for the Battista show cars)
|Structure||Full-carbon fibre monocoque with carbon fibre body panels Aluminium
crash structure front and rear
|Layout||T-shaped battery pack in centre tunnel and
|Battery energy||120 kWh|
|Charging technology||DC fast charging capability|
The Battista seeks to break new ground in the history of automotive when it arrives in 2020. Named after Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina, who founded the Carrozzeria Pininfarina coachbuilding company in 1930, the all-electric hyper GT will be designed and hand-built in very limited numbers at Pininfarina SpA under the watchful eye of Paolo Pininfarina, Battista’s grandson and current Pininfarina SpA Chairman. The Battista, appropriately enough, will be the most powerful road-legal car ever designed and produced in Italy.
A carbon fibre monocoque chassis and visually stunning carbon fibre body provide the foundation and visual definition for the extreme levels of technology and functional, elegant driver-focused design solutions at the heart of the hypercar.
The result will be staggering performance for a road car: power and torque of 1,900 hp and 2,300 Nm, providing acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in less than two seconds (faster than a current Formula 1 car), 300 km/h in less than 12 seconds and the ability to achieve a top speed of up to 350 km/h. All with a potential zero-emissions range of up to 450 kilometres and an extreme focus on drivability.
The weight distribution of the T-shaped 120 kWh battery pack is configured to optimise the Battista’s dynamic potential, with four motors independently distributing torque and power to each wheel, delivering all the benefits of modern torque vectoring. Cooling circuits and systems are based around five radiators.
Whilst the car’s electronic brain serves up a thrilling new experience in dynamic driving, its braking system offers the back-up to that performance. Massive, carbon-ceramic 6-piston brakes (390 mm at the front and 390 mm at the rear) provide fade-free deceleration and hugely effective brake regeneration to the battery will be engineered into the system. The active rear wing features an air brake function.
The Battista’s suspension is tuned specifically to deliver a thrilling, engaging and yet comfortable dynamic experience. The driver will be able to electronically adjust the dynamic experience through multiple modes tuned to a range of driving scenarios and will also be able to tailor the noise the 1,900 hp car makes – the Battista’s on-board sound programme will focus on using vehicle hardware to generate acoustic entertainment, rather than generate artificial sounds.
Inspired by, and paying homage to, famous Pininfarina designs such as the Cisitalia 202, Ferrari Dino Berlinetta Speciale, Ferrari Modulo, and Sintesi concept cars – each ahead of its time and instantly influential when presented – the Battista will feature classic Pininfarina design cues and a unique blend of beauty and technological innovation in perfect balance. Battista owners are guaranteed the same vision, passion and innovation that comes with all the iconic Pininfarina-designed cars of the past.
 The proposed “Performance Package” aims to deliver a higher top speed in a controlled environment with specific trims and tyres – more details will be revealed at a later date.
Following a small series of successful private presentations of the PF0 – the Battista prototype design model – in North America and Europe in 2018, the wraps come off the production version of the world’s first luxury electric hyper GT in unique fashion in Geneva.
The Battista is the result of a close collaboration between the Automobili Pininfarina design team, led by Luca Borgogno, and Pininfarina SpA, led by its Design Vice President Carlo Bonzanigo. Pininfarina SpA will also hand-build every Battista in Cambiano, Italy.
At the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, Automobili Pininfarina will present two examples of the ground-breaking hypercar to prospective owners. Potential clients wishing to express interest in owning a Battista can meet the Automobili Pininfarina sales team to discuss their requirements at the new brand’s stand located in Hall 2 of the Palexpo exhibition centre.
The Pininfarina SpA stand is in the adjacent Hall 1 and hosts a third Battista design model. The Pininfarina SpA team will be promoting its own specialist design and engineering services to prospective corporate clients throughout the show. Any enquiries regarding sales or specification of the Battista hypercar will however be directed to the nearby Automobili Pininfarina stand.
The three Battista specifications being presented at Geneva reflect the potential for personalisation of the 150 cars that will be produced, highlighted by the Iconica by Automobili Pininfarina design pack on a Blu Iconica Battista. There is an ambition and expectation that each car will be unique, which will also underline the elegance and design purity of the car acting as a blank canvas upon which owners can paint their own masterpieces, with advice from the masters-of-design in Cambiano.
A Grigio Luserna satin grey Battista features accents in satin Blu Iconica and anodized aluminium detailing. With its unique wheel design and duo-tone black and tan interior, this specification presents a strong, well-defined and dynamic expression of Pininfarina design while still remaining elegant.
The Blu Iconica Battista represents Automobili Pininfarina’s signature brand colour with an interpretation of Pininfarina blue. It is a deep electric blue, reflecting the technological innovation within, and is made up of multiple layers of paint which results in a deep luxurious lustre. Aesthetically the car is more dramatic with modifications to the bonnet, visually connecting it to the windscreen via carbon fibre blades. The front wing above the front LED light strip is visually divided into two reflecting the car’s rear wing graphic and unifying the overall design.
The third Battista is a pure pearlescent white called Bianco Sestriere. Small colour details hark back to historical Pininfarina cars such as the legendary Ferrari Modulo concept, a classic example of how the Italian Carrozzeria produces understated, elegant and visually striking cars. One such design detail adds a red aluminium line along the flanks between the sill and door, immediately ahead of the front wheel and running along the back from the rear wheels. This adds a ‘light touch’ of design, adding to the overall elegance of proportions. Red calipers and red anodized lower aluminium trims, and a darker anodized aluminium strip over the window are the limits of decoration making this Battista the most purely representative of Pininfarina’s styling excellence.
The three Battistas, featuring bespoke colours defined by Automobili Pininfarina, clearly present Automobili Pininfarina’s solutions for ultra-high-performance and beautiful style. Each car’s exterior design also shows how to elegantly integrate active and passive aerodynamics and performance functionality.
On the inside, there is an ergonomic precision bordering on obsession to the car’s layout to ensure it is accessible to every driver regardless of their experience – the layout of controls completely focused on maximizing drivability at 30 km/h or 300 km/h. But this focus on ergonomics is not at the expense of style. The Battista’s interior becomes a truly special place to be for either the driver or passenger.
All aluminium parts are finished in brushed anodized aluminium, with many of these parts featuring special knurling for added grip. There is a luxurious level of quilting on the seats, door inserts, centre console and knee pads. A leather insert at the twelve o’clock position on the steering wheel, and a number of dials in the cockpit are finished in anodized Blu Iconica, whilst optional carbon fibre components and a ‘Battista’ plate at the bottom of the steering wheel are also presented. Between the seats on the three show cars is a special plate featuring a Battista signature and a dedication to the Battista’s Geneva world premiere.
Each Battista will be a beautiful, rare and pure performance car. There is no overt styling statement that defines the Battista as an electric car. The emissions-free benefits of the pure-electric powertrain do not dictate the Battista’s style, drivability or luxurious ambience, allowing future owners to enjoy the luxury of a hyper GT guilt-free. Zero emissions are a given; beauty and power are the goal.
Paolo Pininfarina, Chairman, Pininfarina SpA, said: “This is genuinely a dream come true. My grandfather always had the vision that one day there would be a stand-alone range of Pininfarina-branded cars. This hypercar will boast world-beating performance, technological innovation and of course elegant styling. For me, we simply had to call it Battista. His dream becomes reality today as we link our glorious past with the future of motoring.”
Michael Perschke, CEO, Automobili Pininfarina, said: “Today marks a significant step for the launch of a range of Pininfarina-branded cars beginning with the Pininfarina Battista, a car whose name alone fills us with pride. It will be the most powerful Italian-built sports car in history, the first luxury hypercar to be conceived in Italy and will deliver ground-breaking all-electric performance in a beautiful body.”
Automobili Pininfarina is a brand-new car company, equipped with a clear vision developed from the dreams and ambitions of two families from different continents but with a shared passion for innovation and beauty.
As the automotive world addresses the transition from the internal combustion engine to electrification, Automobili Pininfarina launches as a purely electric car brand delivering only beautiful, exciting and highly desirable luxury cars. Over the next two decades, electrification will revolutionise car design, car ownership, and even the set-up of car companies. But from 2020, the Battista will immediately set new standards and inspire true love for EVs as the world’s first luxury electric hyper GT.
In 2014 the chairmen of Pininfarina SpA and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd discussed and agreed upon how their respective companies’ strengths could combine to change the automotive landscape.
Paolo Pininfarina and Anand Mahindra shook hands on a deal that would see Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and Tech Mahindra become majority owners of Pininfarina SpA. The relationship then developed with an agreement confirming that the legendary Italian Carrozzeria builds and designs the world’s first electric luxury hyper GT through a new company called Automobili Pininfarina, whose sole objective is to design and market Pininfarina-branded cars that will embody everything that Pininfarina has stood for in its almost 90-year history: each car combining beauty and innovation ahead of its time and yet instantly desirable with timeless potential.
This handshake also started a new chapter in Pininfarina’s history, supporting the Italian company, and being integral to the development and launch of a range of cars solely branded Pininfarina. This fulfilled the long-held dream of company founder Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina; his son Sergio; and grandson and current chairman, Paolo Pininfarina: to see Pininfarina stand as a design partner to the world’s most famous car brands.
In early 2018, under the guidance of CEO, Michael Perschke, and with investment from Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, the newly founded company Automobili Pininfarina began assembling the team and technical partners that would be needed to launch a new car brand, a new way of doing automotive business, and a ground-breaking new car in less than three years.
The corporate ambition, business plan, focus on electrification and sustainability, and the opportunity to work with Pininfarina SpA led to a rapid and successful recruitment of an automotive dream team.
Since the brand was announced at the Rome Formula E race in April 2018, the team has incorporated expertise from the likes of Audi and Audi Sport, BMW, Bugatti, Jaguar Land Rover, Lamborghini, Lotus, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz AMG, Pagani, Porsche and Volvo. The latest high-profile recruit to the cause is Rene Wollmann who joined Automobili Pininfarina on March 1st, 2019 as Programme Director Sportscars, having been responsible for the Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar. Mahindra Racing’s Formula E driver, Nick Heidfeld, was also tempted away from the race track to become the brand’s Test and Development Driver, bringing with him unique experience honed from nearly 20 years of top-level motor racing, including 183 Formula 1 races and a number of still-standing hill climb records.
The new team members have been motivated by the opportunity to build a new car brand with a famous name, and to set performance standards that are unachievable today with internal combustion engine (ICE) technology. Key to their desire to be involved was the fascination and motivation of working with a purely electric range of cars and a corporate ambition to use the halo effect of the Battista to inspire significant industry changes in sustainable car production.
Electrification and sustainability are much more than simply building cars with zero emissions. But on the road is where the story starts for the driver: a halo EV such as the Battista, and the commitment to a fully electric luxury brand, will drive awareness and desirability of electrification. As a result, the sustainability agenda is pushed back into the process of energy production and storage itself: Automobili Pininfarina’s ambition is that the Battista also inspires improved sustainability in battery production and recycling, and the company is looking holistically at the sustainability challenges and opportunities that come with operating as a high-profile luxury electric car brand. The ultimate ambition is to be the most sustainable luxury car brand on the planet, from the corporate headquarters down through the supplier network. Sustainability, and luxury without guilt, is a genuine desire.
An enviable network of partner suppliers and specialist retailers is being established, motivated by the same aspirations as Automobili Pininfarina.
Rimac (powertrain and battery pack) and Pininfarina SpA (design and hand-built production) have taken headlines to-date with an initial combined €100m investment commitment from Automobili Pininfarina.
Further partnerships have been secured with Mahindra Racing’s Formula E team, who revealed a Battista-liveried racing car at the Geneva unveil, Pirelli Tyre SpA who presented a Pirelli P Zero tyre mounted on a 21-inch rim in an exclusive new design for the Battista show cars, Salesforce in California for software and connectivity solutions, and the new GreenTech Festival taking place in Berlin in May backed by former Formula 1 World Champion, Nico Rosberg.
Automobili Pininfarina has secured the first round of specialist retailers in its global network of an initial 25 partners. All are proven specialists in building strong relationships with owners of luxury and high-performance cars. The first 13 retail partners in North America and Europe are in place and taking orders for the maximum 50 Battistas that will be sold in each region. The first partners in Asia and the Middle East have also been confirmed for Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Saudi Arabia as part of a combined network that will also receive a maximum of 50 cars. No more than 150 Battistas will ever be produced and the first car’s arrival in the second half of 2020 will herald an annual release of luxury, electric, beautiful and innovative Pininfarina-branded cars.
Michael Perschke and Paolo Pininfarina are unified in their ambition to establish the world’s first all-electric luxury car brand: a new brand steeped in Italian design heritage with its first car, the Battista, delivering an unprecedented level of desirability, innovation and performance for electric cars.
“We had to define the recipe for our “right to win”. What would be the key ingredients for us to build this brand in this window of opportunity that would see us as leaders not followers.
“First, EVs have kicked in at entry level but not within the luxury space; we can therefore be the first mover if we collaborate and create quickly and effectively with the right partners. This identifies us as the pioneer who created a new luxury EV market, and that leadership position appeals to our clients, future employees, suppliers and specialist retailers, providing the foundation for the brand.
“Second, the brand heritage and legendary design history, where the Pininfarina brand is now established as an independent automotive OEM under the corporate umbrella of “Automobili Pininfarina”. Pininfarina is revered by connoisseurs, has designed over 100 Ferraris, even has an exhibit at the MoMA in New York and a market share of 25-30% every year at the Gooding auctions in Pebble Beach. It is also passionately backed by Mahindra, meaning the brand can establish itself as a luxury brand on its own merits yet with no ICE legacy.
“Third, the products must be right. We are looking at a number of segments, but ultimately a halo car proves that Automobili Pininfarina can be a pioneer for luxury EVs. If the Battista is a success, then it proves that zero-emissions concepts at all levels of the car industry work.
“Fourth, the timing for entry into the market is ideal. Like a surfer we’re on the wave before the breaking point. We picked up the wave and started to communicate in 2018 and will launch before the wave breaks in 2020, Pininfarina’s 90th anniversary. We can then build out quickly from 2021 into new segments in the direction we choose and be clearly recognised as an innovator.
“Fifth, new modern technologies allow for much more collaborative work with best-of-breed technology partnerships such as Rimac and Salesforce. The world is now comfortable with open-source relationships and business leaders looking outside their immediate networks for the best expert advice. And Pininfarina’s history is a classic example of how to make partnerships work. We have created an ecosystem of the best partners and I believe asset-light is the future model for start-ups to make the most of opportunities and to not always have to try and re-invent the wheel.
“Sixth, the finance, stability and freedom that the lead strategic investor Mahindra provides gives us scope to bring in more investment and stand on our own two feet as a brand. It is this spirit of collaboration and future independence that keeps us agile and at the cutting-edge, yet with the openness to invite future strategic investors if they give us access to technology and markets.
“Finally, all of this allows us to bring together a champions-league-level quality of people. It is such an exciting and inspiring team with unique experience who will gain the respect of our clients, retail partners and suppliers and, most importantly, the team at Pininfarina SpA. We are a curator and creator, not a ‘me too’ mover.
“In summary, we strongly believe that currently no other new energy venture nor existing luxury car brand has our combination of skills and heritage. There is no guarantee that a Pininfarina-designed all-electric 1,900 hp hyper GT hand-made in Italy in very low volumes will be a success. But It looks good from here and we believe that all the ingredients are in place to ensure we have every opportunity of writing automotive history in 2020, with the launch of the Battista and our future cars.”
“My grandfather, Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina, was born at a time and raised in a place where the first iconic automobiles were taking shape. The human desire for speed and power was happening in the air and on the race-track. His passion for speed led to him to race track cars and design road cars, with a focus on speed and style. Ultimately this combination of racing and engineering experience led to the presentation of the Cisitalia 202 and his well-known links with Ferrari. The 202 made my grandfather famous, and it has clear links with the Battista we see today in its execution and its home.
“Battista often considered setting Pininfarina SpA up as a stand-alone car maker, but throughout the ‘40s and ‘50s we worked with strong and successful partnerships with Lancia and Ferrari amongst others. So, we were designing for the world from Torino and later Cambiano and making some of the world’s most beautiful, powerful and innovative cars. But we always looked to the future.
“In 1959 Battista visited President Eisenhower at The White House. Eisenhower discussed cars with him and asked him what he saw in the cars of tomorrow. His view was that as long as the internal combustion engine exists there will not be any radical changes. He suggested to Eisenhower that their children would be the next automotive innovators and that it would not be until the next century when radical changes would be seen.
“My grandfather took these discussions back to Italy and inspired my father, Sergio to continue to grow our business, to innovate and produce cars of beauty in style and engineering such as the Dino. The Dino represented something new; new architecture, speed, a new brand, a new engine. And it was the first car my father made, becoming the mother of all Berlinettas. My father talked a lot about how there was no work separate from play. Maybe we Italians are more emotionally involved in our cars than others, which might explain why we name the car after a person. It is a tribute to the person and his life’s work. In 2013, the Sergio. Now, the Battista.
“Talking of family values and inspiration, we consider the Mahindra partnership as the best possible one to help us realise the Pininfarina company dream because the interactions with Anand when we met and discussed the dream were perfect. He had total respect for Pininfarina, the family and the Pininfarina identity and the way we do things. This has produced a very fair partnership that allows us to focus on developing beautiful cars, which is integral to the launch of the new company Automobili Pininfarina.
“But we remain an Italian brand and that is key to the design of our cars for Automobili Pininfarina – this instils emotion, passion, history, and the paradoxes that produce surprising results: we bring together tradition, innovation and industry, we deliver performance and responsibility in our cars. The Battista is the result of these dreams and vision of my grandfather. His personal ambition to take speed and style to a new extreme and to see Pininfarina stand alone as a brand. Above all, though, he showed that car design and engineering is more than just a professional business as it inspires sentiment and emotion.
“And Geneva is the right place to present the Battista and the Pininfarina brand under the industrial leadership of Automobili Pininfarina because Geneva has hosted the debuts of dozens of masterpieces developed over the years. This history and family link are very important and naming the car after our founder, my grandfather, at Geneva shows how important the Battista is for the company and the family.”
Luca Borgogno, Design Director, Automobili Pininfarina: “Pininfarina designs cars where form and function are equal. We wanted to use as many sensual shapes as possible – very Italian, with curves, to give back a feeling of the cars of the ‘60s and the moment in time when sensual design in cars was to the fore and when Pininfarina really became iconic.
“We looked into the extreme functionality we needed, so added in the technical detailing of the sills, the front carbon splitter and strong large active rear diffuser adding downforce. This is all typical Pininfarina, integrating functionalities into the bodywork. We don’t want the car to be over-winged or have too many distracting details. The body must speak the language, with the details adding the accents and personality.”
Carlo Bonzanigo, Design Vice President, Pininfarina Group, said: “Throughout history, Pininfarina-designed cars have always combined creativity and technical rationality in a unique way. This search for the right equilibrium between emotion and reason, together with our constant quest for beauty and elegance, and the will to eschew useless formalism and excessive adornments, has led to some of the most beautiful cars in automotive history. This is the Pininfarina way to conceive cars; and we aim to deliver these standards to all future Pininfarina cars starting from the beautiful Battista hypercar.”
Luca Borgogno, Automobili Pininfarina’s Design Director, devised a succinct design brief for Pininfarina SpA: to create the world’s first beautiful, all-electric hypercar.
The Battista is being developed by the Pininfarina SpA design studio under the management of Pininfarina Group Design Vice President, Carlo Bonzanigo. Together Borgogno and Bonzanigo’s teams have designed, and will develop, a hypercar with unmatched standards of performance, beauty and elegance, combining form and function in perfect harmony.
The Battista is the flagship for the new Automobili Pininfarina brand and the platform for a level of performance and technology never before experienced. It is the trail blazer of the EV movement and the purest expression of Pininfarina’s philosophy: it resolves the apparent paradox between the functional design of wings, vanes, splitters, inlets and outlets, and beautiful design that is defined by clean, elegant, pure and sensual surfaces. This is typical of the challenge that Pininfarina has mastered over its almost 90-year history – yet this particular journey is truly ground-breaking as it is Pininfarina’s first hypercar fully integrating EV technology.
Luca Borgogno said: “The automotive world is ready to see a marriage of beauty, electric power and performance. It is this combination provided by Pininfarina SpA working shoulder-to-shoulder with us at Automobili Pininfarina that will make the Battista more than just a ferocious performance car and more than just a visual work of art. Styling, balanced with ultimate performance, producing a genuine Pininfarina: the beauty of power and the power of beauty.”
Combining form and function is Pininfarina SpA’s forte. The Cisitalia 202 GT started this tradition stunning the automotive world when it arrived at the Villa d’Este in 1947 with an unprecedented aesthetic and technical level of purity and elegance that transformed post-war automobile design.
This passion to hide ground-breaking technical innovation beneath a beautiful and luxurious body is the Cambianese calling card, and forms the basis of the development of the Battista. The result will combine the engineering and technology that can power a 1,900 hp fully electric hyper GT with luxury, beauty and elegance inside and out, in an accessible and drivable package as enjoyable on a hot lap around Monza or on an evening out in Monaco.
Borgogno continued: “The greatest challenge is how to marry technology and history, make it look contemporary and iconic, and not force the product to shout, “I’m an EV”. Technical and performance is ‘easy’, but timelessness and beauty? That takes skill and experience. And the reason for us to exist is beauty.”
The Battista is a typically elegant Pininfarina design. Renowned for being able to define their cars in just two lines, the Battista is no different, presenting a full carbon body that is curvaceous and sculptural, with a cabin encased in sweeping glass. A single dynamic strip of LED light is proudly positioned at the front of the car between the Battista’s headlights.
With just a few lines, the design team has expressed the characteristics of the car.
The most important line encircles the car, and it starts at the front, where the design line creates the effect of a floating wing. This runs along the flank to create a sensual and sculpted side profile before climbing over the rear wheel arches and around the rear wing. This highlights what Borgogno considers to be the most iconic design feature of the Battista.
Defining the wing in this way connects the rear of the car with the front visually and subtly draws attention to its strong functional purpose of creating significant levels of downforce and acting as an airbrake.
The simple accent line around the car outlines the classic teardrop cabin shape that defines many of the most iconic Pininfarina designs; a particularly difficult challenge for a hypercar. As a result, the roof is a very aerodynamic shape – cab forward with a long, sloping rear end – and makes the cabin almost look like it is floating within the car’s overall body structure.
The roof itself is darker than the body, which keeps attention on the elegant body sides and front and rear design flourishes, and it is partly formed by the tops of butterfly wing style doors that dramatically lift and tilt to ensure easy entry and exit. At its rear lower edge, the charging e-port adds a level of drama and intrigue as it pulsates to indicate the Battista’s charge status.
A simple line of aluminium connects A- and B-pillars, defining the shape of the doors and side windows, and ending just above a carbon fibre bridge that connects the cabin to the rear flank and channels air into the rear cooling zone. These design details are the first steps into personalisation.
To match the exterior seamlessly, the interior design has a strong, elegant ambience with a purity of purpose. The Battista is an ultra-high-performance car operating at a level never before experienced in the automotive world, so the interior is totally focused on the driver interface.
Inside the car, the cockpit must be equally as inspiring as the exterior design in both form and function. Pininfarina SpA is defining what Borgogno calls a ‘vanishing point’ concept for the main dashboard display which will be both unique and exciting, focusing the driver’s attention – a new definition of a driver-centric layout.
Core to this concept are the two screens located either side of a compact steering wheel and angled towards the driver. Conventional dials have been eliminated, with all the vital information immediately in front of the driver via an additional slim screen located in the centre.
The left-side screen controls dynamics and performance, with the right screen controlling media and navigation. They are in the perfect ergonomic position: close to the steering wheel, close to hand, and therefore close to the line of vision.
Lower down, and again working on the left/right principle, are ergonomically refined rotary controls that change drive mode settings (on the left) and provide control of the transmission (on the right).
There are almost endless opportunities to personalise the interior through materials and colour. Automobili Pininfarina’s design team is particularly focused on offering ways of layering colours around the dashboard and door panels in a theme that simulates the flowing lines on the exterior of the car. Ambient lighting around the dashboard reflects the front LED and the LEDs on the wings at the rear.
Borgogno said: “The Battista interior clearly reflects our PURA design philosophy. It is aesthetically pure but also shapes how the driver interacts with car – it’s intuitive, with minimal buttons and switches. It is an example of design influencing behaviour for the driver’s benefit without the driver even realising.
“Before starting on the Battista, we agreed what we believed were the key elements of a Pininfarina design, which should also define the Battista: clarity of execution, where the car can be sketched with just one or two lines of a pencil – a single line defines the Duetto or Cisitalia; harmony between function and aesthetics, such as in the F40 and many of the Pininfarina-styled Alfa Romeos; and the spark of innovation, which we saw in the Dino Berlinetta Speciale of 1965 or the alternative-fuel concept Sintesi with its full-width front light.”
“Structuring the car around these three principles meant we designed something sculptural and less aggressive than other modern hypercars. The lines and surfaces generating air flow, the proportions, and the cooling solutions are all very different because Pininfarina’s expertise is in limiting the visual distraction of technical solutions, generating fewer obvious openings and air ducts than you would expect for a car of such unprecedented performance. We can be more sculptural in the body shape, the front and back are cleaner, and we have more area for bodywork surfaces and therefore colour, instead of gaps and holes. This adds a luxurious element to the hypercar segment.
“I love the rear wing. On other supercars the rear wing or airbrake that is supposedly integrated into the body leaves an ugly, dead hollow space when its raised, but in the Battista the wing is so thin it leaves just a shallow indentation, the floor of which we have perforated so that you can see into the rear air flow section. Also, the rear wing looks like two separate fins, but is actually one piece with a central carbon fibre panel in the middle. So, it is a wing with multiple functions, and a subtle design flourish.
“Two other design details I am pleased with are the side mirrors, which are sculptural and almost floral in their finish, and the charger e-port in the rear of the glass where an integrated light bar can be seen from the outside that pulses in a really cool way indicating the car’s charge status.
“We challenge ourselves and verify every step along the design process to ensure innovation is not just defined by the car’s electrification. The development of bodywork of this quality in carbon fibre and the use of carbon is ground-breaking: the way that the suspended rear wing connects to the body without shut-lines on the body side would not be possible in metal. The way that surfaces and forms are blended into the wheel arches would probably not be possible in metal either.
“I am really proud of what we have achieved. Making everything work together on such a technically advanced car, such as the aerodynamics and the layout defined by electrical systems whilst keeping the design simple and sculptural has been a new challenge. I don’t see many pure, sculpted, elegant car designs with extreme performance on the roads. We believe this is timeless and a car that will age well. A true Pininfarina.”
Michael Perschke, CEO, Automobili Pininfarina: “From the moment I met Mate Rimac, I knew that he and his team would be the perfect complement for the unique engineering talent we have brought together under our CTO Dr. Christian Jung at Automobili Pininfarina. Rimac can provide the power we need to deliver memorable driving experiences that match the incredible design standards set by Pininfarina. This collaboration brings together the future of electric performance with the heritage of Pininfarina’s legendary automotive styling capabilities to deliver a truly beautiful hypercar.”
The Battista’s performance targets are unachievable with an internal combustion engine. Electrification is today’s solution to unlocking a new experience and achieving unparalleled performance targets: 1900 hp, 200 Nm, 350 km/h top speed, zero to 100 km/h in less than two seconds and zero to 300 km/h in less than 12 seconds.
But smashing traditional performance targets is far from Automobili Pininfarina’s only goal. Re‑defining vehicle dynamics, comfort, usability, and acceleration sprints through the performance envelope are just as challenging. The results will secure the Battista’s place in hypercar history, proving that electrification is no barrier to the unique experience of hypercar ownership.
Electrification is the catalyst to a new hypercar experience, a genuine powertrain performance option and a necessary engineering solution for the modern world. Therefore, just as with design, where Automobili Pininfarina works hand-in-hand with the best partner, so the engineering team, led by Chief Technical Officer Dr. Christian Jung, sought the best partner to provide the power behind the beauty.
The Battista presents the first results of a unique partnership with its key engineering partner, Rimac Automobili, which provides battery and drivetrain expertise, software and hardware.
Dr. Christian Jung joined Automobili Pininfarina in 2018 as Chief Technical Officer having risen through the ranks of BMW Group in Germany and the USA, and Porsche AG, where he was Porsche’s Director for E-Mobility Systems Design and a leading part of the initial project lead team for the Mission E. Having been most recently Faraday Future’s Senior Director of Electrical Engineering and Platform Strategy, Dr. Jung moved from California to Munich to join Automobili Pininfarina and immediately saw the opportunities a progressive innovator such as Rimac could provide to the Battista and potential future models.
Jung said: “Having been involved in electric powertrain and integration in automotive for more than 20 years, it is really exciting to see that this sustainable and incredibly exciting technology is able to deliver more performance than one hundred years of internal combustion engine development can offer. My goal is to build a team and deliver an electric experience in the Battista and future Automobili Pininfarina cars that makes the performance easy to live with and simply jaw-dropping. Wrap it in a Pininfarina-styled body and I believe Geneva 2019 will mark the dawn of desirability for EVs.”
Having started his company as an innovative and cutting-edge supplier of electric powertrain products less than ten years ago, Mate Rimac and his team have made significant steps into the automotive establishment, supplying electric power to a number of global sports and supercar brands. The contract with Automobili Pininfarina marks a significant step for both parties, as Automobili Pininfarina secures an innovative, successful and highly proficient technical partner, whilst Rimac secures its first series production automotive supply contract, making Automobili Pininfarina its single largest client.
Mate Rimac said: “We are very excited about this challenge. Combining Rimac values – technology, innovation and performance – with the heritage, history and Italian design of Automobili Pininfarina makes a perfect synergy for an exciting new hypercar. This partnership is a big milestone for both companies and we are looking forward to bringing this incredible machine to life together.”
The Battista’s 450 kilometre range will cover virtually all possible journeys, especially as 90% of owners are expected to charge the car where it is garaged, and it will have the capability for DC fast charging. Long-distance driving is expected, the car’s ergonomic and luxurious interior reflects that, and by 2021 using App-based charging networks will be normal for many owners. The 10% who drive the car to its range limit will be well prepared.
The T-shaped lithium/manganese/nickel liquid-cooled 120 kWh battery pack’s weight distribution is configured to optimise the car’s dynamics. Four motors, one per wheel, mean torque vectoring becomes a key performance parameter, as it independently distributes torque and power to each wheel allowing for extreme dynamic opportunities. With well over twice the normal levels of torque that future Battista owners experience in their existing supercars, torque vectoring is required to manage infinitely variable dynamic responses in lieu of the traditional stability control and traction control systems that would simply not be able to cope with the sheer impact of this level of instant torque delivery.
The four motors are internal permanent magnet reduction systems in pairs, front and back, housed together yet working independently of each other. They have a near limitless and maintenance-free operating life and maximum torque from standstill which, in effect, provides an independent and ultra-flexible powertrain at each wheel.
Whilst the car’s electronic brain supports the driver to deliver a new dynamic driving experience, its braking system offers the back-up to match that performance. Massive 390 mm carbon ceramic discs with six-piston cast and painted monoblock calipers provide powerful fade-free deceleration and hugely effective brake regeneration to the battery. The active rear wing features an air brake function.
The benefits of individual motors supplied with power from a battery are manifest, but the challenge remains to package this completely new type of vehicle architecture within a carbon chassis and carbon-bodied car. The greatest opportunity is the low centre of gravity and near-perfect weight distribution that the battery supports when compared to an internal combustion engine-powered supercar, ultimately meaning that the Battista will feel lithe, agile and exciting across its dynamic range.
A full carbon monocoque, bonded carbon roof, rear carbon subframe with crash structures of carbon fibre and aluminium, and a full carbon body featuring lift and tilt butterfly wing style doors shows weight management and strength are the focus for the development team.
The driver will also be able to set his or her bespoke sound settings with no artificial sound amplification. Supercar drivers love the sound of a high-performance engine and the authentic electric hypercar noise must compare with the experience. Automobili Pininfarina is creating a signature Battista sound, which is partly legislative – electric cars travelling below 50 km/h must have an audible presence – and also to give the car its hyper-personality. Key factors in sound generation include the electric motors, the air flow, the HVAC system, and carbon monocoque resonance.
“Battery technology is now well understood and the road map over the next five to ten years is there to take on the internal combustion engine. We know we can overcome all the hurdles, but the biggest challenge remains the market – is it ready and can it be serviced? Is our customer base necessarily seeking zero emissions and levels of autonomy with extreme power? These are very important questions for us as we know many are looking for new experiences, which an electric hyper GT can provide. Equally, they will need a zero emissions car if they want to enjoy driving through their local cities in a Pininfarina. This is where brand expectations meet electric technology.
“Ultimately, the Battista has to drive like a hypercar not an electric car. Electrification allows us to support hypercar development with instant torque. We might even have to dial it down as its reaction time is up to 20 times faster than an ICE! We are trying to go to the extremes that neither Tesla nor the major OEMs are targeting as we firstly take an absolute focus on what a traditional hypercar customer wants in a car, then what he or she will expect from new technologies within a new package. We are producing an individual product not based on an historical line-up. It’s bespoke to our needs and character and a flag-bearer for our future range of luxury cars.
“The two biggest technical challenges for us are in integrating heavy batteries into a carbon structure and how we apply the car’s control systems.
“The battery pack needs mounting to a monocoque along the length of the chassis in a tunnel rather than isolated into the rear alone like a typical V10 or V12 engine which have well-established engineering solutions. The high power with massive torque then needs controlling for the car to be driveable in many situations. ICE hypercars are easily comparable with each other, but we have no benchmark to compare and we have to define the electric hypercar experience. Agility and manoeuvrability will be more defining than speed alone I suspect.
“I am responsible for all the technology development and validation but am also pushing the broader team to look at the big picture. I am personally challenged by the sustainability opportunities that electric cars will offer within their own markets and how industry and consumer behaviour as a whole integrates. The traditional internal combustion engine hypercar is pound-for-pound the most polluting car on the road, but we are proud that the Battista is a lighthouse shining the way to cleaner motoring, in a way that should push suppliers to develop better sources of materials. The media looking critically at us is a good thing and shines a light on the challenge that motivates us all.”
Driving dynamics, not out-and-out performance, are paramount for Automobili Pininfarina. There is little point in presenting an automotive work of art and an innovation in performance if it dominates the driver or is defined by straight-line speed. Cars that do that already exist and are revered. Drivability is a new challenge; the sum of ground-breaking technical solutions that will lie at the heart of the Battista, combined with an understanding of what the driver wants to do at the wheel. Engineering is just a tool to build the car but understanding what the car has to be is key.
Ultimate drivability is the focus for the development team led by experienced engineer Peter Tutzer and the company’s Test and Development Driver, Nick Heidfeld.
Dr. Peter Tutzer has more than 35 years’ experience in the automotive industry and is responsible for the full technical development and packaging of the Battista. He began his career at Porsche, where he was ultimately appointed as Chief Engineer for the company’s race car programme. Peter then joined Pagani where he was responsible for the chassis, vehicle layout and packaging of the Pagani Zonda before joining Bugatti where he played an integral role in the engineering and development of the Bugatti Veyron. Responsible for the Veyron’s complete car layout – packaging and integration of chassis and aerodynamics – he also managed the car’s test and development programme.
Heidfeld complements Tutzer perfectly because he comes with a unique level of racing experience and a highly regarded reputation for impeccable racing driver feedback. Automobili Pininfarina’s development driver has over 20 years of top-level motor racing experience to call upon, including 183 Formula 1 races with thirteen podiums, two fastest laps and a pole position at his home Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. Two class wins at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans and champion in five different racecar series make him one of the most versatile and successful racing drivers of his generation. Heidfeld has been part of the all-electric Formula E series since its inception and after achieving eight podium finishes, he is now an advisor and test driver at Mahindra Racing. He has also owned and driven numerous performance cars, and still holds the record for the fastest hill climb with his iconic drive at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Working on the logic that not one of the future Battista customers will have ever driven a 1,900 hp electric car, yet many may well have experience of driving some of the cars Nick and Peter piloted or produced respectively, then Tutzer and Heidfeld are ideally placed to combine their experiences and produce a new paradigm in performance cars. They will be responsible for honing the Battista vehicle dynamics programme, with a clear ambition to help develop the most enjoyable electric performance car in the world.
This will be no mean feat given that four electric motors provide a combined output of 1,900 hp and 2,300 Nm of torque, acceleration from rest to 100 km/h in less than two seconds and on to 300 km/h in less than 12 seconds, and a top speed of at least 350 km/h. Statistics neither of them have ever worked with on road or track.
Peter Tutzer, Automobili Pininfarina Senior Technical Advisor, said: “Year after year we become familiar with numbers, so I get more impressed with the reality of making an extreme car useable and useful. Top end numbers are less impressive as they are a ‘given’ these days. The driving experience for whoever buys it is the key.”
The Battista’s development programme will match immense power and ultimate drivability, simultaneously developing the car to be adaptable and personal to each of the 150 owners and making it fun at all speeds. So, it will be quick, predictable, balanced, and comfortable. The most powerful road-legal car ever produced in Italy will offer a huge challenge for owners who look for a new level of extreme driving, yet Automobili Pininfarina also want owners to drive the car from the track, to their villa and on to the opera.
Torque steer, not torque alone will define the car’s personality, delivering ultimate drivability, control and safety. This ability to put far more control in the hands of the driver than in a traditional internal combustion engine performance car will be reinforced through Automobili Pininfarina’s work on the response of acceleration and deceleration in combination with torque steer.
Tutzer continued: “Every owner must enjoy the car in whatever situation they are in and Nick’s input as an owner of supercars is vital. We start with specifications of course as the numbers have an influence on the headlines that attract the clients, but then we make sure those performance targets are drivable.
“The Veyron targeted 1,000 hp in 2001 when 500 hp was a headline – we doubled the power – and the first question was how can we put 1,000 hp on the road? It has taken nearly 20 years to double that figure again, and that huge gap is not down to a lack of technical ability in the engineering community but is probably only possible with electrification. The really extreme challenge remains putting the power on the road and adding performance values not in the 0 – 100km/h range but at 300 – 400 km/h. Our partnership with Pirelli will be key to solving that challenge.”
“My racing experience has helped me understand what makes a great car and how to work with a dedicated team to develop one at the forefront of technological possibilities and innovation. I have been driving passionately since I was eight years old and believe that with this practice, one adopts and develops more sensors and respective sensitivity. I have piloted the quickest race cars in the world and have been lucky enough to have also driven various supercars; these supercars have actually carried iconic names with some from the home of Pininfarina. The Battista will accelerate faster than any F1 car in existence and will be the very first Automobili Pininfarina car, so I am therefore as proud and thrilled as I am excited. Expectations and obligations are obvious, and I will use my skills to best contribute to the Battista’s development.
“I will bring my experience from over 40 Formula E race weekends and thousands of hours of testing an electric racing car to the programme. It’s a natural step as I had followed the idea of Formula E before it arrived, so had a clear interest in electric performance. I was as fascinated in the idea as much as the car itself and it was ground-breaking to have hit the city streets with electric racing.
“When I started in racing there was no consideration for the environment, but now that is changing, and electric racing is the future. It arrived at the perfect moment in time – like the Battista – and as a new concept across the board is inspiring and fun to do.
“There are two clear engineering comparisons between a Formula E car and the Battista. There is no delay at all on the throttle which is fantastic. Even in a Formula 1 car we feel a delay. Secondly, the combination of power and torque provides exciting possibilities – the Formula E car balanced power and torque well, but the Battista needs to be even better than a racing car as it will accelerate quicker than a Formula 1 car and be used on busy roads.
“I can’t wait to get behind the wheel after Geneva. Look at the targets we want to achieve with the car, and it makes you believe there will be an instant ‘wow’, but it’s subtler than that. Look at most iconic Pininfarinas and it’s the same. There is a timeless beauty that grows the more you see them. Design and dimensions define beautiful cars, not power, and it will be like this with the Battista.”
If the ‘heart’ of Automobili Pininfarina and the Battista is represented by Paolo Pininfarina and his family in Cambiano, Italy at the famous Pininfarina SpA headquarters, then the ‘head’ of the business sits with an extraordinary line-up of individuals in Munich and Turin who have come together to develop the hyper GT and launch the new luxury car brand.
With their operational headquarters, but as an international group of experts inspired by the challenge of launching a new brand in less than two years, the Automobili Pininfarina team is ideally placed to create a highly desirable and technologically innovative range of cars. The Battista is the calling card that states what the company is capable of and what capabilities electrification can offer to luxury car buyers.
Electrification and autonomy have given rise to many start-ups in recent years, but the team assembled around Automobili Pininfarina and the Battista is unique: the lure of being part of the Pininfarina dream proving evocative and appealing, whilst the blank sheet of paper that an automotive start-up offers providing the catalyst to tempt expertise into the business at such a crucial stage.
Since the brand was announced at the Rome Formula E race in April 2018, the team has incorporated expertise from the likes of Audi and Audi Sport, BMW, Bugatti, Jaguar Land Rover, Lamborghini, Lotus, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz AMG, Pagani, Porsche and Volvo. That expertise has been fundamental to the development and launch of landmark cars such as the AMG One, P1, Porsche Mission-E, Urus, Veyron and Zonda. And joining them in the race-to-road ambition that a 1,900 hp hypercar has to offer is a man who raced on the roads of Rome in April 2018 and who will never forget the days he set the hill-climb record at Goodwood or first lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a Formula 1 car.
Michael Perschke, CEO: Perschke brings with him over 25 years of experience with premium German brands at both headquarter director-level as well as in various market roles. He was the Managing Director of Audi in India and a member of the Management Board of Volkswagen Group Sales India, from 2010 to 2013. In his last assignment, as Director of Strategic Projects – Business Model 4.0, Audi AG, Michael was responsible for assessing new business models and sales initiatives dealing with mobility, digital services and new customer offerings, as well as launching the Audi Sport brand into 35 markets globally. Before that, Michael also held entrepreneurial roles in the automotive and technology sectors. Michael joined Mahindra Group in early 2018 to spearhead the Automobili Pininfarina business plan development and brand launch, and plays an instrumental role in building the team and developing the strategy around the new brand.
Nick Heidfeld, Test and Development Driver: With nearly 20 years of top-level motor racing experience to call upon, including 183 Formula 1 races, six 24 Hours of Le Mans entries, and an unprecedented 44 Formula E races, most recently with Mahindra Racing, Nick Heidfeld has confirmed his role as an integral member of the Automobili Pininfarina team. Heidfeld, who has owned and driven numerous performance cars, will be responsible for honing the Battista vehicle dynamics programme, with a clear personal ambition to help develop the most enjoyable electric performance car in the world.
Luca Borgogno, Design Director: Prior to joining Automobili Pininfarina, Borgogno led Lamborghini’s Turin design studio during the development of the Urus. Borgogno had previously worked within Pininfarina SpA on cars such as the Sergio, and as Design Director for the new brand has defined the Battista design brief against which Pininfarina SpA’s experts have delivered.
Dr. Christian Jung, Chief Technical Officer: Jung joins as Chief Technical Officer having risen through the ranks of BMW Group in Germany and the USA, and then Porsche AG. Jung moves from California where he was most recently Faraday Future’s Senior Director of Electrical Engineering and Platform Strategy. Before that he was Porsche’s Director for E-Mobility Systems Design and a leading part of the initial project lead team for the Mission E and additional electrification projects.
Dr. Peter Tutzer, Senior Technical Advisor: Tutzer has more than 35 years’ experience in the automotive industry and is responsible for the full technical development and packaging of the Battista. He began his career at Porsche, where he was ultimately appointed as Chief Engineer for the company’s race car programme. Peter then joined Pagani where he was responsible for the chassis, vehicle layout and packaging of the Pagani Zonda before joining Bugatti where he played an integral role in the engineering and development of the Bugatti Veyron. Responsible for the Veyron’s complete car layout – packaging and integration of chassis and aerodynamics – he also managed the car’s test and development programme.
Rene-Christopher Wollmann, Programme Director Sportscars: Wollmann joined Automobili Pininfarina on March 1st, 2019 as Programme Director Sportscars, having risen through the ranks in a strong and varied career at Mercedes-AMG GmbH that culminated in his leadership of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE hypercar project. Under Wollmann’s leadership, the AMG One has been launched at the pinnacle of internal combustion engine hypercar performance, but the potential of combining his experience of the AMG-One with Pininfarina design and the possibilities that electrification brings to hypercars proved too tempting for Wollman to ignore. Having also worked on battery and chassis programmes in his early years at Mercedes-AMG, he is ideally placed to help Automobili Pininfarina deliver a future range of luxury electric cars.
Dan Connell, Chief Brand Officer: Connell joined Automobili Pininfarina from Jaguar Land Rover, where he was responsible most recently for leading delivery of the global Marketing Communications and PR strategy behind the successful new Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) and Classic business divisions. Previously Dan has occupied Public Relations roles at Volkswagen, MINI and McLaren Automotive, where he was integral in the global PR and Communications for the launch of the supercar brand and its first car, the award-winning McLaren 12C. Dan now leads a new team at Automobili Pininfarina responsible for global brand strategy, marketing communications, PR and experiential programmes.
Paolo Dellacha, Chief Product Officer: Dellacha is responsible for the product definition and development plan of the future range of Automobili Pininfarina sustainable luxury electric cars, with a key focus on defining vehicle technology to meet the desires of the world’s most discerning customers. Prior to joining Automobili Pininfarina he spent nearly two decades in computer-aided engineering, specifically testing, engineering and design roles at Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo. After starting as a vehicle dynamics professional, Paolo lead complete new vehicle development programmes and was most recently appointed Director of Vehicle Concept and Architecture of Alfa Romeo and Maserati. Paolo is a published author of automotive technical papers and was part of the team that secured drivetrain and chassis patents for Ferrari.
Jari Kohonen, Chief Sales Officer: Kohonen joined Automobili Pininfarina in late-2018 with responsibility for global business development and an initial focus on developing the new retail network, and customer and prospect engagement strategy. He has specific responsibility for all sales, aftersales and network development operations. As a European with significant global experience, most recently at Volvo Cars in China, he joined at the perfect time as Automobili Pininfarina begins to target Europe, the Middle East and Asia following the successful PF0 Battista prototype debut in North America over the summer.
Jari Kohonen, Automobili Pininfarina Chief Sales Officer: “Our first clients are a mix of new technology adopters and traditional supercar, luxury car and classic car owners. The one thing that we see unites them is that they love the idea of a pure Pininfarina. A proportion have never experienced electric cars but take a new performance car experience as the first benefit, whilst others are already passionate about electric technology and the Battista now allows them to take the first step into hypercar ownership.”
Automobili Pininfarina has already presented the Battista in PF0 prototype form at over 20 events. Orders have been taken and the brand’s first clients are reinforcing early expectations about who will own one of the 150 Battistas.
Initial demand is coming from traditional supercar and hypercar collectors who know Pininfarina well with understandable interest in the driving experience and performance expectations. Early previews are also seeing clients with strong knowledge of car design, with others taking their first step into hypercar ownership. It’s clear that many of the cars will be used on the road as the engineers intended, but others will be stored and invested as the first ever pure Pininfarina road car. Battista owners will be drivers and collectors.
The collectors value heritage, design and style, and if they know a car is an innovative performance car then that adds to the collectability. For the drivers, the Battista engineers’ efforts and focus will be embraced. So, the next 20 months spent producing a level of technical performance never before seen on the roads will not be wasted on even one of the 150 cars produced.
With the initial prototype PF0 tour of the USA focusing on the New York Tri-state and California regions, there has also been significant interest from technology leaders looking for automotive innovation who had not previously considered internal combustion engine hypercars: the technology promised on the Battista, and the future range of cars, overcoming any prejudice against the impact of high-performance engines.
In client meetings, Automobili Pininfarina found that fewer people than anticipated had experienced an electric car and some remain sceptical over predictable issues such as charging and range. But with an anticipated 450 kms of range targeted, combined with the anticipated use of the car, then charging and range anxieties become almost redundant. Those clients that have owned or driven powerful electric cars are evangelistic and the assumption is that once an owner experiences an electric car they will stay electric day-to-day.
Kohonen said: “Many of our prospective clients have more than 80 cars, so the Battista needs to offer a variety of experiences if it is to maintain its appeal to every owner. We are lucky in that we can offer something new as a hypercar experience for every one of the 150 customers.
“Firstly, the driving dynamics will allow use every day. It will have breath-taking acceleration and unique torque characteristics with something no supercar they have ever driven can offer – no delay from their right foot. Secondly, this hypercar experience will take place in a luxury environment with unique Italian flair. The design and build in Cambiano is appreciated and people find the Pininfarina story enticing. The performance under the beautiful lines is really appreciated.
“Thirdly, clients also like the idea of us bringing the best of the best together – not where people or suppliers are from, but what they bring in technical skill, attitude or experience. It is the spirit of Pininfarina where collaboration for nearly 90 years has produced automotive art.”
Automobili Pininfarina is building on the recently announced first phase of specialist partners that will be appointed in its new global network. These partnerships will be defined and managed by Automobili Pininfarina’s new Munich-based sales team to ensure the pinnacle of customer experience is achieved when the world’s first pure Pininfarina road car comes to market in 2020.
Since the company was announced in April 2018, Automobili Pininfarina’s CEO, Michael Perschke has prioritised the selection of the world’s leading specialist car retailers to support the company’s ambitions for the new luxury brand. There will be a network of between 25 and 40 Automobili Pininfarina retail partners, all proven specialists in luxury and high-performance car owner relationships.
Automobili Pininfarina has secured partners in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia, and will complete these regions’ specialist dealer networks during the course of 2019. Demonstrating the company’s global reach, its North American partners include those located in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. Europe will be served by specialists in Birmingham, Brussels, Düsseldorf, London, Monaco, Stuttgart and Zürich. Automobili Pininfarina has also announced that its first partners in Asia will be located in Hong Kong and Singapore, whilst Middle East partners are confirmed in Riyadh and Dubai.
Perschke said: “Starting from a blank sheet is ideal. We can pick the right partners with the right facilities, right finances, right mindset and approach we are looking for with our clients. We are working with the retail partners on how clients will experience Automobili Pininfarina and the Battista and working closely with Paolo Pininfarina and his team in Italy because introducing the retail partners to Pininfarina’s history and cars is crucial. It is a big part of why they want to work with us.
“In automotive it’s difficult to differentiate with product alone but the Battista does that really well. It’s even more difficult to differentiate a customer experience and we believe each of our customer’s experiences should match their experience of their car.”