Wild electric Pininfarina Battista beast 'quicker than an F1 car'
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An electric luxury hypercar has been unveiled by Italy’s legendary Pininfarina, along with the promise that it's faster than today's F1 racers.
Its creators say the Battista will be ‘the world’s first luxury electric hyper GT‘ and ‘the most powerful road-legal car ever designed and built in Italy’ when it goes into production next year, with a claimed range of 450km.
For the world’s super-rich, at a time when petrol and diesel cars are blamed for pollution and poor air quality, it offers the combination of 320km/h speeds with ‘sustainability, and luxury without guilt’.
Just 150 of the Pininfarina Battistas will be built, with 50 for Europe, 50 for North America and 50 for the Middle East and Asia.
Three versions of the car - which features jaw-dropping lift and tilt butterfly wing style doors, similar to the Mclaren 720S, were showcased at Europe's first major motor show of the year, in Geneva, Switzerland.
They are set to be just the first in a range of cars bearing the standalone Pininfarina name - linked to one of the world’s most famous family automotive styling houses.
Boasting 1415kW - which is more output than a Formula 1 car - bosses say the Battista will accelerate to 100km/h in under two seconds and hit 300km/h in less than 12 seconds.
The car is named after the late Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina, who in 1930 founded the Italian automobile design house Pininfarina, which next year celebrates its 90th anniversary.
His son Sergio, who died in 2012 aged 85, went on to design some of the most beautiful cars, sports cars supercars of the 20th and 21st century including many Ferraris such as the Testarossa (1984), Enzo (2002), and the Dino series (1968–76) that launched Ferrari into the mass market.
The firm is now chaired by Battista's grandson Paolo, who said that after decades of designing other people’s cars it was a ‘dream come true’ to launch such a car bearing the Pininfarina name as a tribute.
‘My grandfather always had the vision that one day there would be a stand-alone range of Pininfarina-branded cars,’ he said.
The car is built around a single-cell carbon-fibre monocoque with battery packs between the front seats and behind the rear bulkhead.
There are four motors, one per wheel.
The weight distribution of the T-shaped liquid-cooled 120kWh battery - made from a mix of lithium, manganese and nickel - is configured to optimise the car’s dynamics.
Some 90 per cent of owners are expected to charge at home. The firm expects that the remaining 10 per cent will be catered for by app-based charging networks which it expects to be in place by 2021.
Massive, carbon-ceramic six-piston brakes promise fade-free deceleration and hugely effective brake regeneration to the battery. The active rear wing also acts as an air brake to aid in the stopping process.
While electric power means a silent soundtrack from the outside, owners will be able to tailor the sound settings boomed into their ears.
'Crucially, the on-board sound programme for Battista will focus on using vehicle hardware to generate acoustic pleasure, rather than generation of artificial sounds.'
Inside the cockpit are 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 firm said: ’The left side controls dynamics and performance, with right controlling media and navigation.’
Lower down are ergonomically refined rotors that change drive mode settings. On the right is the transmission control.
Tuning the performance, the firm's test and development driver Nick Heidfeld has nearly 20 years of top-level motor racing experience to call upon, including 183 Formula One races, six 24 Hours of Le Mans entries, and 44 Formula E races.
Heidfeld, who still holds the record for the fastest hill climb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, said: 'My racing experience has certainly helped me understand what makes a great road car and how to work within a team to develop one.'
Automobili Pininfarina chief executive officer Michael Perschke, a former BMW and Audi boss said the Battista’s range will be at least 280 miles and that the company will provide a system to charge 80 percent of the battery in just 40 minutes or less.
He said: ‘We aim for Battista to be a future classic and automotive icon, writing its own page in automotive history books.’
Although the firm’s head office is in Munich, in Germany, the Battista will be handmade in Italy at the company facility on the outskirts of Turin, says the company.
The firm said of its new Battista: 'Faster than a current Formula 1 race car in its 0-to-62mph sub-two second sprint, and with 1,900hp [1415kW] to hand, Battista will combine extreme engineering and technology in a zero emissions package.'
The company added: ’The Battista will be the most powerful car ever designed and built in Italy when it arrives in 2020 and will deliver a level of performance that is unachievable today in any road-legal sports car featuring internal combustion engine technology.'
It says it has pulled together ‘a group of automotive experts, the like of which have never been assembled before within a new car company’ with technical partners including pioneering electric power and battery firm Rimac and tyre giant Pirelli noting.
‘The result is that the Battista will arrive next year with expertise and inspiration from 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 firm said in a statement.
Investment has come from Indian car giant Mahindra.
The car is expected to be in London in April when London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone goes live in the capital.
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.'
- Daily Mail