Any car company worth its salt has its own design department. But when they need extra help, guidance or just inspiration, they turn to firms like Pininfarina. 10 luxury cars that will rule the roads in 2019With almost 90 years of experience, the Italian design and engineering consultancy is best known for its work with Ferrari, for whom it created more than 60 iconic sports cars. But now Pininfarina is doing something very different: making a car under its own name.
Its new creation, the Battista, was unveiled earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show. Touted as the most powerful street-legal vehicle ever produced, the car’s lines are unmistakably those of Pininfarina. This is, after all, the firm behind the mid-engine Ferraris that defined a generation: the 308, the 328, the 288 GTO and, more recently, the 458 Italia.Indeed, it is the relationship between Pininfarina and Ferrari that may make the Battista so significant. The basic proportions of a car are usually framed by its technical make-up, but supercar lovers the world over owe a huge debt to how Pininfarina took Ferrari’s expertise in engines and chassis, and built beauty around it.
The firm’s abilities are evident in the Battista, most notably in the aggressive sculpting of the hood, the simple rising beltline along the flanks and the complex range of surfaces providing muscle above the car’s rear wheels. It’s far from insulting to say that the design is so clearly Pininfarina’s, that it could easily be Ferrari’s latest mid-engined, twin-turbocharged V8 supercar. Except that it has no combustion engine at all — the Battista is all-electric.The output of the car’s four motors is nonetheless incredible: 1,873 brake horsepower (bhp), which is over 400bhp more than a Bugatti Chiron. But the sort of emotion that drives the purchase of such a car — and at around $2.3 million, the Battista won’t be cheap — may be fed as much by exhaust noise as aesthetics or acceleration.
“We saw a window of opportunity here,” said Perschke. “We’re at a tipping point where EVs (electric vehicles) are becoming more acceptable, and yet we don’t have to manage a transition to being an electric car manufacturer. From the start, 100% of our vehicles will be zero-emission.