In Depth

Automobili Pininfarina Battista: the electric revolution finally arrives in Italy

Legendary design house releases images of its production-spec 1,900bhp EV

It’s hardly surprising that Italians have been slow to respond to the seemingly unstoppable demand for electric cars.

Iconic Italian marques such as Ferrari and Lamborghini pride themselves on their engines, which add a glorious soundtrack to the driving experience.

Ferrari is one of the few carmakers still pursuing naturally aspirated V12 engines as it harks back to the motors that powered the company’s Formula 1 machinery until the mid-1990s. 

While Ferrari and Lamborghini, along with the likes of Maserati and Alfa Romeo, are rumoured to be working on hybrid systems that help extract even more power from combustion engines, none of the historic carmakers is believed to have a fully electric model in the works.

True, electric cars will never sing like a naturally aspirated V12-engined supercar, but they can - in the right hands - be as achingly beautiful as Horacio Pagani’s Huayra or the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring. 

That’s what Automobili Pininfarina hopes to achieve with its new Battista - an all-electric hypercar that mixes blistering EV pace with Italian style.

alessandro altavilla

The company is an offshoot of Pininfarina, the Italian design house famed for styling such iconic cars as the Ferrari Enzo hypercar and the Lancia 037 rally machine from the mid-1980s. In 2015, the design house was bought by the Mahindra Group, an Indian conglomerate, before Automobili Pininfarina was formed three years later. 

Then, at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the company unveiled its first production car, an all-electric hypercar named after the Italian design house’s founder - Battista “Pinin” Farina.

Five months later, the company is now unveiling the first images of the production-spec car driving on public roads. 

It is almost identical to the prototype version shown at Geneva. However, Autocar’s Hilton Holloway notes that the front end has been “reworked” to accommodate “more defined creases along the bonnet”. The wing mirrors are also different, having been reshaped to improve airflow over the bodywork. 

The Battista is not just a pretty face, either.

Under the sleek exterior is an electric motor and battery system that produces 1,900bhp, says Top Gear. That’s enough to send the Battista from 0-62mph in two seconds flat, faster than any production car currently in existence, while a 0-186mph sprint can be dispatched in just 12 seconds. 

Automobili Pininfarina is expected to confirm the car’s battery specs and the finer details about the electric motor set-up at the Monterey Car Week in California, which runs from 9 to 18 August.

For now, though, it seems the electric revolution has finally made its way to Italy.

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