The Pininfarina Battista hums. Not in a “crystals have energy” sort of way, but in a much more real sense—the carbon-fiber bodywork literally vibrates. Why does this electric car tremble? Pininfarina injected the vibes into the Battista with what it calls an E-Heart, which uses two speakers to send audible pulses through the car. Flickering LEDs in the Pininfarina logo at the tail accompany the quivers. “The sound creates a direct connection with what the car is doing,” suggests chief product and engineering officer Paolo Dellacha—even, apparently, when it’s doing nothing more than sitting idle, looking gorgeous.
Design house Pininfarina knows something about beauty, having styled 64 Ferraris in its 91-year history. The Battista is its first ground-up automobile, a production version of a concept that debuted in 2018. Named for the company’s founder, Battista “Pinin” Farina, the Battista, with its lavish curves and 1877 horsepower, was brought to life thanks to the investment of Pininfarina’s owners, the Indian conglomerate Mahindra.
Building a vehicle from nothing is a big challenge even for a major car company, so Pininfarina wisely teamed with Rimac on the powertrain and carbon-fiber structure. Automobili Pininfarina CEO Per Svantesson insists the underpinnings aren’t exactly the same as what Rimac uses and that the Battista enjoys unique tuning and offers a different driving experience.
The mechanical motivation is beastly: A T-shaped battery pack, responsible for a third of the vehicle’s claimed 4400-pound curb weight, contains 6960 lithium-ion cells for a total gross capacity of 120 kWh. (Pininfarina claims that 97 percent of that capacity, or 116 kWh, will be usable, a much higher percentage than is the norm.) The juice flows to four electric motors, one at each wheel. The brand estimates its range on the European cycle will come in at 310 miles—using the EPA methodology will likely yield a U.S. range of roughly 230 miles—though Battista customers are likely more compelled by the performance. Pininfarina tells us that a run to 60 mph run takes a mere 1.8 seconds and 186 mph comes up in less than 12 seconds. Peak acceleration results in 1.4 g’s forcing you into the seatback. Top speed is electronically limited to 217 mph. Speaking of speed, the company claims it’s possible to go from 20 to 80 percent charge in 25 minutes using a 180-kW DC connection. Although that seems low—it’s barely half the rate that the latest Electrify America fast-chargers provide—Pininfarina says it’s deliberately limiting the peak charge rate to extend the battery’s life. For the full story, check out this article from Car And Driver.