When former Formula One driver Nick Heidfeld floors the accelerator in a pre-production unit of the Automobili Pininfarina Battista, its 1900 hp takes him from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in less than 2 seconds and to a top speed of more than 350 kph (218 mph).
However, that isn’t what impresses him most about Italy’s first full-electric hypercar.
“It is incredible how predictable and easy the Battista is to drive,” the German racecar driver told me while piloting one of the cars's five pre-series units on a circuit in Pavia, northern Italy, last month.
Heidfeld, who had been part of the team developing the car’s ride and handling characteristics since the project was started more than three years ago, said that the company set – and reached -- very high targets he set.
“When I drive a normal car, I really understand how special the Battista is,” he said.
The Battista, which carries the first name of Pininfarina’s founder Battista “Pinin” Farina, is the first product from Automobili Pininfarina, a Munich-based fully owned subsidiary of Indian industrial conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra.
Mahindra also holds a controlling stake in Pininfarina SpA, the Turin-based design and engineering specialist that is licensing the Pininfarina name to Automobili Pininfarina.
Pininfarina SpA will build 150 units of the Battista, which in Europe has a pre-tax price of 1.98 million euros ($2.24 million). In Italy, the car will start at 2.42 million euros with taxes included.
Deliveries are set to start toward the end of the first quarter of 2022. The initial cadence will be one delivery every other week. By 2023, that will rise to a vehicle a week.
Automobili Pininfarina CEO Per Svantesson said that the Battista’s 2022 production run is sold out, but he declined to say how many units of the hypercar are still available.
He said the pandemic stalled the company’s commercial plans, delaying initial test drives with potential clients until as late as August. The feedback from those test drives has been encouraging.
“We got overwhelming reaction from customers on the Battista’s driving dynamics, particularly for its five driving modes,” said Svantesson, who spent most of his 37 years in the automotive business at Volvo Cars before joining Automobili Pininfarina.
The Battista is a rebodied Revera hypercar made by Croatia’s Rimac Automobili.
Automobili Pininfarina receives a rolling chassis from Rimac and then spends 10 weeks hand-building each Battista.
More than 50 percent of the hypercar’s parts are specific, from the suspensions to the doors to its controls and software, Automobili Pininfarina Chief Product and Engineering Officer Paolo Dellacha said.
The software, which is still in the early phase of development, can be updated over the air, Dellacha said, because the Battista will always be connected.