Until now, most electric vehicles had to have some oddity in their design, which only made it harder for petrolheads to get to start liking the new propelling technology. However, Mahindra-owned Pininfarina, a name that has been instrumental in the design of some of the World’s most iconic cars, has changed that with the Battista Hypercar. One good look at this limited-edition machine makes it one of those rare all-electric cars where the design lures you into the thought of wanting to get behind the wheel.
There is a certain degree of timeless elegance about the Battista’s appearance, some Ferrari-ness in its smooth curves and details. The low and flat face is unmistakably Italian and so is the rest of the car. Had it not been for the split and horizontal tail light, a circular addition there would’ve made this ready to enter the gates at Modena and come out with logos of a prancing horse. Even the wheels thankfully are conventional and don’t like to drop any hints about the electric roots of this car which get plugged into a wall socket. If you’re wondering, the charging port is situated just underneath the rear glass area, beneath which is an active spoiler which rests unless summoned as an air brake.
Inside, the split-colour cabin features a split-screen setup for the driver where both are angled towards the driver’s central field of view. A tiny-cellphone sized display sits right behind the wheel for all the relevant information the driver might need in quick time. A seamless design element curves through the dashboard horizontally and the elements inside follow a minimal, yet, hi-tech approach. The Battista makes extensive use of lightweight materials to keep weight under the 2-tonne mark, where the chassis is a full carbon-fibre monocoque, so is the roof and the rear sub-frame.
Capable of hitting a top whack of more than 350 km/h, the Battista puts its electric power on the ground via Pirelli P Zero tyres wrapped around 21-inch alloys. Brembo-sourced carbon-ceramic, 6-piston carbon-ceramic brakes provide ample braking force to shed speed. Powered by a 120 kWh lithium battery which drives four individual motors at each wheel, there’s 1900 Hp of power and 2,300 Nm of torque to play with. Managing power intelligently is a torque vectoring system and five driving modes, making the Battista break through the 0 – 100 kph time in under 2 seconds! It can break the magical 300 kph mark in less than 12 seconds and the batteries are good for 450 kilometres before they need a refill of current.
Since they know that sound plays an important part in amplifying the emotive appeal of all things fast, the engineers at Pininfarina have worked to ensure that the Battista sounds natural and not something which has the vocals of a dryer. They’ve worked on many aspects of the car, including the HVAC system and the resonance of the carbon chassis along with wind noise and airflow to get the sound right. Since it will cost somewhere about $2 million a pop, the driver will be able to set his/her own bespoke sound as well. Only 150 units will be built and the car will go on sale in 2020, which is also the year when Pininfarina celebrates its 90th anniversary.