27 May 20
06 Jun 19
1900bhp, four electric motors and an expected sub two second 0-62mph (100km/h). Welcome to the most powerful road-legal car ever produced in Italy and, best of all - it's all-electric. During the car's global debut tour, we catch up with former Mahindra Racing driver Nick Hiedfeld about all there is to know about the Automobili Pininfarina Battista.
When NIO's all-electric EP9 hypercar hit the infamous Nurburgring in 2017, it smashed the lap record - and perceptions of electric performance - to pieces after posting a 06:45.9s lap. But now, just two years later, there's a new kid on the block, again spawned through experience gained through the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, and it comes in the form of the Automobili Pininfarina Battista.
"Looking at the car here today, we've come a very long way since the launch over a year ago at the Formula E in Rome," says former Mahindra Racing driver and Development Driver for the Pininfarina project Nick Hiedfeld.
"You can see how beautiful it is but we haven't driven it yet - that will happen at the end of this year."
After the idea was launched at the 2018 Rome E-Prix - the historical heartland for the legendary Pininfarina brand - the fresh faced team at the new manufacturer has been busy getting the initial prototypes to market.
"I think there will be many details that I learnt in my time in Formula E that I can bring to the project. I already know how the car should behave and, with the experience I have after a long career in racing, I can bring that experience."
Known best for its work in designing some of the most beautiful cars to grace the planet, the Italian design house Pininfarina was acquired by Indian car maker Mahindra in 2015, giving way to new automotive entrants Automobili Pininfarina in 2018.
Penned by Design Director Luca Borgogno, the Battista's devilishly handsome looks aren't just for show. Sporting butterfly doors, "air scoops integrated into the doors channel air around and into the body, cooling the battery and drivetrain," explains Hiedfeld.
"At the rear, the active aero adapts depending on the car's speed, raising the rear spoiler to improving stability and handling at high speeds," adds the former Formula E ace.
Named after the founder of Pininfarina - Battista "Pinin" Farina - the all-electric hypercar is expected to be the most powerful road-legal car ever produced in Italy when it hits the road in 2020.
"This is a really historic car," says Hiedfeld. "We already see some electric cars around at the moment but this is like the first proper hypercar showing full potential of electric technology with nearly 2000bhp.
"Being designed by a legendary company like Pininfarina, I think it ticks a lot of the right boxes. It's a new brand and hopefully in many years, people will say this was the first car that started something incredible off."