• Here’s Hoping Mahindra’s Planned Supercar Gamble Pays Off

Pininfarina needs to have a platform

Two years ago, Indian automaker Mahindra bought Italian design house Pininfarina for $28.1 million. The purchase raised a lot of questions, including Mahindra’s rationale behind the deal. And while it’s taken a little longer than expected, it appears the first fruits are budding. There’s talk within Mahindra of bringing a Pininfarina-branded electric supercar to the U.S. and China.

The plan is to develop an electric supercar branded with the Pininfarina name rather than Mahindra. The goal, it seems, is to deliver the supercar for both the U.S. and China in an effort to establish a solid foundation in those two markets. The superpowers are two of the largest markets in the automotive industry. Details are still scarce and comments made by Mahindra Group Chairman, Anand Mahindram, to Market Watch, indicate plans are still in the exploratory phase. We’re not expecting Mahindra or Pininfarina to disclose details anytime soon. That said, the thought of an electric supercar wearing the Pininfarina name is very intriguing.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Is Mahindra Serious?

As ambitious as this may sound, I actually think that Mahindra may be on to something. A big part of my optimism is, of course, related to money. One of the many pitfalls that derail startup automakers from making an impression is finances. Mahindra doesn’t have that problem since it’s a multinational company with ties in a lot of business sectors all over the world. If Mahindra is truly serious about developing an electric supercar and branding it under Pininfarina, it should have far fewer difficulties compared to other ambitious start-ups.

2016 Pininfarina H2 Speed High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Pininfarina H2 Speed High Resolution Exterior
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It’s hard to tell how dedicated Mahindra is to the idea at this point, especially since Mahindra’s chairman doesn’t seem to be fully committed. “We’re exploring right now the potential of building an electric supercar, which will be branded Pininfarina,” were his words to Market Watch. That doesn’t sound like someone who’s all-in on the project.

2016 Pininfarina H2 Speed High Resolution Exterior
- image 667915
It’s hard to tell how dedicated Mahindra is to the idea at this point, especially since Mahindra's chairman doesn’t seem to be fully committed.

That said, I think Mahindra is playing it smart by not being overly confident about the prospect of a Mahindra electric supercar. Money aside, overconfidence is also one of the biggest factors why automotive startups fall flat on their faces. They promise the world but end up delivering nothing more than empty hopes and aspirations. Mahindra appears to be taking a more measured approach towards its plans. If it does decide to build, then great; if it doesn’t, then okay.

I would like to see it happen at some point, even if it doesn’t come in the guise of an electric supercar. I just want a Pininfarina-branded car to debut. And if Mahindra really wants to capitalize on that $28.1-million investment, there’s no better way than to give the Italian design house a platform to bring their creations to life.

Pininfarina H2 Speed Concept

2016 Pininfarina H2 Speed High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Pininfarina H2 Speed Concept here.

Source: Market Watch

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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