Pininfarina Is Interested in Speed and Comfort, Not Beating Bugatti’s Lap Times
The Pininfarina Battista will be incredibly fast, but also as comfortable as a grand tourerby Ciprian Florea, on
Electric cars are no longer just about commuting without burning oil and emitting CO2. Technology has advanced so much in recent years that electric cars can now be as quick or even quicker that gasoline-powered supercars. We already have the Lotus Evija and NIO EP9 to look at for proper examples, but more high-tech and high-powered EVs are in the making.
One of them comes from Pininfarina. It’s called the Battista, we’ve seen it in prototype form in 2019, and the Italian firm is currently testing it at the Nardo track. The loop is mostly famous for top speed testing, particularly by Bugatti, but Pininfarina says they’re not looking to set new records.
The Pininfarina Battista will be very fast, but it won’t be a track toy
Nearly every vehicle, be it a hybrid or an SUV, is being tested on the Nurburgring these days, so it’s far from unusual to see Pininfarina test the Battista on the Nardo track. But although this test might suggest that Pininfarina is looking to set some kind of record, the Italian firm is pursuing a different goal. According to Rene Wollmann, the man in charge with development of the Battista (and a former AMG engineer), Pininfarina wants the EV to be fast, but also to handle and ride like a GT.
When asked by Top Gear if Pininfarina is chasing the lap time set by Bugatti with the Chiron Pur Sport, Wollmann answered that "this is not what the car is for. This is more of a hyper-GT, good behavior on curved roads."
"If you tune a car for sport not comfort, like some of the ‘track tools’ out there, then they can get quite bumpy. If you think about a very nice curvy road in the south of Italy, these roads are quite bumpy sometimes. To be really fast and fun in those kind of conditions, we cannot bring the hardest set-up," he added.
Wollmann admits that the Battista will be fast — it has to be given the massive power output of 1,900 horsepower — but the goal is not to set lap records. "For sure, speed is what we build it for. But not for the final track record around Nardo," the said, adding Pininfarina doesn’t have any plans to test the EV at the Nurburgring yet. "The first [objective] is to put a car on the ground that you can appreciate in every environment, that’s road legal. Then if we find time," he concluded.
The Pininfarina Battista is not yet ready to go into production
The Battista was originally scheduled to go into production in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic slowed things down and the EV is now on track for 2021. Wollmann says Pininfarina is doing "final design validation and calibration of the system" as well as fine-tuning all setups in the wind tunnel and simulator. This probably means that the Battista is still some months away from being ready to go on the assembly line.
How many prototypes has Pininfarina completed so far? Well, they have nine chassis, but not all of them can be described as fully functional cars.
"Overall we have nine ‘objects’, but some of them you wouldn’t call a ‘car’. We have the body-in-white sample, some have wheels and some don’t, some cars go directly from being built into crash testing. We [are selling] in Europe and the US so we have a lot of crash testing to do. But overall we have nine chassis VIN, but it doesn’t mean you will see nine cars testing," Wollmann said.
Which electric supercars is Pininfarina aiming the Battista at?
As of late 2020, at least three carmakers are working on all-electric supercars that promise groundbreaking performance. One of them is the Lotus Evija. The company’s first all-electric car, the Evija is powered by four electric motors that deliver a combined 1,970 horsepower and 1,254 pound-feet of torque. It’s supposed to hit 62 mph in less than three seconds and reach a top speed of 200 mph. Just like the Battista, the Evija was unveiled in 2019, but it won’t go in production until 2021. Lotus plans to produce only 130 units.
NIO was among the first to introduce a high-power EV. Developed in cooperation with its Formula E racing division, the EP9 also features four electric motors, but total output is lower at 1,341 horsepower. The EP9 set lap records for EVs at Circuit Paul Ricard and Shanghai Circuit. The supercar is already in production, but little is known about NIO’s output. Word has it six EP9s have been sold to company investors, with an additional 10 to be build for the general public.
Rimac is also working on a four-motor supercar. It’s called C_Two and it has been paraded longer than the Evija, but production has been delayed until 2021. Rated at 1,888 horsepower, Rimac claims it will reach 62 mph in only 1.85 seconds, toward a top speed of 258 mph. I left the C_Two last on this list because the Battista is actually built on the same platform.
Pininfarina claims the Battista will hit the road with around 1,900 horsepower, which means it will have what it takes to compete. It’s also estimated to charge from 0 to 62 mph in less than two seconds, on its way to a top speed of 217 mph.
Source: Top Gear