Pininfarina’s answer to the Ferrari Purosangue

Pininfarina, once Ferrari’s preferred coachbuilder, is now busy establishing itself as a standalone automaker. It put its best foot forward by unveiling the radical Battista hypercar that promises to be one of the fastest four-wheeled things on the planet and now it’s doubling it down by announcing a whole range of models, the first of which will be an SUV. Fear not, however, as the Pura Vision isn’t your average sporty SUV as Pininfarina aims to deliver supercar-level performance under a skin that both resembles a four-door GT and the existing Battista. It sounds like a match made in heaven.

Coming with an outlandishly appointed cabin and a class-bending profile, the Pininfarina Pura Vision could seriously reduce the market share of Lamborghini’s Urus and Ferrari’s upcoming Purosangue. While we’re yet to feast our eyes with the pre-production prototype showcased to prospective customers during a series of VIP events held by Pininfarina in August during the Monterey Car Week, those that have are talking about a sleek and not overly complicated design so typical of Pininfarina, one that’ll only be matched by its impressive performance. At this stage of the game, the Pura Vision might become Pininfarina’s most important product so they have to get it right.

Exterior

  • A low, coupe-esque SUV
  • Same design philosophy as Battista
  • Blend between an SUV and a shooting brake
  • GT-like long hood
  • Lunging nose
  • Narrow headlights
  • Glass greenhouse gives the impression of limitless headroom
  • Hunching rear wheel arches, wider than a 911 Turbo’s
  • Caved-in rear center panel with thin taillights
  • Suicide doors not for production
  • 24-inch alloys optional
  • Lower than Lamborghini’s Urus
2019 Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept
- image 857024

Turn the clock back 50 years and Pininfarina was the purveyor of some of the finest bodies in the entire automotive industry, complementing some of the finest engines ever made. Nowadays, Pininfarina is still making drop-dead gorgeous bodies but, underneath, there’s no engine. There are motors, instead. Pininfarina’s rebirth as an EV manufacturer will probably earn itself a place in the history books but this largely depends on the success of two products: its flagship hypercar, the Battista, and the model we’re talking about here - its first SUV, the Pura (we guess ’Pura Vision’ is the name of the concept).

In a world where consumers continue to chug on crossovers and SUVs, it was only a matter of time until Pininfarina jumped on the wagon and created its own interpretation of an SUV. And we don’t mean that last bit lightly.

The Pura is, according to those that have seen the scale model of the prototype, something else in terms of design.

It’s almost two inches lower than a Lamborghini Urus and a massive six inches below the Bentayga’s height.

2019 Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept
- image 857022

Bentley’s very own ’super-SUV’ is relevant in this comparison because Pininfarina used it as one of its benchmarks while developing the Pura. Chief Design Officer Luca Borgogno told Auto Express that he looked at the Bentayga as the epitome of luxury and the Lamborghini Urus as the prime example of how a really fast SUV should feel like. "We tested the sportiest of SUVs [the Lamborghini Urus] and the most beautiful shooting brake [Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo]," he told the British outlet, "But we thought; why don’t we put those things together, so it’s not a shooting brake or an SUV?"

What we’ll get, then, is another hybrid, a model that doesn’t truly identify with either the sedan breed or the crossover/SUV breed. Remember when Ferrari announced the Purosangue while stressing the fact that we shouldn’t call it a SUV? Pininfarina doesn’t go as far as implying the Pura is something it’s really not, but it does come forth with its own definition.

Instead of SUV, Pininfarina will call it the S-LUV.

No, it’s not some abbreviation for ’Love of Sport’ although, given its (supposedly) 1,000 horsepower output, the Pura is genuinely in love with sportiness. What ’S-LUV’ stands for is ’Sustainable Luxury Utility Vehicle’. Will Pininfarina’s next models to be underpinned by the same platform as the Pura also be ’S-Something’? Only time will tell.

2019 Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept
- image 857021

We’ll have to wait, as well, until we actually get to see the car. Pininfarina did announce it and we have even heard about some potential output and performance figures but, up until now, we’re yet to get our hands on any images - not even a render! But, luckily, a few people have seen a scaled-down version of the Pura and they seemed impressed with the way it looks. Not that they could ever be frowning in the photographs shared by Pininfarina shot during its private VIP events in Monterey, California, but still.

What's certain is that the Pura follows Pininfarina's 'Design Above All Else’ ethos when it comes to penning a car.

"Every Italian recipe has super-simple ingredients and design is the same," Borgogno confessed to Auto Express. "We have clarity, where one line can define the design, we use sculpture for sexiness and we have a family feeling where our cars are perceived as relatives of the overall design approach, there are no lines that are not needed – everything is designed to be sexy," he added.

2019 Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept
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Sure, we’ve all been there before. The story about a ’sexy’ high-riding car has been told and re-told countless times before and, each time we hear again, it becomes staler. Having said that, if anyone can put together a sexy SUV, it’s Pininfarina. Lamborghini had a fair crack at it with the Urus but its inherently pointy and over-complicated design makes it look like something out of Battlestar Galactica and we reckon space ships are cool any day of the week. Cool, but not sexy. Simple lines are sexy - you don’t see a million edges, creases, and cuts on Sophia Lauren in her prime, do you? Pininfarina says it will deliver that simplicity and we’re waiting for it but not holding our breaths.

Borgogno suggested the Pura's front end will borrow some cues from the Battista although the nose will be deeper in the way it protrudes forward.

The headlights placed towards the outer edges of the fascia will be narrow, probably sitting above a gaping mouth.

The car’s windshield will blend with the glassed roof, the whole canopy being held in place by an intricate aluminum structure with its main beam visible as it extends across the roof from the upper tip of where a normal windshield would end all the way to the rear hatch that features a roof spoiler. That spoiler actually sits quite low to the ground as the coupe/shooting brake silhouette of the Pura sees the roofline plunge downwards at the rear giving the SUV a distinctive GT identity.

2019 Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept
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From the side, the rather narrow side windows work to underline how much the doors and rear quarter panel cave in, to the extent that the car sports a coke bottle silhouette when viewed from above. The effect is further enhanced by the bulging flares, especially those in the back that are reportedly wider than the flares of a Porsche 911 Turbo which is not surprising given the fact that the Pura can be optioned with enormous 24-inch rims. The rocker panels will be darker in color than the rest of the body and they’ll be made from carbon fiber that can be exposed or not, according to the owner’s wishes.

In the back, the rear window, which is seemingly ’broken’ in two by the roof spoiler, ends rather high up, with the rear hatch protruding further than the line of the bumper before going back inwards with an acute angle. We can guess the back end of the Pura is, then, rather pointy, taking a page from Lamborghini’s book on automotive design. But the lights will be dissimilar to what the Urus features. Slim, wide LED lights will complete the rear fascia.

The description above is not entirely accurate, as you may expect, but it paints a pretty clear picture of how the Pura will look and a rather accurate one as Pininfarina CEO Michael Perschke told CarBuzz that the scale model shows "80-85% of what the final car will look like".

Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept exterior dimensions
Length 196.8 inches
Width 74 inches
Height 62.51 inches

Interior

  • Carbon fiber or wood trim
  • Wide digital instrument cluster
  • Main infotainment lower on the center console
  • Individual seats dropped for production
  • Dubbed as an ’S-LUV’, Sustainable Luxury Utility Vehicle
2019 Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept
- image 875202

With no pictures on hand, it’s hard to tell what the interior of the Pura will look like.

You should expect it to feel roomy due to the endless windscreen that is, basically, one piece with the glassed roof and goes all the way back to the rear spoiler.

The dash will be pretty simplistic in appearance with clean shapes and probably very little to no knobs, at least not on the dash or the top part of the center console. There could be some knobs, like those controlling the traction and driving modes, lower, towards the seats.

The digital gauge cluster sitting atop the dash will be quite long, extending over to the passenger’s half of the dash and will offer a variety of information with its screen customizable in terms of what it displays. On the center console, you’ll find the main infotainment screen, large and tilted at an angle to be visible despite its placement lower on the console. We don’t know just how big this screen will be but it surely won’t be Tesla big although everyone industry seems to be dying to have almost comically large screens in the cabin.

2019 Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept
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The prototype comes with four individual bucket seats with carbon fiber seatbacks, but the production version will feature a 2+1 bench seat in the back.

The carbon finish will be retained although customers can also go for a wood-trimmed cabin to complement the posh upholstery. "we wanted to put really rich materials inside the car and around 90% of what you touch is advanced wood, although it could be carbon fiber, too," Borgogno underlined. "Our car will be both sporty and elegant at the same time," the Italian added, suggesting this blend of styles will extend to the cabin.

2019 Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept
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No word’s been spoken on the sort of gadgetry possessed by the Pura but you shouldn’t be surprised if it packs every traction/stability/ride control system known to man and something on top of that. Driving modes for different terrains/weather situations will also be available as well as a variety of electronic safety features - a norm not only when it comes to luxury automobiles nowadays.

Drivetrain and Performance

  • Three electric motors
  • One front motor, two rear
  • AWD
  • Dynamic air suspension
  • New platform co-developed with Bosch and Benteler
  • Same platform for future models
  • A 120-kWh battery
  • Range: 310-340 miles
  • Combined output of about 1,000 horsepower
  • 0-60 mph in under three seconds
The 1,900 HP 2020 Pininfarina Battista Can Touch 62 MPH in Less Than Two Seconds!
- image 827502
The Battista was such a missile because its platform was of Rimac origin, but the Pura will be its own thing through and through.

Power will come from a new electric drivetrain developed by Pininfarina in conjunction with Bosch and Benteler. Despite having a different partner, Pininfarina assures us the Pura will still be a top performer.

A combined output from the three electric motors (two in the rear and one in the front) close to 1,000 horsepower is to be expected.

Despite the fact that we don’t know how much the thing will weigh, sources suggest a sub-three-seconds 0-60 mph time is realistic at this time. Top speed is unknown but it should be at least 150 mph.

The Battista and the Pura will, seemingly, share the 120 kWh battery.

As a result, the SUV should go as much as 340 miles on a charge (Tesla’s Model X comes with an EPA-rated range between 250 and 325 miles).

For the record, Lamborghini’s Urus sends to the wheels an impressive 650 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 627 pound-feet of torque at 2,250 rpm from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. The Urus completes the sprint from naught to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds, so 0-60 mph is done in little three seconds so, on paper, slower than the Pura. However, the new ’Rambo Lambo’ will surely surpass Pininfarina’s first SUV when it comes to top speed as the Urus tops out at 190 mph - faster even than the Bentayga in its meanest version. The Lamborghini tips the scales at 4,850 pounds, 500 pounds lighter than the Bentley Bentayga. Expect the Pininfarina to be closer in weight to the latter.

With so much power on tap, we assume Pininfarina will go to great lengths to make sure the Pura will also handle better than most SUVs (maybe the RS Q8, currently the fastest SUV around the ’Ring will be used as a benchmark for road holding). Oh, and it’ll be built in an all-new factory that will eventually be able to produce up to 20,000 vehicles per year. An RHD version is part of the plan, unlike the LHD-only Battista.

Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept specifications
Drivetrain Three electric motors
Horspower 1,000 HP
0 to 60 mph <3 seconds
Top Speed 150 mph
Battery 120 kWh
Range 310-342 miles

Final Thoughts

2019 Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept
- image 857024

We see now that Indian juggernaut Mahindra didn’t pour all that money ($168 million just to acquire the company) into Pininfarina so it can make an outrageous hypercar.

It's now clear Pininfarina's on the road to becoming a volume manufacturer of luxurious EVs.

It could even end up being a future Tesla competitor coming from Italy and surely boasting with better fit and finish and similar performance (the Model X Performance needs just 2.7 seconds to go from a standstill to 60 mph). But the Pininfarina will be more expensive at about $200,000. Yes, 10 times cheaper than the exclusive Battista but also a whopping $95,000 more than the Tesla Model X Performance with a 305-mile range and built-in Ludicrous Mode and autopilot hardware.

If Pininfarina delivers the perfect recipe, however, nobody will bemoan the lack of the autopilot because it’ll be an SUV we’ll queue up to drive ourselves... that is, after we end up drooling at its exterior. Again, if Pininfarina gets it right. if not, it may be a while (potentially even a long one) until the new factory runs at full capacity despite the fact that Pininfarina prepares three new models including a smaller SUV.

"Think Range Rover Sport to the Range Rover," is how an insider quoted by Auto Express described this baby SUV and, after that, a GT is in the pipeline with mock-ups having already been completed according to Pininfarina’s CEO. We’re crossing our fingers for this one!

  • Leave it
    • Won’t be here until a least 2022
    • No rear-hinged doors
    • Expensive when compared to Tesla’s Model X that may be quicker
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read More
About the author

Beautiful ‘PURA Vision’ design model unveiled in private at House of Automobili Pininfarina by Automobili Pininfarina during Monterey Car Week
PURA Vision is created to inspire prospective clients and showcase Automobili Pininfarina’s unique design philosophy ahead of a public world debut in 2020
Management team presented enhanced Battista design model in North America for first time and revealed expected EV range of Battista has increased from 450kms to 500 kms following aerodynamics testing in Italy
Reservations of Battista in North America doubled following presentations in a private residence near Pebble Beach and at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering
New images and film available here
(Monterey, 21 August 2019): Flanked by classic Pininfarina-designed cars owned by a number of the USA’s leading car collectors and inspired by Pininfarina’s purity of design and engineering elegance, Automobili Pininfarina presented the Battista hypercar and the company’s future vision for luxury electric cars during Monterey Car Week.

Michael Perschke, CEO, hosted a series of VIP events at the House of Automobili Pininfarina presenting the Battista – with its enhanced front design – and his strategy for the brand moving forwards. Design Director Luca Borgogno treated guests by revealing the PURA Vision design model and giving an inspirational view of the aesthetics of a future pure-electric Luxury Utility Vehicle from the Italian marque.

Speaking to clients, journalists, specialist retail partners and owners of Pininfarina-designed sports and luxury cars, Luca Borgogno was clear that 89 years of Pininfarina designs and creation of some of the world’s most beautiful cars will inspire everything Automobili Pininfarina offers to clients in future.

Luca Borgogno said: “It was a dream to present the latest version of Battista and the PURA Vision design model here in Pebble Beach. Battista is the hypercar that proves it is possible to design a beautiful high performance EV and it has won the hearts of our clients in North America.”

“PURA Vision blends design themes which Battista Pininfarina himself made famous in creating some of the most revered and beautiful sports cars in history. Yet it is absolutely an insight into our future; a luxury vehicle like no other and once again designed to deliver thrilling EV performance.”

Michael Perschke said: “Visitors to Monterey Car Week know and love Pininfarina-designed cars and we love to present them with something special during this fantastic series of events. We arrived with an impressive number of reservations for Battista already secured by clients in North America, and that number has nearly doubled in just a few days here.”

“We are building our brand and developing an exciting future product portfolio. We are committed to delivering purity, beauty and rarity in Battista and in a future range of pure-electric Italian luxury cars.”

Inaugural ‘Legends Drive’ a success in Monterey

The Battista hypercar joined a parade of iconic Italian sports cars in a display of automotive beauty unique even to the rarefied atmosphere of Monterey Car Week. Designed and to be hand-built at Pininfarina’s headquarters in Cambiano, Italy, the Battista took its place amongst past classics from the famous carrozzeria during a four hour drive from Pebble Beach.

Displaying a newly enhanced front end for the first time in North America, recently sculpted following wind tunnel testing and final design refinements, the Battista represented Automobili Pininfarina’s exciting future, while cars including led by an incredible Lancia Rally 037 reminded the audience of what Pininfarina SpA has established since 1930: a reputation for designing many of the world’s most desirable and beautiful cars.

Automobili Pininfarina is celebrating a successful summer of car show appearances and concours events. The pure-electric Battista hypercar debuted in the UK at the 77th Goodwood Members’ Meeting, took in its ‘home’ auto show in Turin, before wowing audiences in and around Monterey.

The Automobili Pininfarina team now returns to Italy to continue testing and development of the 1,900hp Battista under the management of Development Driver Nick Heidfeld and Sportscars Director, Rene Wollmann. Meanwhile the Battista show cars head to the UK for the Salon Privé event and to Hong Kong to begin the launch programme for the Asia-Pacific region.

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