The Pininfarina B95 is a stunning 1,874bhp electric Barchetta
Battista powertrain finds its way into a classic two-seat form for Automobili Pininfarina's latest
The ‘B’ stands for ‘Barchetta’. The 95 marks the 95th anniversary of Pininfarina, the fabled Italian design house. But the rest of it might conjure a volley of expletives, especially when you pause to consider what accelerating to 62mph in less than two seconds might feel like in a car with no roof. Oh, it also costs ‘from’ £3.75m, with only 10 slated for production.
The roofless hypercar is a curious niche: think Aston Martin V12 Speedster, Ferrari Monza SP1/SP2, McLaren Elva and the completely ridiculous but increasingly cool Mercedes McLaren SLR Stirling Moss. As exhilarating as they are to drive, it’s quickly apparent why windscreens are kinda useful. You need a crash helmet and the neck muscles of an F1 driver to get the best out of them. Now we can add a fully electric contender to the list, a car that makes that lot look positively slovenly.
But can it possibly be feasible? Look closely at the B95 and you’ll see a pair of aero screens which, says Automobili Pininfarina, ensures that fast-moving air is sent over and above the occupants. The screens are fully adjustable, made of polycarbonate, and rise into position on exposed aluminium supports. They take their visual inspiration both from the world of contemporary superbikes and vintage fighter planes. “The application of technology to create our adjustable aero screens is inspired by two-wheel motor racing – ensuring this is a pioneering road car,” says Andrea Crespi, Automobili Pininfarina’s Chief Technical Officer. “This patented new technology enables the thrill of open-top driving, yet in comfort even at the high speed that the B95 is capable of reaching.”
The new car comes hot on the heels of the Pura Vision design concept, an impressively outlandish quasi-SUV that sees this still young company push hard into the next phase of its evolution. Whether or not you think a hyper fast Barchetta is the automotive equivalent of a chocolate teapot, there’s no doubt the B95 is a seriously cool looking car. If the Battista on which it’s clearly based is a classically pretty rendering of supercar tropes, this one adds some welcome mayhem. Adds it by subtracting substantial parts of the body. There’s a fabulous all-new frontal treatment, with minimalist headlights, while losing the roof emphasises the sculptural aspects of the front and rear wings – fenders, if you insist – and body sides. As on the Pura Vision concept, the view from above is especially striking. With no glasshouse, the design team, led by the indefatigable Dave Amantea, has tied the cabin together into what it calls a ‘surrounding loop’, incorporating the seats, the aero screens, and the domes behind the seats.
Note that even at a thumping £3.75m, this is just the start. B95 owners will be invited to personalise their new electric Pininfarina hair-dryer, a process that could lead to some spectacular results. The car you see here, which makes its debut at Monterey car week, is finished in metallic Bronze Superga enlivened with gold flake, and there’s a yellow Arneis gloss section over the nose and on the driver’s side seatback dome. Exposed black carbon fibre adds a 3D effect, right around the body. The B95 also features a new matt black alloy wheel design, with centre lock rings in brushed aluminium and anodised in black. These are a relatively modest 20in upfront and 21in at the rear.
Inside, the carbon fibre dash is upholstered in a sustainable tan leather, contrasting with anodised black and carbon fibre elsewhere for a ‘floating wing’ effect. The headrests are finished in a Pied de Poule Houndstooth, and there are laser-engraved aluminium door plates. The message is, we can do whatever you want provided you have the necessary funds. Which of course you do, because you’ve probably just sold an app to Mark Zuckerberg for eleventy squillion dollars.
The B95 shares the Battista’s powertrain, and uses a 120kWh lithium ion battery to generate 1,874bhp. It’s liquid-cooled and sits in a T shape within a carbon fibre housing. Find a DC fast charger rated to 270kW and the B95 will go from 20 to 80 per cent charge in a claimed 25 minutes. Mind you, if you’ve blown almost £4m on one of these you’ve probably got a valet whose sole function is charging the car. Five driving modes are now available, in varying levels of ferocity: Calma, Pura, Energica, Furiosa, and Carattere.
The latter means ‘character’, something the Automobili Pininfarina B95 is not short of. In losing its roof, it has gained a whole lot more.
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