Gorgeous looks, simple to drive, violently fast
Hideously expensive, likely to make your passengers sick over the finely-crafted interior
What is it?
This is the future of really, really fast things. It’s the sister car to the Rimac Nevera, so based around the same powertrain technology, electrical architecture and carbon core – but is draped in a body and interior of Pininfarina’s design. Despite being Italy’s most famous design house and owner of a back catalogue that stretches back 91 years and includes slam dunks like the Ferrari F40 and Cisitalia 202, this is the first road car to ever wear the Pininfarina badge… and the most powerful Italian car ever made.
So it’s electric?
Sorry, yes, forgot to mention, this is an all-electric hypercar, sorry Hyper-GT. No queuing for £20 of fuel in this £2m slice of carbon and lithium, you simply top up via the optional (Pininfarina-designed and colour-coded to your car) Residenza wall box in your enormous glass-floored garage, and go about your day. Pininfarina claims a range of 310 miles (500km) on a charge – if you drive like a learner – courtesy of a 120kWh, T-shaped battery that sits down the spine of the car and wraps around behind the seats.
And when you’re not hypermiling?
It’s fast. Massively fast. Four motors, one for each wheel, enable full torque vectoring – that’s to say the power can be sent instantly to wherever it’s needed most – and combine to produce a headline figure of 1,874bhp and 1,696lb ft of torque. For reference that’s the twist of 2.4 LaFerraris. Zero to 60mph takes sub 2 seconds, 0-186mph takes less than 12 seconds, top speed is 217mph and if you can find a 180kw DC charger you can top up from 0-80 per cent in 40 minutes.
Arguably it’s that last number that’s most relevant in the real world, because the biggest headache of Battista ownership is going to be finding somewhere wide, long and private enough to unleash its full performance, even for a few seconds. Fortunately, we had a NASCAR oval and infield to ourselves… more on that in a bit.
So it’s Premier League quick, but lap times and quarter-mile sprints aren’t necessarily the Battista’s main concern. The car it shares its undercrackers with – the Rimac Nevera – is unashamedly the tech-geek’s wet dream, this is more about old school luxury and design. There’s an outrageous surplus of performance, sure, but it’s all wrapped in a classically beautiful carbon-fibre shell, uses the world’s finest materials and comes with endless customisation options that mean each of the 150-car run will be unique. Somebody in Pininfarina’s press department deployed The Maths and calculated that “the total number of possible individual designs stretched to 13.9 quintillion.” I have no idea how many that is because I ran out of fingers, but it sounds like A LOT.
What's the verdict?
Let’s put that £2m entry ticket to one side for a moment (and the fact that you’ll need your own private racetrack to properly uncork this thing on a regular basis) because the Pininfarina Battista is a triumph for what it set out to achieve. Firstly it’s beautiful, inside and out, our only complaint being that it might be too discreet for some. If that’s the case for you, Mr/Mrs billionaire, may we recommend side-stepping the naked carbon, it just looks dull from a distance, and going for something bold and bright. As per the brief it’s fast too, violently so. Mark my words, you will never get used to the Battista’s club-round-the-head performance, because the human body is simply not equipped to.
Clearly there are limitations to owning an electric hypercar over one with a screaming V12 – a lack of noise, limited range, not being able to flick up and down the gearbox to name but three, but at this stratospheric price and performance point it’s all about conjuring up an experience that lodges in your brain and gets the adrenaline flowing. And it is impossible to drive this car and not be mesmerised, to not be blown away by the way it warps forwards and handles its mass. Besides if you have one of these on order, you’ve probably also got your name down for an Aston Martin Valkyrie and a Gordon Murray T50 and a Koenigsegg Jesko... Perhaps a better question is: one of these, or the Rimac? Take your pick, follow your instincts, you can’t lose.