Electric sports car could be on cards, following Mahindra's purchase of Pininfarina last year; acquisition also helping Formula E team

Pininfarina is set to produce an electric sports car, following its acquisition by Indian technology and automotive giant Mahindra late last year.

The design house showed a hydrogen sports car concept, the H2 Speed, at this year’s Geneva show, but Mahindra’s involvement in Formula E means an electric sports car is a natural next step, combining the technology already present in its race cars alongside Pininfarina’s famed design.

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Talking about the importance of Pininfarina, Mahindra automotive boss Pravin Shah said: “Design plays a critical part in designing vehicles in such a way that they are robust yet pollute the least while giving you the thrill that people want in vehicles.”

He acknowledged that similarities between racing and sports cars meant the acquisition of Pininfarina would “surely help us in the space of Formula E”.

Shah said adding the “world-renowned” design house to Mahindra’s portfolio, alongside its existing Tech Mahindra information technology arm, meant the company would be able to differentiate itself within the automotive industry.

By working with Pininfarina, the hope is to produce “a unique business proposition in the area of automobiles, in the area of racing, in the area of changing design perceptions”, while also taking environmental concerns into consideration.

Chairman Anand Mahindra said his group was one of Pininfarina’s biggest clients before the buyout and would continue to be. He described design as “critical to the industry” and added that he hoped having Pininfarina on board would create better design across the brand.

Mahindra said the firm would show its ability to offer a variety of powertrains, describing it as “very agnostic”, and sited the H2 Speed concept as an example of its wide-ranging approach.

“Pininfarina is an iconic brand,” he said. “Mahindra already does critical design and engineering work for manufacturers. We want to provide an ‘art to part’ service, and we can give car makers Pininfarina design as a starting point. It’s a disruptive proposition.”

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