The Automobili Pininfarina Battista electric hypercar is currently undergoing final development testing before customer deliveries start later this year – and Autocar has had an early first taste of the 1900bhp machine.
The on-paper performance figures of the four-wheel-drive two-seater are incredible. Along with that prodigious power output, the electric motors produce 1696lb ft and the car weighs under 2200kg.
It promises 0-62mph in less than 2.0sec, 0-124mph in under 6.0sec, 0-186mph in less than 12.0sec and a top speed of “around 350kph” (217mph).
To understand how those figures translate to a real car, we were invited to ride alongside former Formula 1 racer and Pininfarina test driver Nick Heidfeld at the Nardò Technical Centre in Italy.
From the passenger seat, it is clear the £1.7 million Battista is a hypercar like few others. The only comparable car is the Rimac C_Two, on which it is based. The Rimac is built in Croatia, however, while Automobili Pininfarina’s production base is in Turin.
Exiting Nardò’s pits, the lack of aural drama is notable. While that’s standard for an EV, it’s especially odd in such a visually extroverted car. But once up to speed, the high-pitched whistle of the four electric motors under load does supply some sort of aural attraction. Automobili Pininfarina is working on a sound generator to give the car a more compelling soundtrack.
Obviously, we can’t get an intimate understanding of what the Battista feels like to drive from the passenger seat, but there’s enough here to suggest it will serve as a true pioneer for electric hypercars.
The four electric motors each power an individual wheel. The plan is to provide advanced torque vectoring on each axle, although the prototype we’re in does not yet have this function. Even so, the drive out of corners is extraordinary.
The delivery of power is instant when Heidfeld plants his right foot. Unlike with many electric cars conceived for a high top speed, Automobili Pininfarina has forgone a two-speed gearbox for a single-speed unit in the interests of smoothness. “We’re able to do this because the electric motors rev to around 17,000rpm,” said Heidfeld. Steering wheel paddles offer two levels of regeneration.