We get behind the wheel of the 1397kW all-electric Pininfarina Battista hypercar ahead of its Australian arrival.
The future of the automotive industry is approaching silently. Electrification means no noise, but in the case of the new Pininfarina Battista, superb performance.
Put your foot flat to the floor in this all-electric hypercar and the blow hits your neck out of nowhere. No wonder, because the Battista is the most powerful and fastest car ever built in Italy – and in the home of Maserati, Lamborghini and above all, Ferrari, that’s saying something.
But it’s not just the 1.4 megawatts of power – or, in old currency, 1873bhp – that makes the difference. With a whopping 2300Nm of torque the Battista will sprint from 0-100km/h in 1.9 seconds, and in less than six seconds the digital dash behind the steering wheel will flicker past 200km/h; 0-300km/h takes just 12 seconds. But it’s the way the power is delivered that grabs you.
The Battista doesn’t use an anachronistic multi-cylinder engine, but evolves the myth of the hypercar into the age of electromobility, featuring two 250kW motors at the front, and two more at the rear, which each serve up 450kW.
But it’s quiet and refined too. You don’t need all that power all of the time, maximising the range on offer – which is more than 500km from its 120kWh battery, according to the brand.
Select the ‘Calma’ driving mode using a rotary dial and the Battista comes across as gentle and, as the name suggests, calming – but there’s an ever-present sense that huge reserves of performance await you if you flex your right ankle.
At the other end of the spectrum is the ‘Furiosa’ setting. It’s the sharpest of the five drive modes and it lives up to its name. Without any signalling by the explosive roar of a petrol engine, that cumulative 2300Nm hits like an invisible sledgehammer and forces the air from your lungs. The ferocity of the acceleration never gets old.
In addition to the sheer thrust, however, it is above all the almost clinical precision with which the Battista can be driven that inspires enthusiasm, because each motor is controlled individually and the power is distributed perfectly to all four wheels to help the car’s dynamics.
Even though the two-seater, at 2.2 tonnes, is anything but a lightweight model or even a track tool, this mass is kept in check with impressive ease. No lurching from the body or uncontrolled movements – you don’t need much more than your little finger to guide the Battista over even narrow mountain passes. And where otherwise you often have to wait an agonisingly long time for an opportunity to overtake, here all you need is a very, very short straight.
The Battista is not only more powerful than any classic super sports car and more precise, but developed as a GT, the Pininfarina is vastly superior to the conventional competition, even beyond the speed limits. You sit more comfortably and have more space. The ambience is not quite as playful as Bugatti’s, but no less luxurious. There’s plenty of tech, too; you’ll get used to the fact that you can even adjust the seats or mirrors via one of the two touchscreens, because the Battista wants to cement the dawn of the future in every detail.
As little muscle as it takes, you have to concentrate, so rolling back to Calma mode gives some welcome respite as the Battista becomes very gentle, loosening up wonderfully and rolling along so casually that its breadth of ability is superb.
Thanks to the 120kWh battery, the largest ever installed in a car, the Battista has genuinely usable range. The brand promises that the battery will last for at least an hour under tough conditions on a circuit, and with a usable range to match its positioning as a hyper GT, it can be used over longer distances. With 250kW DC rapid charging, an 80 per cent charge takes just 25 minutes.
Blazingly fast, incredibly powerful and as sharp and precise to drive, the Battista is an excellent example of the new breed of hypercar, taking tech from Croatian EV specialists Rimac Automobili and adding its own character.
The styling and interior are bespoke, and the customisation on offer is seemingly limitless. Most of the 150 examples Pininfarina will build in Cambiano near Turin have already been sold, and at 2.3 million euros (around AUD$3.6 million, although Lorbek Luxury Cars in Melbourne handles Australian clients) it’s not cheap, but then the exclusivity, craftsmanship and performance on offer mean it’s every bit the competitor to the likes of Bugatti.
With the Battista, Pininfarina is becoming a car brand in its own right, and it’s emerging with its shape of the future when it comes to a luxury performance GT. It is incredibly quick, handles and rides sweetly, offers genuinely usable range and serves up the kind of bespoke build service and craftsmanship you’d expect of a car at this price.
2022 Pininfarina Battista specifications
|Around $3.6 million
|Single-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
|250kW (0-80% in 25mins)