Pininfarina car brand to launch with electric Bugatti Chiron rival and three SUVs


H2 Speed shows Pininfarina’s hypercar vision

Based on underpinnings co-developed by Croatian electric supercar maker Rimac, the Italian firm aims to launch the electric hypercar car in 2020

Italian design house Pininfarina will launch an all-electric hypercar with the performance to rival the Bugatti Chiron. The new hypercar will be a halo model for an electric vehicle line-up that will make Pininfarina a manufacturer in its own right.

With an initial investment of $100 million (about £71.6m) from Indian parent company Mahindra, the yet-to-be announced Pininfarina car company is being headed by former Audi India boss Michael Perschke. The aim is to produce four cars over five years.

It’s referred to internally as Project Montana and likely to be called Pininfarina Automobili. Its top model, codenamed PF-Zero, will be joined by three SUVs. The biggest, codenamed PF-One, will be a high performance answer to the Lamborghini Urus. The other two will be rivals for the Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Macan.

The cars will use modular underpinnings co-developed by Croatian electric supercar maker Rimac and the Mahindra Racing Formula E team. Details for the hypercar are scarce but Autocar understands it will have an output to rival the 1479bhp offered by the Chiron.

Rimac’s recently revealed C_Two produces 1887bhp from four electric motors, illustrating the level of performance potential for the top Pininfarina. The fastest SUV will offer around 940bhp from a battery pack of about 140kWh, enabling a sub-3sec 0-62mph time. Its smaller SUV siblings are likely to use lower-output versions of the powertrain but their performance will still be at the sharp end of their segments.

Mahindra intends to invest a total of about £358m into Project Montana over five years. Development of the hypercar will begin this year for a planned launch in 2020. The new Pininfarina car-making firm will work independently of its parent’s EV division, Mahindra Electric, with operations based in Europe.

Pininfarina has hinted at its intentions to become a car maker in recent months. Chairman Paolo Pininfarina said at the Geneva motor show that he hoped the dream of his grandfather, company founder Battista Farina, to build cars would “come true in the not distant future”.

An inside source has since told Autocar: “Pininfarina has always made very special cars, but usually for other people. When we have sold cars ourselves, like the Pininfarina Sergio [of which six were built in 2015 and sold for a reputed $3m each], we have always done very well. It is not difficult to see what the next step should be. The cars will be exclusive and very beautiful.”

Pininfarina is expected to publicly announce its plans at Rome’s inaugural Formula E race on 14 April.

Hormazd Sorabjee  

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Source: Autocar Online

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