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First Drive: 2022 Pininfarina Battista. Image by Stan Papior.

First Drive: 2022 Pininfarina Battista
We try the Battista on UK roads to see whether the outrageous new hypercar can live up to its outrageously high price tag?

   



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2022 Pininfarina Battista

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Pininfarina made its name as a design house, penning automotive legends including the Alfa Romeo Spider and the Ferrari Daytona. But the Italian coachbuilder is also striking out on its own, promising to bring a full range of cars to market in the coming years. The first in line is this glorious-looking hypercar, which has been named Battista in honour of the company's founder. Just 150 will be made, with prices starting at £2 million plus tax, and we drove one on the roads of Surrey to find out whether it's worth the money.

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2022 Pininfarina Battista
Price: From £2m plus tax
Motor: four electric motors
Transmission: two one-speed automatic gearboxes, all-wheel drive
Battery: 120kWh lithium-ion
Power: 1,900hp
Torque: 2,300Nm
Emissions: 0g/km
Economy/Range: 310 miles
0-62mph: <2.0 seconds
Top speed: >217mph

Styling

If Pininfarina couldn't make its own cars look good, there would be something seriously wrong. Fortunately, the Battista is oh so right, with its narrow floating tail lights, aerodynamic silhouette and scissor doors. There's beauty and drama in equal measure, but none of the 150 examples will be exactly alike. Pininfarina's designers will work with all the company's clients to design the car, giving each one a bespoke paint job to match the customer's exacting specifications.

Interior

Sometimes small car companies really struggle to get interiors right, but the Battista's cabin is as much a work of art as the exterior. The materials are all glorious, from the quilted leather to the machined aluminium, and the build quality is as perfect as you expect from a car that essentially starts at around £2.4 million.

Even so, the use of technology is surprisingly masterful. The minimalist cockpit combines the thick steering wheel with three screens, including a small central speed display and two larger touchscreens. Volkswagen might not be able to build a proper touchscreen, but Pininfarina's systems are sharp, logically laid out and easy to understand. Responses are sharp, but then they need to be when the screens control almost everything, from the position of the mirrors to the fine-tuning of the driving modes.

Speaking of which, they're predominantly controlled by the small rotary switch by the driver's left knee, while the gears are selected using a similar switch on the right. But for us, the tech highlight is the digital rear-view mirror, which displays a fantastic real-time image of the road behind using a camera positioned on the bumper. No need to worry about the classic miniature rear window.

Practicality

Practicality clearly wasn't top of the priorities list for the Battista's designers. Interior storage space is tight, with just a few cubby holes (some of which are perfectly sized for an iPhone. Funny, that) and a pair of cupholders. And boot space is pretty pathetic, to be honest. Pininfarina hasn't shared a capacity with us, but it's tiny. You might get a box of wine in there, or maybe a small soft holdall, but this is not a car for family holidays.

That said, the cabin is relatively spacious, with plenty of adjustment in the seats and plenty of legroom for the passenger. Headroom is acceptable, too, and only the tallest occupants will have to watch their heads when they close those striking doors. It's even relatively easy to get in and out of.

Performance

It shouldn't surprise anyone to find out the Battista is biblically fast. The four electric motors come from Croatian company Rimac, and they combine to produce 1,900hp. Admittedly, the less sporty driving modes only give you access to a fraction of that, but even then the Battista is rapid. Go for Furiosa mode to free up the full 1,900hp and 2,300Nm of torque and the acceleration is mind-blowing. And quite uncomfortable. Put your foot down and you can feel your internal organs being pushed back in your rib cage.

But for all this performance, the Battista still has some eco credentials. Obviously, it doesn't emit any tailpipe emissions, but it doesn't guzzle too much electricity either. The 120kWh battery lives low in the floor, and it offers an official range of up to 310 miles on a single charge. Perhaps 250 miles is more realistic on the road, but even that isn't bad considering the outrageous power on tap.

Ride & Handling

If weíre honest, itís quite easy to make an electric hypercar fast Ė even one that weighs two-and-a-bit tonnes. Simply shove it full of electric motors and send it on its way. But the Battista is fast in corners, too. In fact, it handles more like a lightweight sports car than a big hypercar.

Thatís partly down to the carbon-fibre monocoque (again, Rimac has had a hand in the development), but thereís some old-fashioned engineering, too. The Battista has lively, light steering thatís incredibly quick, giving you lightning-fast responses when you turn the wheel even slightly. And because all the weight is low down in the car, it doesnít roll in corners. It also has torque vectoring that distributes the power according to the conditions, and some sticky Michelin tyres give it incredible levels of grip. Few customers will do this, but those that take it on a track will have an absolute ball.

Value

In the UK, the Battista costs about £2 million. And thatís before youíve paid tax. And itís before youíve personalised the car in any way. So far, the company reckons the most expensive order will cost its buyer around £3.5 million, so prospective buyers should probably budget for at least £3 million all in. There are dealers in the UK Ė you can find them in London (obviously) and the Midlands Ė and both will be very happy to separate you from your hard-earned cash.

But although the Battista is expensive, Pininfarina is at pains to point out that its sales approach is not pushy. With 150 cars to sell, the brand is hardly worried about over-supply and it insists the cars sell themselves. Those that do spend the money will be getting something very exclusive indeed.

Verdict

The Battista was built for the mega-rich to flaunt their wealth, but there's more to this car than just a pretty body, a high price tag and even higher performance figures. Quite aside from the exclusivity, the Battista offers customers incredible handling and surprising ease of use, plus a usable real-world range. For those who want to drive, there are cheaper ways to get your kicks, but the collectors who buy cars like this will be buying an awesome piece of kit.



James Fossdyke - 1 Jul 2022



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2022 Pininfarina Battista. Image by Stan Papior.2022 Pininfarina Battista. Image by Stan Papior.2022 Pininfarina Battista. Image by Stan Papior.2022 Pininfarina Battista. Image by Stan Papior.2022 Pininfarina Battista. Image by Stan Papior.

2022 Pininfarina Battista. Image by Stan Papior.2022 Pininfarina Battista. Image by Stan Papior.2022 Pininfarina Battista. Image by Stan Papior.2022 Pininfarina Battista. Image by Stan Papior.







 

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