New Pininfarina car brand to launch electric hypercar in 2020

It’ll be based on underpinnings co-developed by Croatian electric supercar maker Rimac and will use Formula E tech

Automobili Pininfarina has confirmed that it will launch an all-electric hypercar in 2020 with racing technology taken from parent company Mahindra’s Formula E programme.

The newly launched car brand, which is built from the base of renowned Italian design house Pininfarina and will be lead by former Audi India boss Michael Perschke, will launch the car as a halo product and will be its first of several all-electric models.

Mahindra group chairman Anand Mahindra said that Automobili Pininfarina’s hypercar will draw “upon the pedigree and design vocabulary of the Pininfarina aesthetic heritage” to “develop a rare collector’s item that only a handful of connoisseurs will ever own”.

He said that it will “be an innovative and pioneering product powered by high technology”. He said it will combine “power, beauty and high-end EV technology”.

Although no further details for the hypercar are provided, an Autocar scoop last month revealed that it will use modular underpinnings co-developed by Croatian electric supercar maker Rimac and the Mahindra Racing Formula E team. Autocar understands it will have an output to rival the 1479bhp offered by the Bugatti Chiron.

Rimac’s recently revealed C_Two produces 1887bhp from four electric motors, illustrating the level of performance potential for the top Pininfarina.

Referred to as Project Montana prior to today’s announcement, Pininfarina Automobili will follow its top model, which is codenamed PF-Zero (and could take influence from the H2 Speed, pictured below), with three SUVs, all set to arrive within five years. 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. All will use their own version of the same modular underpinnings.

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.

A source said that the Pininfarina car brand will be given an initial investment of $100 million (about £71.6m) from Indian parent company Mahindra to fund the creation of its model range.

Automobili Pininfarina’s CEO, Michael Perschke, brings with him over 25 years of industry experience. He is joined at the helm of the company by Per Svantesson, who is the chief operating officer and has worked at Volvo.

“Establishing Automobili Pininfarina as a leading sustainable luxury brand is our strategic vision and will be a dream come true,” said Perschke. “It will combine 88 years of iconic design heritage with leading edge electric vehicle competence of the Mahindra Group and Mahindra Formula E racing. It’s a powerful combination.”

Mahindra intends to invest a total of about £358m into Pininfarina Automobili over five years. Development of the hypercar will begin this year for its 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’s new car brand comes after chairman Paolo Pininfarina said at the recent 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 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.”

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