Its spec sheet reads like an unbeatable Top Trumps card. With just under 1,900bhp, 2,300Nm of torque and taking less than two seconds from zero to 62mph, the Battista has the sort of numbers which would normally only be seen on vehicles with wings and air force markings. This is the latest entry into the electric hypercar segment, following recently revealed rivals from Lotus and Rimac Nevera.
In theory, the Battista's insane performance figures are comparatively easy to produce in an electric car. Tesla has already announced more than 1,000bhp for the 2022 updated Model S, and even electric family SUVs from brands like Volvo produce more power than the supercars from a decade ago.
But the art is to make this performance controllable and to get it cleanly on the road. And this is perhaps the most remarkable achievement of the Battista. Switch from 'Calma' to 'Furioso' on the driving mode rotary knob, and the full force of the four motors' 2,300Nm of torque catapults the car towards the horizon. Without any traditional sound (strangely there is artificial engine noise, though), the explosive power of the electric motors hits you and makes the world blur into streaks. Your ribs almost collapse, your mouth opens to a silent scream and your head slams painfully against the headrest. If a Bugatti Chiron or McLaren Speedtail (both traditional petrol-powered hypercars) are like rockets, the Battista is like Luke Skywalker’s Starfighter.
Pininfarina claims less than two seconds to get from zero to 62mph – and that sort of acceleration verges on being violent. The car doesn't stop there, though, as after six seconds 125mph flashes across the display screen; another six seconds and then you're reaching 186mph. Flat out, the Battista nudges 217mph.
In addition to the sheer thrust, the way the Battista drives is hugely impressive. Power is sent to the four individual motors with such precision that there is no delay or loss of traction when you press the throttle. The power delivery is also smooth – a tricky thing to achieve with over 1,200bhp to play with. On the track, the Battista will outhandle any petrol-powered road car. Yet it will also happily sit in city traffic all day in complete comfort.
Pininfarina, a company that has always been known as designing cars for other carmakers, has struck out on its own with Battista and styled a car under its own name for the very first time. With such a reputation and back catalogue of beautiful designs to call upon, the Battista is strangely undramatic to look at. There are no fancy wings or big spoilers and its looks, dare we say it, are a little normal compared to a conventional supercar, or even the Battista's big rival, the Lotus Evija.
The Battista isn’t a complete Pininfarina project, though. Peel away the body and the underpinnings and the four electric motors are shared with the Rimac Nevera – but it hardly matters.
The unfussy exterior design is carried over to the interior, too. Yes, there's leather, carbon-fibre and bare metal, but if it weren't for the triple screens there's nothing special to mention. It is a spacious place inside, though, and comfortable. Switch to ‘Calma’ mode and it’s a car you’d never want to get out of – until you have to charge it up of course.
However, that’s something you won’t be doing very often. It has the largest battery installed to an electric car to date, with 120kWh at its disposal. Pininfarina's engineers promise that the battery should last for at least an hour under tough conditions on a circuit, and on the road for over 310 miles. The near-7,000 lithium-ion cell pack is arranged in a T-shape in the chassis, adding an additional 650kg to the car’s total mass.
If you’re lucky enough to find a super-rapid charger (250kW for example), a zero-to-80% charge will take less than 25 minutes – that’s very impressive for a car with such a large battery. With a simple design, outrageous performance, impressive battery hardware and it having a very cool badge on the nose, it’s hardly surprising nearly all 150 Battistas are already spoken for.
So what's the point? Pininfarina plans to launch more supercars in the coming years, and the Battista is a pretty spectacular way of launching the brand. They're not likely to be as crazy as the Battista, but will surely help convince the most hardened petrol heads that electric cars can be truly exciting.