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Italian design major Automobili Pininfarina has announced partnership with electric supercar maker Rimac for battery and drivetrain hardware and software for its upcoming electric supercar, the PF0.
Set to make its full debut at the Geneva motor show in 2019, the carbonfibre supercar boasts power and torque figures of a whopping 1900bhp and an earth twisting 2300Nm! These make it good, in theory, for a 0-100kmph time of under 2 seconds and a 402kmph top speed. Rimac’s experience with its own electric hypercars should prove invaluable, as will its battery technology, which is promised to deliver a range of more than 480km.
Such a publicised tie-up is unusual for Rimac – the company is known to be working with several OEMs behind the scenes, alongside building its own hypercars – but the company’s expertise was clearly appealing to the Italian firm. Pininfarina CEO Michael Perschke describes the partnership as ‘the future of electric performance with the heritage of Pininfarina’s legendary automotive styling capabilities’, while Mate Rimac describes it as a ‘big milestone’.
However, it’s not the only news Pininfarina has announced this week, with the confirmation that former Formula 1, Le Mans and team Mahindra Racing’s Formula E driver Nick Heidfeld will be the development driver for the PF0. The company states that Heidfeld will be responsible for honing the vehicle dynamics programme from the beginning of 2019, with his considerable Formula E experience – 44 races in the series – making him ideal for developing a high-performance car with an electric powertrain.
Also joining the team is Christian Jung as chief technical officer and Peter Tutzer as senior technical advisor. Jung, previously of BMW, Porsche and most recently electric vehicle startup Faraday Future, will follow the PF0 through to production and be responsible for future Pininfarina vehicles. With experience at Porsche, Pagani, Bugatti and Lotus, Tutzer too is well-placed to lead the PF0 in the right direction.
‘We have developed a sophisticated brief to deliver a ground-breaking all-electric hyper GT car to clients from 2020,’ said Perschke, ‘and now we are curating the partners and suppliers to deliver this dream. The results will be electrifying for owners of Automobili Pininfarina cars in the future.’
With 1900bhp at its disposal the PF0 will become the most powerful Italian-built sports car in history – and will do it all with electric power. The PF0 is the first car from Munich-based Automobili Pininfarina, an offshoot of the famous Pininfarina SpA coachbuilder and styling house. With a goal to develop and produce fully electric ‘ultra-luxury’ cars, the PF0 uses a carbonfibre structure along with an electric motor for each wheel to deliver huge performance. No more than 150 PF0s will be made, with early buyers able to see the car at Monterey in August at the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach. It will make its full debut at the Geneva motor show in 2019.
The striking hypercar looks more like a Le Mans prototype than a road car, and in the electric arena will go head-to-head with partner Rimac’s Concept Two and the upcoming second-generation Tesla Roadster. Pininfarina’s offering could out-sprint them all if the sub-2-second 0-100kmph claim turns out to be correct – though both Tesla and Rimac’s cars will no doubt be right with it – but at this level in the market, it’s likely that PF0 customers will own one or two of the others as well. The initial images show a car with a dramatic profile and clean detailing, with wide bands of light across the front and rear and a teardrop effect to the roofline. Interior renders too show a cleanly styled cabin, with a driver-focused layout and screens to either side of the steering wheel.