Automobili Pininfarina Battista takes to the race track

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Automobili Pininfarina’s Battista pure-electric hyper GT is nearing the final phase of development, ready for delivery to customers in 2022. Test and development driver Nick Heidfeld recently drove the machine on road and on track near the OEM’s engineering and operations center in northern Italy.

“It has been a real privilege to play a part in developing Battista, which represents a significant evolution in the world of hyper and luxury cars,” he said. “From the first time I experienced Battista’s performance in 2019 in an advanced simulator, to today on road and track, I believe the Automobili Pininfarina team has successfully developed a unique hyper GT that is enormous fun, as well as incredibly fast.”

The vehicle is said to be an engineering showcase, featuring world-class tech, as well as being one of the most powerful cars ever produced in Italy. Its advanced e-powertrain offers impressive performance. The full 1,900hp can be experienced in Furiosa mode, which also utilizes the full torque available from the four independent electric motors, combining to deliver a 0-100km/h time of less than two seconds and a top speed of 350km/h. Originally projected to produce 2,300Nm of torque, Battista is now developing 2,360Nm of torque. This comes from two 250kW motors at the front, and two 450kW motors at the rear, with 280Nm of torque for each front motor and 900Nm at each rear motor.

“In this test I was able to drive Battista with the full power available. The effect under acceleration is completely mindbending – drivers will never bore of the experience, no matter how many times they feel it,” Heidfeld continued. “This road car sprints faster than a Formula 1 car, and in Furiosa mode, I was left with a huge grin on my face every time. Every client that experienced Battista with me was positively overwhelmed by the experience – there is simply nothing like it.”

“This test confirmed that the team has achieved its target of creating a new type of hyper GT which is rewarding on all surfaces. The ride quality and damping both feel excellent, and the steering feels natural and the perfect fit for what we want to achieve in Battista. I am very sensitive to steering feel as a racing driver, and the sweet spot here is for it to feel light yet connected, and direct yet smooth.”

Battista’s driving modes have been calibrated using thousands of miles of simulation before being tested and refined in the development cars. These enable the driver to fine-tune the driving experience and unlock both the full potential of the advanced torque vectoring system and honed characteristics of the Battista as a hyper GT.

Paolo Dellacha, Automobili Pininfarina chief product and engineering officer, remarked, “Our cooperation with Nick Heidfeld started in 2019, when he participated in the first physical ergonomic test of the Battista interior model; evaluating the driving position and the proposed HMI system. This was followed by him ‘virtually’ testing Battista in an advanced driving simulator where we started to tune the hyper GT’s bespoke chassis dynamics set-up.

“Nick has been a brilliant partner throughout the whole development program, not only for his driving skills and unique experience in both Formula 1 and Formula E, but also for his ability to evaluate and improve the program in its various stages of development by delivering the anticipated view of our customers.”

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Rachel's career in journalism has seen her write for various titles at UKi Media & Events within automotive, tire and marine. Currently editor of ATTI, her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of transportation.

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