Pininfarina has already announced its ambitions to become a full-fledged automaker, beyond its one-offs and design collaborations, and we’ve just been given a preview of how that new chapter will begin. During the rousing festival of automotive grandeur that is the Monterey Car Week, Pininfarina invited us to glimpse its nearly 2,000 horsepower, 0-60 in sub-two-seconds, electric hypercar in the concept-flesh.
While we were asked not to take or share live images—you’ll have to wait until the next Geneva Motor Show for that — we did get up close and personal with the concept car, which Luca Borgogno, Automobili Pininfarina design director, tells us is 90 percent of the car we’ll see once it’s unveiled.
"We’re still making little tweaks, some changes to improve performance of course, and aerodynamics, but this is 90 percent of what you’ll see." The car, and future Pininfarina models take inspiration from the Cistalia.
Our first impression? Pure silken super sports car. It reminds us a little of what modern versions of the McLaren P1, and Ferrari 458 Italia would look like, which surely is a good start. But it’s also got an abundance of presence; It’s concept-low, wider than Nebraska, and longer than the Las Vegas Strip.
"This is my favorite part," Paolo Pininfarina, grandson of the founder, Battista "Pinin" Farina, says gesticulating from the roof down along the body just behind the door cutoff, a known high-pressure zone for any car with serious grunt, especially one that’s pushing nearly 500 ponies to each wheel. There’s a separation from the body that allows air to pass, a little reminiscent— but not nearly as extreme — as the Ford GT’s.
It’s widely believed that Pininfarina will design and develop a car based on a Rimac electric-chassis, but Borgogno says we’ll have to wait just a little longer for official partner agreement announcements.
The new design image you see (top of page) shows off the rear of the car, one that features a prominent gulf, flanked by two sections of a floating wing. The wings have flaps that function as an aerobrake, and we’re told there will be two or three fixed positions for the speed-scrubbers.
The front end has sharp LED lights, flanked by an air intake on the outside ends. A continuous light bar runs along the front of the bonnet, a graphic that indicates the future-leaning ambitions of this next-generation, Cambiani, Italy-built hypercar.
Head of Pininfarina, Michael Perschke, says the PF0 will be the first of many future cars to come, but that — beyond its ultra-limited production of just 150 cars, and $2 million (£1.55 million) price tag — extra exclusivity comes from the fact that at the moment, there are no other pure-electric hypercars, only hybrids. The pure BEV hyper is estimated to have a range of 310 miles when it launches late in 2020, and a top speed in excess of 250 mph. It’s also a chance to be a part of the 88-year-old brand’s first standalone hypercar.
The aggressive timeline is an ambitious one, though interested parties would be better off getting involved early on in the process. We predict the price will rise as Pininfarina gets closer to delivering its first order.