Automobili Pininfarina today announced that it has partnered with Rimac to use the electric hypercar maker’s powertrain and battery tech in its upcoming PF0 hypercar. The announcement follows an earlier scoop by Autocar India, which revealed the PF0 would use modular underpinnings co-developed by the Croatian electric supercar maker and the Mahindra Racing Formula E team.
Those figures tally with Rimac’s recently revealed C_Two, which produces 1,915hp from four electric motors and can achieve 0-100kph in 1.85sec. The partnership will see Rimac provide its battery and drivetrain expertise through both hardware and software.
A maximum of 150 examples will be produced and sold globally after it launches in 2020.
“We are very excited about this challenge,” Rimac founder and CEO Mate Rimac said of the partnership. “This partnership is a big milestone for both companies and we are looking forward to bringing this incredible machine to life together.”
Speaking to Autocar, Pininfarina CEO Michael Penschke said “there are not too many in the industry who can do package solutions including high-performance battery packs and cooling, as well as EV motors that have up to 500kW outputs.
“There were three or four companies we could have looked at, but it was Rimac that surfaced. They have done the Koernigsegg Regera, the Aston Martin Valkyrie, and the investment from Porsche created a lot of confidence for us,” he said.
Former F1 racing driver Nick Heidfeld has also joined the team as development driver, ahead of the start of a vehicle dynamics program in early 2019.
“We have a specific strategy in place to develop road car technology inspired by motorsport,” Pininfarina CEO Penschke said. “Nick Heidfeld has more experience racing in Formula E than any other driver and we are delighted that from next year he will help deliver race-bred, electrifying performance in the PF0.”
Previously released sketches have previewed the car's all-carbon design from the rear and interior, showing a minimalist and driver-focused layout for the two-seater.
Further details have yet to be revealed, but the production car will be priced to compete with the hypercar elite, including the Bugatti Chiron. It'll act as a halo product, being the first of several all-electric models in Automobili Pininfarina's product plan.
Automobili Pininfarina’s management team was bolstered with several new hires to coincide with the powertrain news, with former Porsche and Faraday Future engineer Dr Christian Jung becoming chief technology officer, and ex-Bugatti engineer Peter Tutzer becoming senior technical advisor.
Jung was previously engineering project lead on the Porsche Mission E, while Putzer played an integral role in the development of the Bugatti Veyron.
SUVS TO FOLLOW
Previously referred to as Project Montana, Automobili Pininfarina will follow its top model (which could take influence from the H2 Speed) with three SUVs that are 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 to the Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Macan respectively. All will use their own version of the same modular underpinnings.
The fastest SUV will offer around 940hp from a battery pack of about 140kWh, enabling a 0-100kph time of less than three seconds. Its smaller SUV siblings are likely to use lower-output versions of the same powertrain but their performance will still be at the sharp end of their segments.