The Italian carmaker is going 'mainstream' with electric SUV and reveals plans to build its own EV platform.
Electric vehicles were barely a blip on the automotive industry map a decade ago. Tesla was not what it is today and the first-generation Nissan Leaf was still not in production. Iconic design and technology firms, such as Automobili Pininfarina, had no interest in anything other than internal combustion. In 2019, things couldn't be more different. Last August at Pebble Beach, Automobili Pininfarina revealed its new PURA Vision concept to an exclusive group of customers. At a private media presentation ahead of the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, the firm's design chief, Luca Borgogno, gave attending journalists a special preview of that very concept.
We can confidently say it is unlike anything else out there but, unfortunately, we can't show any photos. Put it like this: Ferrari's upcoming Purosangue SUV already has its most serious competitor, design-wise and, perhaps, performance as well.
The all-electric PURA Vision, which will go into production, promises high levels of performance on par with the world's best supercars. The interior, depending on buyer preferences, can feature carbon fiber as the primary trim material of choice. If elegance is a priority, then gorgeous wood trim is the way to go. Borgogno stressed there are thousands of interior color and material combinations. The exterior, depending on color choice, can also have a more aggressive supercar-like demeanor - or that of an ultra-luxury grand tourer. The Bentley Bentayga, likely one of the PURA Vision's most direct rivals, is mainly all about elegance.
Automobili Pininfarina had another new announcement today: a strategic collaboration with Bosch Engineering and Benteler to jointly develop a high-performance electric vehicle platform.
If you recall, the Automobili Pininfarina's other EV, the Battista (pictured here) rides on a platform supplied by Rimac; think of it as a heavily re-skinned C_Two. This new platform, however, will underpin future Automobili Pininfarina cars, including the PURA Vision. "Today's announcement marks a pivotal and transformative point for Automobili Pininfarina as we and our partners leverage our leading position on design as well as our world-class engineering capabilities to significantly advance our mission to bring to market a portfolio of world-class luxury performance electric vehicles," said CEO Michael Perschke.
Perschke did confirm to us the concept we saw today is "80-85 percent of what the final car will look like." When will that vehicle arrive? "Within 36 months," according to Perschke. Pricing? Perschke couldn't give a precise figure but "somewhere beginning at around $200,000 is about right." Your move, Ferrari. And Bentley, you've been warned.