It’s not just the Chinese automakers that are buying up or investing in tech companies for future motoring applications. Cash rich Mahindra & Mahindra from India is injecting US$100m seed funding into a Europe-based start-up that will make high-performance Electric Vehicles under the Pininfarina brand.
Mahindra is not new to the EV business in India. In 2010, it acquired domestic EV maker Reva. And for the new EV project, Mahindra has hired former Audi India chief Michael Perschke. Internally, the new EV company is referred to as ‘Project Montana’ and in a few weeks time [mid April] a formal announcement to this effect is expected. The new company is likely to be called Automobili Pininfarina. All the design and styling for the new EV range will be done by Pininfarina. Mahindra has roped in Rimac, a Croatian specialist EV company for this project. Rimac’s business credentials are impressive. It showcased its hypercar, the C_Two concepts at Geneva and is also credited with development and manufacture of the battery system for the Aston Martin-Red Bull Racing’s AM-RB 001 hypercar and the Koenigsegg Regera.
Top slot in the model line-up of the Pininifarina set-up will be an electric supercar that will go up against the 1,500hp Bugatti Chiron. Internally dubbed PF-Zero, this electric hypercar will be one of the four models with a limited production run of around only 20 units. A range of electric SUVs, codenamed PF1 is also being prepared.
The fully electric PF1 will be developed on a modular platform that will boast a battery pack of around 140 kWh and an output of over 940hp which will offer sub 3.0sec 0-100km/h performance.