Pininfarina Electric Concept Supercar Targets the Ultra-Rich

The legendary automotive design firm Pininfarina is looking to join the rarefied ranks of all-electric supercar makers with the production of the PFO, which could boast a top speed of 250mph and offer a range of more than 300 miles.

In an interview with The Verge, Automobili Pininfarina CEO Michael Perschke said the PFO would rocket to from to 60mph in about two seconds and have a fast-charging battery that needs just ten to 15 minutes to reach 80% charged.

Perschke also took time to extol the benefits of open source software systems that can serve as a simple, modular architecture for connected car apps, but did not disclose which system the PFO will use.

“You’re gaining a lot of accessibility and speed in open source systems,” he told the publication. “The apps are what clients are really interested in.”

That’s not to indicate the PFO, which would go up against Tesla, Aston Martin, Porsche and other high-end, technically sophisticated supercars, will be any slouch in the software department.

“We assume that we appeal to customers like a Larry Ellison or Marc Benioff, who also have an affinity to sustainability and see technology as an advancement to get to the next level,” Perschke said.

Pininfarina is aiming to have its supercar on the market by 2020, carrying an eye-watering price tag somewhere between $2 million and $2.5 million.

While the public will have to wait until next year for the official unveiling, a lucky (very rich) few will get a glimpse of the actual car at next month’s (invite only) Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

So far, the company has released only a few more or less abstract renderings of what the PFO’s silhouette might look like, all flowing lines and taillights glowing red.

“We want to make a car that is not overdesigned,” design director Luca Borgogno told The Verge. “We want something that is super clean and impossibly simple.”

In an interview with Wired, Borgogno revealed the design stems from a big central tunnel between the driver and passenger, which is where the battery will rest.

Among its competitors in the ultra-high-end market would be British automaker Aston Martin, which debuted the Lagonda Vision Concept at this year’s Geneva Motor Show — an unabashedly high-end luxury vehicle, complete with silk carpets and carbon fiber trim, that is planned for production in 2021.

The fully-electric car, which the company claims has a 400-mile range, features Level 4 autonomous driving, which means the car is capable of driving itself in all normal circumstances and on all recognizable roads.

Another competitor would be Tesla’s Roadster, an upcoming all-electric four-seater sports car that CEO Elon Musk said will be capable of 0 to 60mph in 1.9 seconds — perhaps a fraction of a second faster than the PFO, and with an estimated price tag of $200,000, a veritable bargain.

— Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter @dropdeaded209.

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