Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. plans to invest about $500 million over the next five years to launch a family of high-end electric vehicles under its Pininfarina SpA unit, Autocar reports.
The U.K.-based enthusiast magazine, which doesn’t cite its sources, says the new company likely will be called Automobili Pininfarina. The program currently is being operated under the codename Project Montana, according to the report.
The vehicles will be in addition to the production version of the 2016 H2 concept fuel cell performance car (pictured) that Pininfarina aims to launch within the next year. Just 12 of those vehicles are planned.
The PF-Zero will ride on a modular platform being developed by Mahindra and Pininfarina in conjunction with Croatian specialty vehicle maker Rimac Automobil. The vehicle is being benchmarked against the Bugatti Chiron, which is powered by an 8.0-liter W-16 engine that makes 1,480 hp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. Rimac’s latest C-Two electric concept car, which was unveiled earlier this month at the Geneva auto show, generates 1,890 hp from four electric motors.
The largest and most powerful of the electric SUVs, codenamed the PF-One, targets the new Lamborghini Urus with an estimated output of 940 hp. Autocar says the two smaller crossovers will be aimed at Porsche’s Cayenne and Macan models.
The magazine reported previously that Pininfarina has hired former Audi executive Michael Perschke to run the EV company. Perschke’s LinkedIn profile indicates he has been working for the last two months as a senior strategic advisor for an unnamed EV startup operating in stealth mode. At Audi, Perschke most recently was director of global sales strategy and business 4.0. Prior to that he headed the company’s operations in India.
Pininfarina has been flirting with EVs and vehicle manufacturing for several years. The famed Italian design house was acquired by Mahindra in 2015 and is working with the Indian carmaker’s Formula E team on a next-generation electric race car.
Chrysler pioneered the modern-day minivan more than 30 years ago and has been refining and improving that type of vehicle ever since.
Hyundai enters the American market with a new parallel hybrid system that uses lithium-polymer batteries and the same six-speed automatic found in non-hybrid versions of the 2011 Sonata.
Ford has made an accomplishment that will never be bested, never even be tied.