Pininfarina B95 ‘first electric hyper barchetta’

If the 1,900hp Battista isn't thrilling enough, here comes the speedster

By Matt Bird / Friday, 18 August 2023 / Loading comments

The time of the EV convertible is upon us. There’s that funny little Mini kicking things off, a Porsche Boxster without an engine to be revealed soon, plus the Polestar 6 and Maserati GranCabrio Folgore due in a couple of years. Quite what the convertible experience will be like without a combustion engine remains to be seen, though it’s clear we’re very far from done yet. Because now it’s time for the drop-top EV hypercar, the Battista B95.

Borrowing a lot from the Battista coupe – 1,900hp EV powertrain, four-wheel torque vectoring and a carbon monocoque, most notably – the B95 looks to bring the long and iconic story of the Italian barchetta into the electric age. Or, far more romantically from chairman Paolo Pininfarina: “The B95 is elegant, bold, beautiful, and innovative. Everything that defines a true Pininfarina design. It will be the perfect celebration of the 95th anniversary of Pininfarina, which has an unrivalled history creating rare icons that are now the most revered and sought-after collectors’ cars in the world. B95 will undoubtedly continue this legacy and also deliver a statement of intent for Automobili Pininfarina as it develops an incredible portfolio of new luxury electric cars.”

It really does look sensational, the B95, far more than a Battista with the roof off. There’s more than a hint of Ferrari Daytona SP3 to it, which is intended as a compliment, the front end in particular properly spectacular with that incredibly thin light signature and mirrors hanging off the bodywork like an old Targa Florio racer. Pininfarina says it has introduced a world first in the shape of the car’s electronically adjustable aero screens; it means that a clean, pure look can be preserved while also offering some kind of protection from the wind as you reach 100mph in five seconds again. It’s still going to be blowy, but it might not be insufferable. And you’ll get helmets tailored to the spec, of course. The clear polycarbonate items move on exposed aluminium supports, the design inspired by vintage fighter planes.

The Pura Vision design concept provided the foundation for how the B95 looks, which feels a bit of a stretch even with some familial links. The Pura Vision is a Purosangue-wannabe SUV, whereas this is proper wallpaper-grade exotica. The new models and familiar cues do at least point to an expanding Pininfarina family of cars – and it sounds like this was sort of the idea. Dave Amantea, Chief Design Officer of Pininfarina, said: “The Barchetta silhouette is instantly recognisable, but it was our job to make it beautiful. The mixture of classic proportions and exquisite detailing have allowed us to create something truly special. We’re allowing customers to drive a dream with B95 – something that defines the brand moving forward.”

Not there will be very many customers, the B95 set to a whole lot rarer than even the Battista. There are meant to be 150 of the coupes produced, whereas a production run of just 10 is planned for the B95. Part of that will be to make the more expensive model even more exclusive, but that’s a pretty drastic difference. Read into that number what you will about the take-up of these crazy powerful electric supercars.

Still, if there’s a place to find 10 billionaires desperate for a taste of the future, Monterey Car Week has to be it. Pininfarina suggests that personalisation for the B95 will be limitless and that no two will be the same; which is almost a pity, really, given how good this one looks with its gold flakes in the paint, tan leather and Pied de Poule Houndstooth upholstery. No doubt there will be some amazing specs to see when production kicks off in 2025, Pininfarina’s 95th anniversary. If you’re paying €4.4m for a car, you’re not going to be shy about some bold options…

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