Rivian to join Rimac in Pininfarina’s supplier list.
Automobili Pininfarina, the design company-turned-automotive manufacturer, is already well into the process of turning their superlative PF0 electric hypercar into a reality for the handful of buyers who are lucky enough to take one home. But like any new company, Pininfarina is about to follow up their headlining hypercar with not one, but three SUVs, one of which will be a performance proposition along the same vanes as the Lamborghini Urus.
However, while the PF0 will share its underpinnings with products from Croatian firm Rimac (themselves famed for their mind-bogglingly fast electric hypercars), Rimac is not in the business of SUVs and off-roaders, which bring with them a unique set of requirements and tolerances to ensure successful execution. So Pininfarina’s shopped around and guess which firm came out on top?
None other than Rivian, the US EV manufacturer that recently burst out of the shadows to great effect.
Rivian recently unveiled their R1T and R1S ute & SUV, both of which offer hitherto-unprecedented levels of battery density, range, and capacity, wrapped up in forms that show all the hallmarks of a carefully-considered team of product designers who understand just what’s missing in the segment and how to address those gaps in an effective & efficient way.
However, the company also spoke last week about their willingness to supply their electric architecture to anyone who wants it, provided that the products their customers develop are not in direct contention with their own home-grown Rivian-branded products. It seems that for the Pininfarina PF1 (which is what they’re calling the super-SUV), Rivian has no intent to breach the segment, so Pininfarina can have at it.
“Work has started on the PF1 and right now, we are in the process of finalising the design, which is being done entirely by Pininfarina.” — Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra
This was confirmed to Autocar India.
Utilising the skateboard architecture from Rivian, it’s likely that the PF1 SUV will utilise the same one-motor-per-wheel setup with total power output ranging from 300kW to a maximum of 562kW. Batteries will likely be in either 105kWh, 135kWh, or 180kWh forms, with ranges upwards of 370km, 480km, and 645km respectively.
But while Rivian makes a huge song and dance about how their R1S and R1T are functional high-riding machines, capable of pulling 5-ton trailers and 800kg payloads, the Pininfarina PF1 SUV will likely focus more on getting a 0-100km/h time below 3-seconds.
In addition to the impressive performance, the Rivian skateboard will also allow Pininfarina to make use of related technology like the Dynamic Roll Control and air suspension systems from Rivian, which ought to give the upcoming super-EV-SUV a leg up on the competition.
But what it won’t do is take Rivian’s lead in terms of design. Pininfarina has a hallowed history designing some of the most beautiful vehicles of all time, and they surely wouldn’t want that history and pedigree to be infringed upon. On that, Automobili Pininfarina design boss Luca Borgogno said that things like the full-width LED strip, a feature of the PF0, will become a recognisable design hallmark of Pininfarina cars.