With an image of India’s leading SUV maker, Mahindra has unveiled its plan to develop high-performance cars with Pininfarina. Mahindra grabbed the opportunity by purchasing the homegrown EV maker Reva in 2010 to dominate the nascent market. With big ambitions to join the global EV race and is making a bid for the top end of the EV spectrum with an audacious plan to develop a range of high-end, low-volume models to rival the best sportscars and SUVs in the world.
In the pursuit of these goals Mahindra has roped in former Audi India chief, Michael Perschke to head the new EV company known internally as ‘Project Montana.’ He is the same guy who took Audi to the top in the luxury market during his tenure in India. Now he will work to build the high-performance EV start-up from scratch. The initial investment for Project Montana is estimated to be around $100 million (around Rs 647 crore) from Mahindra, after which the new venture will look for outside investment to scale up operations. The name of the new company will be Automobili Pininfarina and all the designing and styling will be the job of Pininfarina. This decesion comes in order to fulfill the dream of the founder of Pininfarina to develop a road car under its own brand name.
Four models are planned to be developed including an electric hypercar that will go against the 1500hp Bugatti Chiron. It will be a limited production model with only 20 units planned. Then there will be an SUV with a ground breaking range and a Lamborghini Urus fighter.
To compete with Chiron and Urus serious technology and technical expertise are required, for that Mahindra has roped the Croatian company Rimac. Rimac shocked this year’s Geneva motor show with the world premiere of its second hypercar, the C_Two concept develops 1,915hp and can accelerate from 0-100kph in 1.85s!
Automobili Pininfarina will also take inputs from Mahindra Racing whose successes in Formula-E bring in valuable know-how and experience with electric powertrains and battery management.
Mahindra’s high-performance EV start-up will work independently from its mainstream electric division, Mahindra Electric – which produces the e2o and e-Verito that sit at the other end of the spectrum. This new start-up will be a completely stand-alone unit based in Europe, as part of a conscious bid to create an all-new eco-system and culture that is required in this fast-paced business given the premium positioning of its models and the superior hardware they will be using.
Source: Autocar India