The design house's production debut is getting nearer.

Pininfarina has begun performance testing of its first production car effort, the all-electric Battista supercar.

The programme is being carried out in Italy under the watchful eye of ex-Formula 1 driver Nick Heidfeld, who is serving as the development driver for the project.

Pininfarina Performance Tests

"Driving an early version of Battista in the simulator was an amazing experience," said Heidfeld, pictured above. "The preparation, set-up and execution of the first runs of a brand-new hyper car with unprecedented levels of performance were excellent; comparable to any first simulation sessions I ran in my motorsport career."

"Most impressive was how well the car handled, but of course as I expected, the sheer acceleration is totally mind-blowing and incomparable with any car I have experienced, from road or track."

Pininfarina Performance Tests

The Battista is set to be the most powerful car ever to come out of Italy with 1,900 bhp and 1,696 lb-ft of torque on tap. That means that the car has to undergo extensive refinement work in the wind tunnel to fine-tune aerodynamics, minimise drag and maximise cooling before it is let loose on public roads.

"The aerodynamic performance we witnessed with Battista in the Pininfarina wind tunnel was almost identical to our expectations following CFD modelling," said Pininfarina's director of sports cars, Rene Wollmann, who also led early development on the upcoming AMG One hypercar. "Fine tuning the aero package using CFD, wind tunnel and dynamic simulation means we can confidently predict a significant increase in the potential range of Battista versus our original prediction of 450 km on a single charge. This is fantastic news for future Battista owners."

Pininfarina Battista wind tunnel performance tests

The Battista, complete with a revised front end will go on show at Monterey Car Week at The Quail on August 16. Wollmann and Heidfeld will be in attendance, along with Pininfarina design director Luca Borgogno.

Prospective clients have already had a glimpse of the revised car. Only 50 are coming to Europe, each with an estimated pricetag in the region of £2 million.

Gallery: Pininfarina Performance Tests