A crash-free ride in one of the seven remaining 1224bhp Rimacs
“We benchmarked this car against the 918 Spyder, the Veyron and the LaFerrari. This is way faster.”
That’s the response of Rimac test driver Miroslav Zrncevic when we ask him how Rimac’s Concept One stacks up against other hypercars you may have heard of.
Plenty of F1/LaFerrari-beating electric supercars have been trumpeted through the media but are yet to appear. The Rimac itself took a while to become ‘real’, having been announced as long ago as 2011 at the Frankfurt motor show.
Eight Rimac Concept One supercars have now been built and sold by this Croatian company. The car we’re sitting in today, with Miroslav in the driving seat, is one of the seven that remain after Top Gear’s Richard Hammond found himself involved in a horrific accident during filming.
The seven Rimacs that are still in one piece are owned by customers. This one belongs to Florida-based retinal surgeon Paul Runge. All things considered, he is remarkably laid back about the idea of a total stranger going out for a ride in his £1m supercar.
The all-electric Concept One has four motors, one on each wheel, with a very clever torque vectoring system that allows with each wheel able to accelerate or decelerate a hundred times per second.
he total output is 1224bhp, total torque 1180lb ft, and the 0-62mph time is 2.6 seconds. Go to YouTube to see evidence of it beating both the Veyron and the Ferrari LaFerrari in drag races over the quarter mile.
Rimac built its own infotainment system for the car, having been quoted 20 million euros by an outside supplier, and what a job they’ve made of it. Every function imaginable – from front-to-rear torque mix and power/torque/motor speed graphs for any given period of time to raising the suspension for speed bumps – can be called up on the touchscreen. It’s highly impressive.
We find a straight piece of road on a private Californian estate. Zrncevic plants his right foot. As usual with electric cars, torque is instant, but it’s the amount of it that knocks you sideways. Not literally, mind: that torque vectoring system keeps everything under tight control. The neck-stretching speed is unnerving, but not as unnerving as the near-silence in which it’s being delivered.
Whatever you think of these electric supercars, there’s no doubt that they’re exploring the very edges of the ‘silent performance’ envelope, unconstrained by the requirements of economics that hold back mainstream manufacturers.