Luke Ottaway's picture

This astonishingly fast electric supercar is one step closer to reality

The stunning Rimac Concept_One has not seen much progress since its unveiling at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, but recent investments have brought the Croatian startup closer to its goal of producing “the best car in the world.”

Like Tesla Motors before it, Rimac Automobili is a small startup led by a precocious young entrepreneur who plans to enter the automotive industry at a lofty price point and gradually progress to lower-cost and higher-volume models. The Rimac Concept_One is the Croatian company’s Roadster, except for a significant difference: while the Roadster was a $100,000 sports car, the Concept_One is a $1 million supercar.

The expected specifications of the Concept_One are jaw-dropping. This sleek monster produces 1,088 horsepower and 1,180 foot-pounds of torque from its four in-wheel permanent magnet synchronous electric motors. The result of all that electric punch: a mind-bending 0-60 time of a scant 2.8 seconds.

The Concept One had largely faded into the background of the auto industry until recently when two high-profile investors stepped in to provide encouragement. As reported by Charged EVs, a Hong Kong minerals and metals company called Sinocop Resources agreed to purchase 10% of Rimac for $7 million in cash and nearly $3 million in stock. In addition, South American energy mogul and sports car enthusiast Frank Kanayet Yepes is investing $1 million in the company.

Said Yepes on his investment: “[Rimac] is in exactly the right place at the right time,” he said. “There are more than 800 million cars in the world, almost none of which are electric. The market share of electric cars will rise quickly from this small base – the world is ready for it. Tesla Motors has played a crucial role in establishing electric cars as a serious category, not just something exotic and experimental.”

Duplicating Tesla’s success thus far would be a remarkable and unlikely accomplishment at least a decade away for a company currently employing just 25 people. An excellent first step would be small series production of a truly impressive all-electric supercar that 26-year-old Rimac mastermind Mate Rimac would like to call “the best car in the world.”

The startup’s master plan is to make 80-100 of the Concept_One to fund later models of lower-priced electric vehicles that well sell in the thousands. Sounds familiar to us...time will tell if Mate Rimac will prove to be a younger version of Elon Musk. In the meantime, this reporter would consider selling his soul for a test drive of that Concept_One and hopes that Rimac can come up with a worthier name.


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Comments

PIPE DREAM... Yes, that is me yelling.
I suggest you search Rimac Volar-e on youtube and you will see a one-off version of the 'Concept One" that was 1000% designed and manufactured by Rimac Automobili under a non-disclosure agreement. Watch that video then tell me that it is a pipe dream.