Mate Rimac is a young Croatian car designer who at age 19 caught the automotive industry’s attention when he built—in his garage—a fully electric BMW E30, which broke several speed records for this type of propulsion. Not completely satisfied, Rimac continued working to achieve his goal of building an electric supercar comparable to the big brands like Bugatti or Pagani. In 2008, he founded Rimac Automobili and by 2011 he presented his Concept_One model, the fastest, most luxurious and sportiest electric car in the market.
At first glance, the exterior design exhibits an affinity with Ferrari or Lamborghini current models. The Concept_One is a two-seater with a distinctly sporty design, characterized by a large hood, small and aerodynamic front windshield, and carbon fiber details of on the front panel, side flaps and spoilers that contribute to its sprinter character.
Two superb German-style seats fully upholstered in leather stand out on the inside, and its interactive LED screens offer countless computer and communication variants.
But beyond its undeniable aesthetics, the Concept_One delivers an astonishing performance. Powered by the brand’s registered All-Wheel Torque Vectoring System (AWTV), each wheel is individually powered by a permanent magnet electric motor, with a total output of 1,088 horsepower and 1600nm of torque.
These astronomical numbers allow the vehicle to accelerate from 0 to 60mph in just 2.8 seconds, and achieve a top speed of 189 miles per hour. In addition, Rimac also worked on the vehicle`s autonomy to provide the user with the best experience. To that end, the brand developed a system of cooled liquid lithium batteries that can store enough electricity for the car to travel up to 375 miles on a single charge.
The Concept_One was introduced at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, but it wasn’t until last year that the commercial production was possible due to the extremely high costs. Fortunately, in 2013, Rimac Automobili managed to partner with several foreign investors who contributed approximately $20 million and made the project viable. Only 88 units have been built and will be available at the end of 2014 at a price of around one million dollars.
The Concept_One is Mate Rimac’s dream come true. It is also an ideal vehicle for sports cars lovers looking for an ecological model with the same performance, benefits and autonomy offered by its combustion competitors. Undoubtedly the Concept_One has achieved all that, and more. ■