For Rimac, the Engineering Party Is Just Getting Started

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The quick Rimac Nevera electric hypercar delivers nearly unbelievable numbers, but it's not the pinnacle of the company's engineering efforts.

Rimac Automobili, the car making division of Bugatti Rimac, has just begun deliveries of its Nevera electric hypercar. Unlike some new electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers, the company isn't giving its audience a peek at the best first, then lesser variants later. The Nevera is just its beginning.

But, it's not quite the beginning. For a company often described as a start up, Rimac is awfully old. Aside from the fact that half its parent company was founded in 1909. Mate Rimac, now CEO of Bugatti Rimac started the Croatian carmaker in 2009, before splitting its business into technology and automaker ventures last year when it merged with Bugatti.

Since its inception, Rimac has focused on EVs. The company's first model was a converted 1984 BMW M3 dubbed the Rimac e-M3. After several revisions, the car was certified as the fastest-accelerating electric vehicle in the world per FIA regulations.

The next company product was more purely Rimac. The Concept One electric hypercar debuted in 2011 and was produced starting in 2016. It was the world's fastest electric production vehicle at the time.

Mate Rimac e-M3
Bugatti Rimac CEO Mate Rimac drives a Rimac e-M3, the first product the company sold. Bugatti Rimac

The Concept S variant on the Concept One moved the bar, knocking two-tenths of a second off of the Concept One's zero to 60 miles per hour (mph) time.

Rimac's Nevera is the proper successor to Concept One. It was unveiled in March 2018 and the first production model was delivered to former Formula One standout Nico Rosberg earlier this month.

Its four electric motors are paired with a carbon fiber body and battery packs. It offers 1,914 horsepower and 1,741 pound-feet of torque at the ready. Rimac says that the Nevera can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 1.85 seconds and hit a top speed of 258 mph.

Production of the model is limited to 50 units per year.

In the move to production, compromises are inevitably made. Budget chiefs come in and say "no" while pointing to charts and graphs. When asked if he felt anything was left on the table with Nevera, Rimac Chief Program Engineer Matija Renić told Newsweek at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, that some of what the engineering team wanted just isn't technically possible yet. But, that doesn't mean that it's not on still on the table.

Rimac Concept One
The Rimac Concept One was the first all-original car that the company sold. Bugatti Rimac

He explicitly called out the ability, in the future, to do over-the-air updates on a number of key vehicle components, like suspension parts. Other automakers have made similar statements, with Ford CEO Jim Farley recently sighting this ability as one of the key components to making a luxury vehicle luxurious in the future.

Mate Rimac is famously cagey about the company's future plans, boasting in a recent interview with Newsweek that the Bugatti-Rimac deal was a surprise to many when it happened and that there would be other surprises coming up that have been years in the making.

It took five years, around 1.6 million man hours from start to market to get Nevera out the door. With added personnel, industry experience, and expanded resources to draw from, the next Rimac shouldn't take as long to come to market.