by Karl Furlong
The Rimac Nevera is an electric hypercar like no other, with stupendous performance figures that simply defy logic and seem sent from the future. With four electric motors producing a combined 1,914 horsepower, it will blitz the 0-60 mph run in an unbelievable 1.85 seconds. And, while many EVs run out of steam at higher speeds, the Nevera will reach 258 mph at the top end. Yes, this Croatian carmaker has entered a new league of performance with the Nevera, a car that will leave the Bugatti Chiron eating its dust, although it's the similarly powerful Lotus Evija that the Nevera will have to answer to. An aerodynamic masterpiece, and with an advanced monocoque construction, the Nevera is not only capable in a straight line but is a superbly balanced hypercar too. In every facet, the Nevera proves itself as a worthy successor to the Concept_One. Only 150 people will have the privilege of driving off in one of these as Rimac keeps production numbers low.
The 2022 Rimac Nevera is an all-new engineering marvel. It arrives as a four-motor hyper EV with performance that beggars belief. Based on the C_Two prototype and a successor to the Concept_One, every aspect of the Nevera has been enhanced in some way. Rimac says that the Nevera has the world's most advanced monocoque construction, including the bonded carbon roof. It even has a drift mode... in an EV. Production of the Nevera will be slow, at a rate of just one per week, so when deliveries begin later in 2022, some customers will have to wait longer than others for their cars. Only 150 examples of the Nevera will be produced.
Revealed midway through 2021, the Rimac Nevera compels us to rethink everything we thought we knew about hypercars. It has four electric motors producing a combined 1,914 horsepower and 1,740 lb-ft of torque. That allows the Nevera to comfortably reach 60 mph in under two seconds. The Nevera has sleek looks, a modern cabin filled with the latest technologies, and a rigid monocoque structure. Active aerodynamics help to make it as slippery as possible, while maintaining downforce at incredibly high speeds.
As a successor to the Concept_One, the Rimac Nevera has big shoes to fill but it does so with aplomb. Powered by four electric motors - one at each wheel - the Nevera has the traction it needs to put down a staggering 1,914 hp. An all-wheel torque vectoring system is standard, and it can process 100 calculations per second to provide the best mix of traction and power depending on the situation. The monocoque chassis is claimed to be the most rigid of any production car. Despite its sensational performance, a large 120-kWh battery pack should allow for a decent range of 340 miles, although that's based on the WLTP cycle and will decrease when evaluated by the EPA.
Inside, there's a modern and well-trimmed cabin with three TFT screens and comfortable bucket seats. From here, the driver can tap into the artificial intelligence Driver Coach system that will help you set the best possible lap times.
Considering its breathtaking performance, the Rimac Nevera is actually not the most dramatic hypercar to look at. That's not to say that it won't turn heads, but it's obvious that the focus has been on function over form, and aerodynamics above all else. The car rides on 20-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. The active aerodynamic systems are found all over the Nevera. There is a front underbody flap, a hood flap that reduces drag, and an active rear wing. In Range mode, the underbody vents are closed and the rear wing is retracted for lower drag. As for that rear wing, it also functions as an air brake that can activate in just 0.2 seconds. Finally, there are active flaps in the rear valance that manipulate airflow and improve cooling.
At 187 inches in length, the two-door Nevera is significantly longer than the Bugatti Chiron. The Rimac is 78.2 inches in width, a low 47.6 inches in height, and has a 108.1-inch wheelbase. At 4,740 pounds, the Nevera is over 500 lbs heavier than a Chiron, no doubt because of the car's electronic components. Just as well, then, that it has almost 2,000 hp to wipe out any hint of a disadvantage caused by its weight.
Rimac promises that no Nevera is made exactly the same, so we hope that means that the Rivera has a broader color palette than what's shown on the company's official website. As it stands, the only colors for the Nevera are Gunpowder Grey, P5 Silver, E-Racing Blue, Polar White, and Riviera Blue. The white and silver do a good job of contrasting with the various carbon panels, but E-Racing Blue evokes the kind of energy we'd associate with such a viciously quick machine.
The numbers are simply staggering. With four electric motors, the Rimac Nevera produces a sensational 1,914 hp and 1,740 lb-ft of torque. Each wheel is powered independently by one of these motors, allowing for maximum traction and dramatically different dynamic behavior depending on which mode the car is in.
It all translates to a 0-60 mph time of only 1.85 seconds, although Rimac specifies that this is on a high-friction surface with a one-foot roll-out. No gas-only models can compete with that, and even the 1,020-hp Tesla Model S Plaid - the fastest sedan in the world - is slower. The quarter-mile time is just as impressive, with the Nevera taking just 8.582 seconds for this. That's comfortably quicker than the previous record attained by the Plaid of just over nine seconds. A top speed of 258 mph is attainable in the Nevera, but that would no doubt quickly drain the battery. Still, just knowing it can be done is what sets apart this electric hypercar from everything else.
It's not just the total outputs of 1,914 hp and 1,740 lb-ft that are impressive. It's how the four electric motors work together so that the driver can actually use all of it. These four independent, surface-mounted, carbon-sleeve, permanent-magnet electric motors are positioned at each wheel. The Nevera also has four independent inverters and gearboxes. This enables all-wheel drive with software-controlled torque vectoring.
The rear motors are more powerful, making 653 hp each, whereas those in front make 299 hp each. At the back, there is a double single-speed direct-drive gearbox, effectively two gearboxes in one housing positioned between the motors. In front, there are two single-speed gearboxes but these are each placed at the outer end of the axle.
The whole setup requires five cooling systems and two refrigerant circuits. The final piece of the complex puzzle is a 120-kWh lithium manganese nickel battery.
To drive, the AWD Rimac is quite docile at first. You know the power is there, but you can navigate congested streets effectively if you need to. When space opens up, though, nothing can quite prepare you for the organ-repositioning acceleration that follows. It is mind-bendingly fast, and shockingly easy to reach illegal speeds.
This was always going to be a tricky area for engineers as we move into the era of electric hypercars. There is no getting away from the fact that EVs are a lot heavier than their conventionally-powered counterparts, and managing that weight while still engaging the driver is a monumental challenge. Of course, the Nevera is off to a great start since each wheel is independently powered by its own motor. Together with the Rimac's trick software, the car's dynamics can be dramatically altered at the touch of a button.
The basics are up to scratch, though. The Nevera has fast steering and grip levels that will rarely, if ever, be challenged by most drivers. The electric steering isn't quite as pure as sports cars of old, with the sense that the electronics are more involved than they should be, but hardware isn't enough when you're managing this much power and weight. Rimac positioned the battery low in the floor which helped to achieve a lower center of gravity and a 48:52 front/rear weight distribution.
The company's all-wheel torque vectoring 2 system replaces traditional electronic stability and traction control programs. Reading the road ahead, it makes more than 100 calculations every second and directs the ideal amount of torque to each corner. The driver has an amazing amount of control over the system and can switch between numerous configurations like a front-wheel to rear-wheel-drive setup, or even drift the Rimac if the desire arises. It would take a long time to delve into all of this car's dynamic layers, but the speed it is able to carry through corners is astonishing, especially in Track mode.
Dial down the tempo, switch to Comfort mode, and the Nevera is also accomplished. With a double-wishbone suspension and electronically controlled dampers, it provides a comfortable enough ride that won't leave you fatigued on longer trips. The car is also adept at not being knocked off course by mid-corner bumps. In certain conditions, the regenerative braking means that you don't need the brake pedal to slow down. When you do need to stop in a hurry, the Brembo CCMR carbon-ceramic discs with six-piston calipers provide powerful, fade-free stopping.
The EPA has not yet published MPGe specs for the Rimac Nevera, but the absence of an ICE engine means you can avoid the shocking fuel economy and costs of something like a Bugatti Chiron - not that anyone buying a Nevera will be concerned about running costs, of course. According to the automaker, the Nevera has a range of up to 340 miles based on the WLTP cycle. We expect that number to be closer to 300 miles when the EPA shares its findings.
The 120-kWh battery can be recharged from 0-80% in as little as 19 minutes with 500 kW DC fast charging, when this becomes available. With 350 kW charging, that time increases to 25 minutes, and to 30 minutes at 250 kW.
The two-seater cabin has been designed to suit both track driving and grand touring. Rimac has divided the space into two zones, with the top segment being focused on performance and driving pleasure, and the lower section containing infotainment controls and comfort feature settings. There is a trio of TFT screens that can be customized to show the amount of information desired by the driver. While far from a Bentley in terms of luxury, the Nevera is built to a high standard. This is noticeable in details like the billet aluminum used for the rotary controls, and the soft upholstery for the seats.
There is only space for two lucky individuals in the 2-door Rimac Nevera sports car, and that's exactly how it should be. There is enough legroom and headroom for even taller people over six feet, and the cabin feels appreciably wide too. The seats are snug, with good side support so that you don't go flying out of them at the speeds this car is capable of. Unlike some other hypercars, the Rimac affords the driver good visibility which makes it more practical to drive every day.
Climb inside the Nevera and you'll see a lot of exposed carbon fiber, a reminder of how extensively utilized this material is throughout the car's construction. It's paired with generous lashings of leather and Alcantara, and overall, it feels and looks special. It's not as glossy or opulent as the interior of a Bentley or even a high-end Mercedes-Benz, but Rimac wasn't exactly looking to compete with those brands. A nice touch is the billet aluminum used for the rotary controls and switches. A wide range of customization options will be available, with customers being able to choose bespoke trim and materials.
The Rimac Nevera coupe has a long but shallow trunk at the back. It measures only 3.5 cubic feet in size, and because of its unusual shape, taller items simply won't be able to fit in there. Then again, we never expected the Nevera to be a serious cargo hauler. In the cabin, there is possibly the smallest glovebox you will find on any production car; anything bigger than a slim diary is unlikely to fit. Beneath the center armrest is a dedicated space for your mobile phone, and behind that are two speed-tested cupholders. Essentially, these can hold bottles in place even when you're hooning the Nevera in Drift mode. The central infotainment screen can also be tilted forward to reveal a small storage area behind it.
Rimac hasn't published a complete list of the Nevera's features, but it comes with most of what you'd expect plus a few advanced extras dedicated to the driving experience. The Nevera is equipped with climate control, three TFT displays, power-adjustable seats, a rearview camera, a power-adjustable steering column, and push-button start. The majority of functions, including the power mirrors and seats, are adjusted via the central touchscreen. Via this screen, the driver can also make adjustments to the suspension, throttle response, and steering assistance.
The Rimac comes with the world's first artificial intelligence driving coach that helps one to extract the best out of the car. This system uses 12 ultrasonic sensors, 13 cameras, and six radars to provide both audio and visual guidance. Rimac promises that it will become available in 2022 and will be launched via over-the-air updates.
The Nevera has three TFT screens in its high-tech cabin, and the company has designed its own infotainment software from scratch. This includes a digital instrument cluster, a large central touchscreen, and another narrow screen ahead of the passenger. The gauge cluster can be adjusted via buttons on the steering wheel and displays speed information, settings for the suspension, and a lot more.
The central touchscreen can be used to access navigation and music settings, but it is also used to adjust comfort features like the climate control system. Real-time telemetry is downloadable to a laptop or smartphone, and customers can easily access information like charging speed and battery status via Rimac's in-house app, accessible on both Android and iOS devices. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also offered, although Rimac hasn't released specific information about the car's sound system.
Until the Nevera starts reaching customers, we won't have access to any review or data about the car's reliability or potential recalls.
While warranty information is also unknown, Rimac does say that the four electric motors are completely maintenance-free for their entire operating life. You can also bet that the electric components will be covered by a mandatory warranty in the US, which is a minimum of eight years/100,000 miles.
Unsurprisingly, no Rimac Nevera safety reviews have been conducted by the IIHS and the NHTSA. Considering the price of the Rimac Nevera, along with its limited production run, this will likely never happen. However, Rimac has submitted Nevera mules for crash testing purposes, so the safety systems are up to scratch.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
The monocoque passenger cell on its own should be considered a safety feature. With aluminum and carbon fiber crash structures and deformation zones, it should hold up extremely well in the unfortunate event of a collision. The Nevera also comes with a driver's airbag, a passenger airbag, and side airbags. Torque vectoring with traction and stability control, along with that powerful carbon-ceramic braking system, will all help the driver maintain control.
With 13 cameras, six radars, and 12 ultrasonic sensors, the Nevera is literally keeping an "eye" (or several eyes) on its surroundings and transferring this information back to the driver. The surround-view camera system is a useful feature. Eventually, the Nevera will be capable of Level 4 partially autonomous driving.
Where does one even begin with this car? The Rimac Nevera accesses a level of performance that we never previously thought possible. Cars with a third of the Nevera's power are less able to put it down to the ground as well as this car does. Yes, the straight-line speed dominates the headlines, but the Nevera is not a one-trick pony. It can corner with the best of them, and it'll also glide along the highway confidently. Rimac has packed in so much technology to get the best out of the driving experience that it'll take a long time to unpack all of the car's talents. While that may prove tiresome to the typical Bentley owner, it'll thrill a newer generation - if they can somehow afford the $2.3-million price tag, of course. As a technical and engineering achievement, the Nevera is remarkable.
The Rimac carries a price tag of 2 million euros. At current rates, that translates to about $2.3 million. Few hypercars occupy space in this price range. The Koenigsegg Gemera plug-in hybrid comes in at under $2 million, and Bugatti doesn't have a fully electric car on the market at all yet. The Lotus Evija is perhaps the Nevera's closest competitor at this stage. It is also a fully electric hypercar, it also makes nearly 2,000 hp, and it costs nearly as much as the Nevera.
Rimac promises that every Nevera will be unique, which is little surprise since just 150 examples will be made. However, the company hasn't gone into great detail about what packages, if any, are on offer. We do know that customers will be able to tailor the interior as they see fit, likely for a substantial cost.
There is only one Rimac Nevera trim on offer. If you have the means to acquire one, consider yourself fortunate. All Neveras are mechanically identical but you'll be able to choose your own interior and exterior colors, interior materials, and more.
|Rimac Nevera||1,914 hp||TBC||$2,400,000|
|Tesla Model S Plaid||1,020 hp||119/112 mpg||$135,990|
|Bugatti Chiron||1,500 hp||9/14 mpg||$2,990,000|
You could buy around 17 new Plaids for the price of a single Nevera, so how are these two even competitors? They aren't, but the Tesla's phenomenal performance makes it one of the very few cars on the planet that can come close to the Nevera in a straight line. Despite being almost 1,000 hp down, the tri-motor Model S Plaid is barely slower to 60 mph. The Tesla also has a better range, space for five occupants, and a large trunk. Oh, and did we mention its MSRP is over $2 million less? The Nevera is a hypercar in every sense of the word, though. It has been engineered to do things beyond the realm of the Plaid. Whereas the Tesla struggles on a track and has disappointing standard brakes, all the Nevera's components have been designed to match its explosive power. We know which one we'd rather park in the garage, and it's not the one with a back seat.
Hypercars have always been about massive engines, blaring exhaust notes, and sheer theater. The Chiron is blessed with all of these qualities in abundance, but the statistics say that it has been easily surpassed by the Nevera. With its 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine and dual-clutch gearbox, the Chiron sounds and feels totally different to the Nevera. We'd also say that the Chiron has a nicer, more special interior, and that it's more comfortable at top speed on the autobahn. But the Nevera will smoke it off the mark and probably when the road gets twisty too. The Rimac ushers in a new era of hypercars that are friendlier to the planet but quicker and with a more customizable driving experience. We're torn between the Chiron's more traditional approach and everything new that the Nevera has to offer, so at this stage, we'd rather take one of each, and we suspect those with the means to own either will likely own both, too.
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