This is what goes into making the world's most intense electric hypercar.
Rimac Automobili first showed the Rimac C_Two concept car at the Geneva Motor Show in 2018, and we've been waiting with bated breath for the production version ever since. The Croatian company laid out an ambitious game plan with the C_Two concept and has now finalized the production version. Rimac is now getting ready to deliver 150 examples of its new electric car at $2.4 million apiece and has named it Nevera. For that kind of money, the Rimac Nevera needs to do more than go really fast in a straight line and look pretty. It needs to live on the cutting edge of automotive technology and offer the kind of features a billionaire can boast about. These are those features.
The Rimac Nevera isn't just fast in a straight line, it's mind-warping, bordering on illegal. Its 1,914 horsepower and 1,740 lb-ft of torque from the four electric motors propel the Nevera to 60 mph in 1.8 seconds. It will go from a standstill to 100 mph in 4.3 seconds, which is truly, eye-wateringly fast. If you want to go from zero to 186 mph, that will take just 9.3 seconds, which Rimac says beats the company's initial target by 2.4 seconds, and from there, it'll keep on going until you hit V-max at 258 mph. At the drag strip, the Nevera will complete the quarter-mile in an absurd 8.6 seconds.
To get that insane amount of power down, the automaker developed its new Rimac's All-Wheel Torque Vectoring 2 (R-AWTV 2) for the Nevera. According to the Croatian automaker, the system "enables infinitely variable dynamic responses to road and track conditions by calibrating the amount of torque supplied to each wheel." By processing at 100 calculations per second, the system can control each of the four motors to provide complete stability, be it in a straight line of pulling lurid slides.
With the kind of power the Nevera has at its disposal, it needs some sophisticated technology in the braking system to ensure things don't end in disaster. The electro-hydraulic brake booster distributes the pedal input between the traditional friction brakes and the electric motors and works out if it needs to lean more on the friction brakes if the battery is getting hot or weigh heavier on the regenerative braking if the friction brakes are getting too toasty. It will take some punishment to get the friction brakes to their limit and start to fade as the Revera uses 15.4-inch Brembo CCMR carbon-ceramic brake discs and six-piston calipers for stopping power. A "brake pedal feel simulator" is programmed to ensure the transition between regenerative and friction braking won't be noticed by the driver.
The Nevera has a sophisticated double-wishbone suspension system with electronically controlled dampers and active ride height adjustment. It also has several drive modes that include Sport and Drift, but Rimac isn't assuming everyone can take full advantage of the car's exceptional abilities off the bat. As a result, the automaker has developed what it claims to be the first artificial intelligence (AI) driver coaching feature it aptly calls Driver Coach. It will arrive in 2022 as an over-the-air update for those that take their Nevera to one of the tracks supported by the system. The system is controlled by software using the NVIDIA Pegasus operating system and uses 12 ultrasonic sensors, 13 cameras, and 6 radars precise audio and visual guidance in real-time to help drivers finesse their racing lines, braking, and acceleration points around the available tracks. We're not saying it'll turn you from Ricky Bobby into The Stig, but it'll sure as hell help you tame 1,914 hp.
As the Nevera is geared to be both a cutting-edge performance car and a luxurious grand tourer, the interior is split into two segments. The top segment focuses on driving, whether it's pleasure or performance. There you'll find two of the three TFT screens, including the digital gauge cluster, the billet aluminum drive mode selector dials, and a screen showing telemetry information to the passenger, such as speed and power output. Under the dials is the main display controlling the infotainment system and below that are billet aluminum switches to give a simple and analog feel to the cockpit. All of these elements are pure and focused, giving you the information you need for piloting a hypercar without unnecessary interference. But from the steering wheel aft, the Nevera's cabin oozes luxury, with high-quality leather, supportive bucket seats, and details befitting its insane price tag.
Rimac boasts that the Nevera's monocoque chassis weighs just 440 lbs and is the "most rigid structure of any car ever made." The structure is built using 2,200 carbon fiber plys and 222 aluminum inserts. Rimac also claims that, including the bonded carbon roof, integrated structural battery pack, and rear carbon subframe, it's "the largest single carbon-fiber piece in the entire automotive industry." In addition, the torsional stiffness of 70,000 Nm/degree means the Nevera meets global standards for safety. Built with performance and in mind, the monocoque is designed to fully encase the battery, too creating a shield against the elements and helping reduce the chances of anything going awry should a driver come undone on a race track.
When paying over $2 million for a car, you can bet it has active aerodynamics. In the Nevera's case, they enhance performance, stability, efficiency, and even cooling. The front hood profile, underbody flap, rear diffuser, and rear wing are controlled by algorithms and move independently. When the car switches from high downforce to its low drag mode, it can reduce drag by 17.5 percent. That gives the Nevera a coefficient drag of 0.3, whereas, in high downforce mode, downforce increases by 326 percent. But it's not just the body that's aerodynamically optimized. The wheels are lightweight and designed to slip through the air with grace while channeling cooling to the Brembo carbon ceramic brakes.
Rimac hasn't stopped in its endeavors to improve the hypercar from concept to production, and from C_Two to Nevera, a 34% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency was achieved, with a 30% improvement in cooling at low speeds and 7% improvement at high speeds.
Rimac designed the Nevera's 6,960-cell Lithium/Manganese/Nickel battery from a clean sheet. It's built into the structure of the car and contributes 37 percent of the structural stiffness to the chassis. The liquid-cooled 120kWh battery pack is set in the middle under the floor to keep the center of gravity low and ideally placed between the wheelbase for a perfect 48/52 front/rear weight balance. At full discharge, it can supply up to 1.4MW of power. In addition to all the power deployed at the wheels, the 120 kWh battery is capable of giving the Nevera a claimed range of 340 miles according to the WLTP combined cycle. US EPA standards are normally a little stricter, so expect a 300-mile range in the USA.
But all of that means nothing if the Nevera were to take days to recharge. No, the 500 kW capabilities mean just 19 minutes is all it takes to recharge the Nevera from flat to 80% charge.