Everyone with any interest in cars will have heard of Rimac over the past few years. This Croatian electric hypercar maker has become known for making some of the fastest cars on the planet, and almost killing Richard Hammond.
After the famous crash involving Mr Hammond on The Grand Tour, Rimac has gone on to cement themselves as a leader in the world of electric cars and have even partnered up with VW and Porsche to take control of Bugatti. So, how did this company go from zero to hero in such a short amount of time?
It all started in 2007 when the companies founder, Mate Rimac, was just a 19 year old that enjoyed taking his E30 BMW 3 Series to drift and track days at the weekends. It was during one of these events that he blew the engine in the BMW, but instead of trying to fix or replace the internal combustion engine, Mate decided to build and install an all-electric powertrain.
Mate worked on the electric conversion for over a year but he wasn’t happy with what could be achieved with the components available on the market at the time. The end result was a car that was slow, heavy and had a very limited range. Not being one to give up easily, Mate started to build a team to help him realise the dream of a fun and fast EV. Rimac Automobili was officially founded in 2009 with the ambition of proving that electric cars could be as good, if not better than, the fossil fuel alternatives that dominated the market.
The original BMW would be rebuilt five times over the years, as well as picking up a bright green paint job that gave it the “green monster” nickname. Along the way the car would break several world records with the final version producing 593bhp, hitting 62mph (100kph) in 3.3 seconds, and becoming the fastest electric car ever made at the time.
After this success Rimac started work to build their very own electric supercar, and we’d get our first glimpse of their work at the 2011 Frankfurter Motor Show in the form of the Concept One. Only 8 Concept One’s would ever be built, but with 1,287bhp and a top speed of 221mph (355kph), it provided that electric cars could be made to keep up with their petrol powered equivalents, and that Rimac knew exactly how to do it.