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Driver's Seat: Rimac, What a Concept

Rimac is the Fastest All-Electric Supercar You've Never Heard Of

Electric sedan vs. Boeing 737: Which one is quicker?

Maybe you never pondered the outcome of this seemingly nonsensical matchup, but someone from Australian airline Qautas did (more on that later). Presumably, it was to underscore the point that all electric vehicle drivers know: Electric cars are really quick, especially off the line.

To understand why, we need a little science. Torque is the twisting motion that turns car wheels. Going from gasoline to tire twist is a multistep process involving parts like pistons, crank shafts, flywheels, and other under-the-hood stuff. Each step in the process drains a bit of energy – and hundredths of a second – from the time you pin the throttle to the time the tires squeal into action. In EVs, the path from batteries to tire-turning torque is a shorter and more efficient one. Thus, a typical EV motor can spin out 15,000 rpms compared with roughly 8,000 from an internal combustion gasoline engine. Hence, the drag-racing prowess of your Tesla.

So perhaps it isn’t surprising that a little-known battery-powered beast is making waves in the speed-crazy supercar world. It’s called the Concept One from Croatian startup Rimac, and it is billed as the world’s first electric supercar. It debuted nearly five years ago, but the buzz surrounding actual production got a recent boost courtesy of footage of the all-EV Rimac roasting both a top spec Tesla Model S P90D and a $1.5 million Ferrari LaFerrari in a quarter-mile drag race.  

As noted above, the Rimac’s off-the-line prowess isn’t surprising given the virtually instantaneous torque of EVs. More impressive is the Concept One’s sustained acceleration – especially against the V12-powered LaFerrari. That’s because electric cars tend to lose their edge – and potentially overheat – under sustained, hard acceleration. Rimac says it combats these performance liabilities with gobs of power and technology: 1,088 hp and 2,800 lb. - ft. of torque courtesy of four electric motors, each with its own gearbox, and an advanced torque vectoring system that constantly calculates the optimum amount of twist to send to each wheel.

According to Rimac, all of this means the Concept One doesn’t require any special “launch mode” setting like gasoline-powered cars for insane off-the-line performance and a zero-to-62 sprint of 2.6 seconds. Just pin the throttle and hold on for dear life. It doesn’t hurt that the Rimac is also elegantly styled inside and out – including a richly appointed interior crafted by former employees of legendary Italian auto-styling firm Pininfarina.
As for our EV vs. Boeing 737 showdown, as you might expect, the sedan (a Tesla Model S) beat the Boeing off the line before succumbing to the jet’s superior acceleration. However, Rimac has also unveiled a hopped-up version of the Concept One supercar, the 1,365-hp Concept S. Dubbed the “evil twin,” it can reportedly hit 62 mph from a standstill in 2.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of nearly 227 mph. Hey, Boeing, how about a rematch?

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