Electric Hypercar launched in London

A new €1 million 1073 bhp sports car will make its debut at the Salon Privé supercar show from September 5 to 7 at Syon Park in west London. The Rimac Concept_One has two claims to fame. Firstly, it is powered by four electric motors, one for each wheel. In principle, that should give amazing handling as each motor will be able to vary its torque hundreds of times a second to maximise grip.

Secondly, it is the first supercar to come out of Croatia, the dream of 24–year-old entrepreneur Mate Rimac, who started by converting his old 1980s BMW 3 Series to electric power, and just kept on tinkering.

He says he is most proud of the torque vectoring of the electric motors. Torque vectoring is already used on some high performance cars like the new Ford Focus ST – the idea is to modulate the amount of torque going to each driving wheel. However, doing it with four separate motors should give far more sophisticated results than an electro-mechanical system on just two wheels.

The claimed performance figures for the new car are mainstream supercar: 0-62mph in 2.8sec, a top speed of 190mph and a range of 375 miles. Presumably that range is not calculated when doing high-speed runs: even the most advanced batteries drain very quickly at over 120 mph, as the current draw is huge.

Rimac says he is not primarily attracted by the environmental credentials of electric cars. Only 88 examples of the Concept_One are planned, and as Rimac says, it can make no difference to the environment. He wants to show that an electric supercar is simply better to drive than a conventionally-powered one.