When you think of countries that build hypercars, Croatia might not be among them, yet that’s precisely from where the Rimac Concept One hails. This all-electric missile features four motors, one per wheel, that combine for a staggering 1,224 horsepower, propelling the sexy and sleek 4,000-pound coupe from zero to 60 in under 2.5 seconds. It will take you longer to read this paragraph than for the Rimac to go from zero to 186 mph (it does the deed in 14 seconds), and it tops out at a staggering 221 mph. A mere eight were made, and one’s up for sale at Manhattan Motorcars.
The plug-in hypercar churns out a whopping megawatt of power under acceleration, affording more than 1,180 lb-ft of torque. Underpinned by a carbon-fiber monocoque for safety and rigidity, the beautiful exterior was purposefully crafted for maximum aerodynamic efficiency and performance. Those mono-block 20-inch wheels are each connected to a separate motor, which can help with regenerative braking to add range back into the car, a separate inverter and a separate transmission. This system allows Rimac to employ an innovative and responsive all-wheel torque vectoring system.
“I wanted to make a sports car that’s electric, to make things that weren’t possible with a traditional combustion engine set up,” Rimac founder Mate Rimac tells Men’s Journal. “This four motor system lets us adjust everything in each individual wheel, on the fly, infinitely.”
The car can shift torque and power to or from any wheel, within milliseconds, depending on how you’re driving. While the system is capable of processing more than 100 inputs per second, Rimac and his team ultimately decided that more than 100 wasn’t necessary.
“There’s a virtual car running in the vehicle’s computer,” Rimac explains, “and it’s got all the mathematical models of the tires, the suspension, the aerodynamics. It’s monitoring everything live, from speed, g-forces, yaw, steering input, and more, and based on all of these factors, the computer generates can predict what the car is capable of, where the limits are, and the direct torque accordingly.”
Unlike a traditional combustion engine vehicle, the Rimac can control the wheel in two directions, accelerating or braking, and “one wheel can have negative torque while the other three are accelerating,” Rimac says, adding that everything can reverse faster than you can blink.
I wanted to make a sports car that’s electric, to make things that weren’t possible with a traditional combustion engine set up.
This system allows you to adjust the power split any way you wish, with a bias to the rear, or as a rear-wheel-drive only, or a front-wheel-drive, or all wheels driven and anything in between.
“If you want to do big drifts, you can set it up for oversteer,” Rimac explains, “or you can set it up neutral to give you the cleanest handling through any corner. Or you can set it to understeer for the inexperienced drivers.”
However you prefer to drive it, the Rimac Concept One’s cockpit will invariably make everything feel faster, given the low seating position, near the center of gravity of the vehicle. The cocoon is drenched in bespoke leather and Alcantara, with center console controls machined from solid metal blocks. Everything is absurdly well thought out and driver-focused, with the goal being an unparalleled feeling behind the wheel.
The best part? The Concept One will only get quicker. “We can update the system over-the-air to increase power and other systems,” Rimac says. When the Concept One launched, it had 1,088 horsepower, and that jump up to 1,224 happened quietly via one of those updates. Imagine waking up to discover that your car just gained 136 horsepower overnight?
For more about this model and other luxury vehicles, visit Manhattan Motorcars, the New York city-based award-winning retailer of Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, SSC, Rimac and Lotus. Follow Manhattan Motorcars on Facebook and Instagram.