BURIED away at the back of one of the smaller halls at Frankfurt, a quiet supercar revolution is taking place.
The brainchild of a 23-year-old engineering genius from Croatia, the Rimac Concept-One is an all-new electric supercar with big ambitions.
Capable of more than 180mph and cracking 60mph in under three seconds, the £650k electric supercar is aimed squarely at rivals from Pagani and Koenigsegg.
In a factory just outside Zagreb, boss Mate Rimac has been busy putting the finishing touches to a car that has already attracted two orders from the Abu Dhabhi royal family.
Producing 1088hp from its electric motors which drive all four wheels, the Concept-One will only be available to 88 lucky – and seriously wealthy – buyers.
With a 600km range and a fast-charging time of just four hours, the Rimac model is for buyers who think a Tesla is just a little too ordinary. Only 15 will be built a year with initial sales taking place in Europe. America will follow once crash tests have been completed.
Chief executive officer Mate Rimac came up with the idea for the incredible car after installing an electric motor in his battered E30 BMW.
‘I had an old BMW race car that was older than me and I used it for drifting but on the racetrack the gas engine blew up so I started to convert it to electric,’ he told Car Dealer.
‘One by one I replaced the components with my own parts and then the car got faster and better each time. I enjoyed it so much I decided to establish a company and create parts for electric cars.
‘After a couple of years this old BMW was one of the fastest on the planet and we made so many changes that there wasn’t much BMW left. That inspired me to make a whole car from scratch.’
It’s an amazing story, but one that’s unbelievably ambitious for a 23-year-old.
‘I know I’m only 23,’ added Rimac. ‘But look at Mark Zuckerberg and what he did with Facebook at my age – he’s a billionaire – it’s a new world now, anything is possible.’
Rimac has so far benefitted from private investment to get the Concept-One model off the ground, but now the firm is looking for more investment to take the project further.
‘We are talking to many investors and are currently negotiating with them,’ explained Rimac. ‘We need the funding to go further. We have some very serious investors now, but we are looking for more.’
But can the project succeed? Is there really enough electric car buyers out there willing to spend £650k? Rimac certainly thinks so.
‘I am confident it will succeed, for sure,’ he told Car Dealer. ‘There’s no question about it in my mind. I am very sure there will be more demand than we will produce – 88 cars is nothing.’ Only time – and orders – will prove that he’s right…