Which cars and what countries come to mind when you think of fast, exotic, all-electric supercars? The Porsche Taycan Turbo S and Audi RS E-tron GT, from Germany. The Pininfarina Battista, also from Germany. The Tesla Roadster, from the US. And the Lotus Evija, from the UK. Yes, those are, of course, the usual suspects. But how about Croatia? This rather small Central European country on the Adriatic Sea, part of the old Yugoslavia, surrounded by Slovenia, Hungary and Serbia, is probably the last place on Earth from where you’d expect a supercar – an all-electric one at that – to challenge established names from the UK, Germany and elsewhere.
However, that is precisely the case; Croation carmaker Rimac Automobili has unveiled the Nevera, an electric ‘hypercar’ powered by four electric motors, for a total output of 1427kW (1914bhp) and 2360Nm of torque. The Rimac Nevera can accelerate from zero to 100kph in a scarcely believable 1.85 seconds, make the 400m sprint from a standing start in 8.6 seconds, and hit a top speed of 412kph. Notably, these performance figures can’t be matched by any IC-engined production Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche, which is quite amazing. Also, the Nevera has a range of 550km with a full charge, and its batteries can take an 80% charge in less than 20 minutes. Rimac intends to build only 150 units of the Nevera, with each car carrying a price tag of two million Euros (Rs 17.85 crore).
With its headquarters in Sveta Nedelja, Croatia, Rimac Automobili was set up in 2009 by Mate Rimac, a Croatian entrepreneur and tech innovator. The company had unveiled the C_Two concept car earlier at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, and VW Group subsidiary Porsche Engineering picked up a 10% stake in Rimac that year. The Nevera is the production-ready development of the C_Two. ‘This is the car I had in mind when I embarked on the impossible journey ten years ago. The Nevera was born to outperform and raise the bar, redefining the norm for performance cars. Everyone at Rimac is driven by curiosity and a desire to push things to the absolute limit,’ says Mate Rimac. ‘We have utilised the full potential of the electric powertrain, proving that the electric hypercar is beyond exciting,’ he adds.
Rimac, which also supplies high-performance electric drivetrain and battery systems to companies like Aston Martin, Porsche, Pininfarina and Koenigsegg, has pulled out all the stops in developing the Nevera. The beautiful looking car features active aerodynamics, advanced carbon fibre monocoque construction, and a liquid-cooled, 120kWh, 6960-cell battery developed in-house by Rimac. The Lithium-Manganese-Nickel battery produces an impressive 1.4MW of power, feeding the car’s four permanent magnet electric motors that drive the Nevera’s four wheels individually. Rimac claims its electric motors are 97% efficient, compared with 40% efficiency for even the best internal combustion engines. Plus, the motors are entirely maintenance-free and do not require periodic servicing etc.
The Nevera even has an AI-powered virtual driving coach onboard, which evaluates driving performance and provides guidance by which drivers can optimise and enhance their skills, helping them travel faster on a racetrack. This AI-driven system uses as many as 12 ultrasonic sensors, 13 cameras and six radars to record and analyse the driver’s performance. The precise audio-visual guidance allows drivers to improve their racing lines, braking and acceleration points, and steering inputs.
The Nevera – which can accommodate two occupants – has also been designed to work as a grand tourer, with a top-of-the-line infotainment system, full smartphone connectivity, mobile navigation and a wide range of options for personalisation. The Croatian company, which has a global dealer network across Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East and Asia. No official word on whether they will also come to India as yet.