Rimac Automobili: The Origin Story

Mate Rimac, an innovative automotive engineer launched the Rimac Automobili in 2009. An electric car manufacturer developed with one vision, to create the sports car of the 21st century. With an undisputed track record of their success, where their first ever model the Concept One. Is globally regarded as the world’s fastest production electric hypercar. Tight with budgeting nearly all of the components that are used in their electric supercars are made in-house, where they are responsible for their own development of battery packs, drivetrain systems and full functioning vehicles for other vehicle manufacturers such as the Applus+ IDIADA Volar-E.

Although Rimac’s involvement doesn’t just end there, they’re also responsible for developing the KERS hybrid-battery-systems for Aston Martin’s hypercar, the Valkyrie (which is a direct rival for the AMG Concept One and the McLaren Senna). Where their involvement also extends to the Scandinavian hypercar legend Koenigsegg, whereby Rimac is responsible for developing the battery systems used in the Koenigsegg Regera. While also developing the infotainment systems for Renault, and in 2018 a technical partnership was drawn up with Pininfarina. Where their first car, the PFo is said to be based along the same line of the Rimac Concept Two (more details on that later). Where they were also involved in the production of drivetrains and other components for race car drivers, such as Nobuhiro Tajima. Debuted with the joint all-electric car “Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One” at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The car finished the race in second position, ahead of all internal combustion engine cars.


The Origin

The humble story which sparked Mate Rimac’s pursuit happened all the way back when he was 19 and owned an old 1984 BMW E30. Which he used for drifting and circuit racing, where at one of his races the petrol-powered engine blew up. From that moment on it encouraged Mate Rimac to try and build an electric powered sports car. He decided to strip away the BMW’s standard petrol engine and converted it to incorporate an electric powertrain.

After one year of development, the car was driveable, but he wasn’t too satisfied with the result. He found out that the car was heavy, not very powerful and buried with the burden of limited range. Mate Rimac started to gather a team of experts to develop their own components since he believed that the electric propulsion could give much more compared to what was available on the market. This in return gathered the attention of the press and willing investors, wherein 2009 Rimac was officially founded in Croatia; and is the first and only automotive manufacturer to surface from there.


The Green Monster

The BMW E30 (e-M3) prototype was called the “Green Monster” by the designers of the company and was the first model produced by Rimac that helped put it on the automotive map. This ultimate driving machine developed 600bhp and an astonishing 900 Nm of torque. Allowing this masterpiece to accelerate from 0-62mph in 3.3 seconds and onto a top speed of 174mph. Which meant that in 2011 the Green Monster earned the title of the fastest accelerating electric vehicle in Category A, Group VIII (electric vehicle) and Class 3 (over 1000 kg).

Further development updates of the e-M3, which went through five stages of development, have pushed it to become the officially fastest accelerating electric vehicle in accordance with the FIA Rules, where the records set on 17th April 2011 are as follows:

  • 1/8 mile: 7,549 sec.
  • 1/4 mile: 11,808 sec.
  • 1/2 km: 13,714 sec.
  • 1 km: 23,260 sec.
  • 1 mile: 35,347 sec.
The Almighty “Green Monster” That Started It All

It would seem that this plucky little electric automotive manufacturer has made quite a name for itself, having dug its hands and involvement with some of the biggest names in the industry and even contributed into the racing world as well. Their first official launch of the Rimac Concept One (where an article will follow soon after) set a world benchmark for creating the world’s first electric hypercar, and their ludicrous legacy will continue to follow with the even more outrageous launch of the Concept Two. Though the question now is, how will it stack up against its competitors and what does this hold for the future of electric vehicle technology?


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