I was first introduced to the Rimac C_Two when speaking with Tom ‘Wookie’ Ford back in March about his new four-part series called HARD CELL, which launched on the new streaming service MotorTrend in April. The focus of the new show was the electric car and although electric cars won’t replace supercars in the foreseeable future nor will Formula E replace Formula One, what Formula One has shown us is that some form of hybrid can work extremely well.
In the first episode, Tom visits Rimac, which is based in Croatia, and specialises in making electric dreams into reality. A high-tech fast mover, Rimac has set its goals on making an EV supercar for the 21st century and beyond. The CEO and founder, Mate Rimac is a petrolhead but without pistons. He has that same passion and slight obsession but gets his kicks from volts and not vapour Tome tells me.
The new Rimac C_Two is most certainly impressive. It 1,887 brake horsepower and will do 0-62mph in a mind boggling 1.9 seconds and 0-100mph in 4.3 seconds, and will go onto a top speed of 258mph, so it is blistering fast. It should also have a range of around 400 miles on a full charge, which is good to an EV.
So I was particularly interested when I read this week that Rimac Automobili has revealed the next stage in the development of the Rimac C_Two with a new production line at Rimac’s recently opened production facility in Veliko Trgovišće in Croatia.
The new production line will allow Rimac to accelerate the production of Rimac C_Two prototypes necessary for final validation and crash testing for worldwide homologation. It will now take around five weeks to assemble each C_Two, cutting the production time in half, meaning that the team can now build four final production vehicles a month at full capacity. Although the prototype assembly process takes five weeks, the process actually starts much earlier, as many of the components and systems are produced in house and therefore delivered to the final assembly line far quicker.
To date, Rimac has assembled four early prototype vehicles, but a further 13 are needed for the testing and the homologation process, followed by another 10 pre-series cars, most of which should be produced this year. The fully-fledged homologation process takes three to four years from the initial concepts, to full prototypes, and then to cars on the road. It is therefore anticipated that with the new production line in place, Rimac Automobili will be in a position to start delivering customer cars in 2021, delayed from this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new production line is divided into five main zones, beginning with the bonding of all brackets and fixing points onto the monocoque. Two people in each following zone then continue to build the car piece-by-piece. Sub-assemblies for the powertrain, dashboard and front radiator are built away from the line and delivered completed, ready to fit.
Mate Rimac, who is the Founder and CEO, Rimac Automobili, said: “We have worked hard to bring the C_Two to the stage where it is now, and we want our customers all over the world to be able to experience the thrill of a 1,914hp all-electric hypercar. The only way we can do that is through a strict crash testing process requiring many different prototypes, each of which has its own purpose. While some cars will go straight from the production line to the crash testing facility, others will be used for different validation tests before hitting the wall. Only a handful of prototypes will not be crashed during this program. As we are ramping up prototype production, this new line is an absolutely necessary investment to streamline the process, and it’ll help us as we begin to deliver customer cars from next year.”
Whilst working on the development of the C_Two, the Rimac Automobili business has continued to scale up, with Porsche increasing its ownership stake in the business to 15.5% and Hyundai Motor Group recently investing €80 million into the business. These two manufacturers join a list of already established partners, which include Aston Martin, Automobili Pininfarina and Koenigsegg.
We eagerly await the final car’s name and design, which we understand will be revealed later this year. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about Rimac Automobili, then please visit https://www.rimac-automobili.com
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a member of The Guild of Motoring Writers, professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Rimac Automobili