- Customer deliveries of the Rimac Nevera have begun, with the first one going to 2016 F1 champion Nico Rosberg.
- The car offers 1914 hp and 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds.
- Sticker price? A cool $2.4 million.
2016 F1 champion Nico Rosberg became the first customer to take delivery of a production Rimac Nevera, when he went to the company’s plant in Sveta Nedelja, Croatia, recently and got the keys directly from Mate Rimac himself.
“Woooooah, that’s a beast!” Rosberg said when they pulled the covers back to reveal his all-black Refrigerator. “That’s so cool. Unbelievable. Look at that. That is really, really awesome. wow!”
Rosberg had driven a prototype of the car a year or two before, but it “had wires coming out of the interior.” The car he picked up just days ago is a finished production vehicle.
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Rosberg is not quite a paid spokesman for Rimac, nor is he an investor, but he features the brand a lot on his video channel. The latest installment on that channel shows the pickup of the $2.4 million, 1914-hp all-electric hypercar. It’s car #001 of just 150 to be made (car #000 is staying in the factory in Croatia).
“We’re happy to call Nico a friend of the brand, as he’s been following our journey ever since he met Mate a couple of years ago and saw the C_Two concept,” Rimac said when we asked. “However, he is not an official brand ambassador, he’s our customer. We’re honored to have him join the Nevera owners family, and we’re excited to deliver 149 more units to their future owners.”
With only 150 cars coming out, there are some things you can do that larger carmakers can’t. Mate Rimac himself signs every owner’s certificate and says that he hopes he’ll be able to test drive every car himself. He signed Rosberg’s owner’s certificate and handed over the keys, which come in their own machined metal case.
“For us the important part is that you really have fun with it,” Rimac says. “We didn’t build it as a garage queen or an ornament but something to use.”
Mate Rimac said the company is still working on the “autonomous driving on the track,” wherein the car drives itself—and you—around certain race tracks with no input from the driver. Rimac is still gathering data from tracks all over the world, including in the United States, and once loaded, your Nevera will likely out-lap you.
“My autonomous driving team tells me that it is as fast as our test drivers now on the track,” said Mate Rimac. “But the problem is, what we are still working on, is to see all the different conditions, the degradations that can happen: tires degrading, having a wet patch of the track, or anything unexpected happening. So that’s the difficult part. So if the conditions are perfect the system works well now, but if some degradation is happening that can still be a bit tricky for the system to recognize early enough.”
Until that’s sorted out, the autonomous driving on the track will not be available but will come as a software update when it’s available.
“That would be insane,” Rosberg says in the video. “That would be madness. I’m not sure I would want to do that.”
Mate Rimac also laid out some more about the ever-growing company that bears his name:
- The headquarters in Sveta Nedelja, Croatia, at which Rosberg’s car was delivered will be supplanted by a new, greenfield assembly plant costing €200 million ($203 million) and will offer 100,000 sq-m facility (1,076,390 sq-ft) “next to a castle, in nature.” It will be a “fully sustainable” factory, taking no water from the grid but depending instead on captured and filtered rain water, for instance. Electricity will come from solar panels.
- Crash testing the Refrigerator has convinced Mate Rimac that computer simulations will not replace physical crashes anytime soon. “Theoretically, yes, but it’s a long way away. As far as I can see, it’s going more in the opposite direction now that safety requirements are getting harder and harder, and you crash more and more cars. But it makes sense because people are still… there’s over 1 million people dying on the road every year.”
- The latest round of investment from Goldman Sachs, Softbank, and Porsche totals $500 million. That’s on top of $2 billion already invested from various sources.
- There was a Bugatti Chiron parked in the building, a reminder of the Bugatti nameplate’s part of the overall Rimac. “We are already, for the last two and a half years, we are working on a successor (to the Chiron) and I think you’ll like that a lot. “The Chiron is amazing. And basically, it’s the successor of the Veyron, which revolutionized the hypercar market with a W16 engine, the first car 1000 horsepower. An amazing engine, and the pinnacle of automotive engine development, I would say. But now the time has come to go the next step, and the next step is not going to be electric. Not all electric. We believe there’s still a very important element to Bugattis in the future with combustion engines. But a very interesting combustion engine, I can tell you, and strongly electrified. I would just say it’s going the opposite direction of what everybody probably expects.”
- The Nevera has 14 cameras: “The idea is, when you go on a track where you do fun stuff with the car, you don’t want to bother yourself with Go Pros and think if they are charged and you know where to put them and so on. The car does all of it for you. You just have your app you download the videos and you can post them, plus, you have all the telemetry already there. So you can have the data like speed, throttle, pedal, power, battery state-of-charge, you know, embedded in the video so you don’t have to bother with that yourself.”
- The seat positioning, steering wheel positioning, and many other adjustments have to be done through the touchscreen.
- There will be at least two driving modes, “Range” and “Drift.” Others will surely be in there, too.
- Facial recognition can replace keys for getting in and starting the car.
- Other stats: 1718 lb-ft of torque from four electric motors, one at each wheel; 0-60mph in 1.85 seconds; 0-100in 4.3 seconds; quarter-mile in 8.582 at 167.51 mph.
We speculated in an earlier article that this chassis, drivetrain, and battery pack could be the basis for any number of hypercars, from Bugatti/Rimac to Hyundai. Having driven the Rimac Nevera, I can say the future looks good.
Share your thoughts on the Rimac Nevera and the future for the supercar brand in the comments below.
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