Time to strap yourself (and your brain) in for a juicy exclusive as Jack Rix gets behind the wheel of Rimac’s C_Two prototype. The Croatian EV ‘supercar GT’ has 1,887bhp (1,400kW) and 1,696lb ft of torque, a 0-62mph time under two seconds, a 258mph top speed, and a £1.7million price tag. Series 28: Geneva Online Motor Show: First Look: Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.
the age of the electric hypercar is upon us the Lotus Evora the Tesla Roadster the Pininfarina Bautista and this the rim AXI to our all eminent all have almost 2000 brake horsepower all have four-wheel-drive all look loaf and lean and promise face melting acceleration but nobody’s had the chance to experience that sort of shot until now it’s good let’s add some facts to my incomprehensible squealing shall we back in 2008 when we first saw it Wemmick gave us a spec sheet for the situ and it read like this before carbon fiber monocoque four motors one for each wheel producing 1887 brake horsepower and 1696 pounds-feet of torque the kerb weight of around two tons naught to 60 miles an hour in 1.8 five seconds naught to 100 in four point three naught to 186 in eleven point eight and a top speed of 258 miles now that makes it one of the very fastest cars ever built it also has a claim range of 340 miles 550 kilometers on the W LTP cycle and can top up nought to 80% of its 120 kilowatt hour battery in 30 minutes thanks to a charging capacity of up to 300 kilowatts however as you can see from the camouflage on this car this isn’t a two-year-old Joker this is a prototype of the full production machine be it warm with them a lot so today is very much a taster but while we’re here I can tell you what I think talk about is the acceleration it’s not quite as explosion about the blocks as you might imagine that’s because this is an early prototype with a two-speed gearbox on the back axle the foot production car is going to be a single speed but this is locked in second gear because that’s all they need for the but the processes this car needs to validate the way it picks up then it’s smooth it’s quick I’m heading uphill to be fair here which looks the acceleration anyway but once you in gear there’s quite a lot of talk there is quite a lot performance it does feel quite naughty the overriding sense though with this is the feeling of the solidity it’s noisy it’s a prototype you’re going to get that you’re gonna get Scotland’s pinging off it and you can hear the tires and a bit of wind whistling around the a-pillars but through my bum and through my fingers it feels absolutely keyed in so when you turn the wheel it just moves there’s no slack the carbon fiber monocoque that’s super super stiff the suspension is attached directly to the carbon monocoque it’s a fantastic basis drives the v8 m5 he’s a petrol head he’s just a bloke that loves cars he didn’t make an electric hyper car because he wanted to save the planet or prove anything in particular only but he thought using batteries and monitors was simply a better way to make a fast car it doesn’t have the range it doesn’t have the repeatability of performance I mean we’re going to find out that the finished product later on but from this evidence electric is certainly catching up and then it was time to pick up a passenger who I let dry for a little bit considering is his car thanks for having me thank you especially as I’ve been told I sound a little bit like Richard I haven’t so her I don’t you getting any flashbacks don’t worry we’re not going to go there you still get happy every time you sit on the wheel of this car camera yes I do but I can never just drive I always watch all the details and all the data and like try to hear if there’s something wrong and so on yeah so for me it’s like the test-drive every time so how do you describe your driving style that sweet aggressive like this that answers that one then it’s gone then how much them how much power does this prototype and there’s an early prototype how much does it produce at the moment around one tiles and kilowatts one my god what’s that thousand bialys 1,300 horsepower okay why is it limited just tell me a bit about this prototype and what stage of the process this comes from so every prototype has a different purpose yeah this was actually the first running cartridge we produced almost a year ago now yeah which means that it’s basically based on 15 month old data so as the process is going on while you produce the card yeah and this was used to test the suspension and the battery and let’s say the basics of the power train so we didn’t take care of the exterior interior so a lot of the stuff here is improvised the duct tape and so on 3d printed yeah but it used it was used for the suspension setup and so on and what we wanted to do first is to have a really good let’s say passive car yeah meaning mechanical grip the suspension geometry the kinematics of the suspension the setup together with the tires because the car tires are custom-made for this car by Pirelli yeah and then add torque vectoring on top of it yeah because otherwise you might just be you know covering up deficiencies with talked back to you guys you know the chassis is okay but that’s what we don’t want you want to have a really solid car with the altar corrector and then add the functionalities of torque vectoring on top of it we want to have some kind of natural control in the vehicle like when you are in drift mode that you can really slide the car around and still feel like you are in control and have minimum intervention but still some kind of intervention because you don’t want the tire to go 300 km/h while the car is moving 50 you just said it has a drift mode so that’s that’s one of the things in the finished car right when we have the torque vectoring systems overlaid can you do the whole tent mode thing spinning on the spot because you could effectively turn wheels in different directions yeah totally yes but it’s not something we would give to our customers it’s a little bit dangerous I think but it’s a nice way of demonstrating just how thick you can hear it’s like a thank you okay so if we project forward to the production car that we’re gonna see in Geneva yeah how much of this specs from the for the concept car from two years ago have been carried over I’ve got I’ve got a checklist just to make sure we don’t miss anything silver for motors we still have them yeah the two-speed gearbox because the concept had just be give ups on the rear axle right yes Thursday this car still has them yes this was an early retirement but for production we decided not to have a two-speed gearbox but to go for six-speed gearbox in order to reduce the weight and the complexity and increased efficiency so this car still has the two-speed but we are just using second gear right now yeah because that’s closer to the production car and how how can you maintain that 400 kilometers an hour top speed with just a single speed gearbox yeah there was a trick to really increase the performance of the motors and the inverters so we moved the motor speed from 12,000 rpm to 18,000 rpm and the torque at the same time from 700 Newton meters to 900 meters here so in that way we could have the same acceleration and same top speed without having to spur two gears is that is the hain still 1900 horsepower there is 1,300 sir and the range 550 kilometres w LD P cycle yes LTP now I remember meeting you two years ago and you said the aim was to do two fast laps of the Nurburgring without significant decrease in performance how close are you to that that’s tough one you’re still working on that next question yeah well for the apalis train it’s doable it’s not a problem yeah the problem is the batteries which are heating up so the strategy of how you start the lap and how you manage the power and the cooling during the lap that’s something that we are really tuning doing lots of simulations can we do two laps today no we can’t without the rating but I hope you’ll get there on that night we swap seats so I could have another guy this time under the watchful eye of mr. Remmick so I almost died twice being the passenger in a test time so I third time lucky I was I had to promise my girlfriend that I will never drive as a passenger with somebody else in our prototypes again it’s Oh be careful please just decide what I did turn up the matter I said okay yeah I’ll do some driving with Jack in the passenger seat and then yeah he could just go off on his own I know I want you in here don’t worry I’m taking it easy I’m just I’m learning the car you know I’ve been driving prototypes before yeah yeah so how much more power because a car tape I’ll be honest in the Top Gear office when you first announced the situ and it was 1904 Speyer you know we were like this is such a leap from anything that we’ve known before I remember the Veyron being announced with a thousand horsepower and us just blowing our minds why pick this power number is it this as much as four tires can take could you can you see a more powerful car in the future well the throttle is not a digital switch you know so you don’t have to use the full power all the time but there is never too much power I think like even with thousand an hour horsepower the tire can’t take it until 120 but above it you could have more power no problem for yeah yeah yeah so I don’t think that’s the problem well without you know when the McLaren f1 came out everybody was like okay that’s it there will be no car with more power than that yeah and today you have sedans and SUVs with that kind of power no so today I would say that 100 horsepower is like why would you need more but I don’t know let’s speak again in a few years to sum up then the C 2 is already blisteringly quick to drive how fast it will be when a further six hundred horsepower is unleashed I can only imagine the steering brakes and refinement all need a fair bit of tuning but this is a six month old prototype so we won’t dwell on that too much what we can say is in the corners it feels stiff and alert and super flat half a ton lighter at least than its 2 ton plus curb weight suggests and here’s the clincher it hasn’t even had the infinite four-wheel drive torque vectoring wizardry applied yet when it does the handling should be out of this world oh and because you’ll have direct manual control over how you want the power distributed up to 100% to the rear axle in drift mode it might be a hyper GT at heart the c2 but it’s going to be a lot of fun on the track as well ok learn a bit more about the man and the company we were writing the book I’m not just hyper cars but electric cars in general ok matter you must feel like we’re surrounded by your baby’s here that’s the 2018 show car over there the prototype we’ve been driving and the new final production model we’re not even talk about that now someone talked about you demand the company the electric car landscape in general but before that first question it’s the one that everyone wants to ask what’s the secret to your beard well actually you know I started a company in when I was 20 years old and what strange enough to do it in Croatia and you know I needed the beard to look more serious so people would take you seriously in these big meetings well I hear I’m you know musk is thinking about growing one so it helps you know it gives super pores so take us right back to the beginning where did your fascination with electric cars begin almost crazy bald cars all my life my parents told me I was crazy about them before I could walk or talk like Howard presented my hand hurts so my father would cook me my grandfather’s folk song people and then I’ll forget about the hurting ham and when I was in high school I was doing stuff with electronics I was the creation champion for electronics and innovation I had two patents when I was 17 years old I won a bunch of awards all over the world but I wanted to do something with cars all my life and as soon as I turned 18 I bought in 1984 BMW 3-series that we call a box in Croatia I like because it’s so boxy I started to race it because I wanted to race and that was the easiest way to start racing you buy an old car with rear-wheel drive and well differential you have a few spare tires and you go you know but the engine blew up just after two races and then I decided to combine my two passions electronics and cars and being from Croatia I read a lot about Nikola Tesla who was born here as well before Tesla Motors and the whole thing was famous you know in Croatia we were very proud of him and one of his inventions was the electric motor that we are using today the alternating current electric motor and that motor was so fascinating to me that it’s so perfect and so superior compared to combustion engines so why is nobody using that to make cars fun and exciting so I decided when the engine on the BMW blew up to make an electric race car to show that electric cars can be fast and exciting that’s how it started and it started from that and here we are many years later just remind people how old are you I’m 32 32 yeah that noise you can hear is everyone watching this video saying wishing they worked harder at school I think well you know it starts with a dream but then the dream often becomes a nightmare I mean to get here from that garage to here it was not an easy journey let’s say it was worrying about making payroll not being able to pay the rent and the facility and so it was really really hard to get this company off the ground and like 90% of the work is not fun but then in the end when you look at the results you know we never actually look back and say wow look at what we have achieved it’s always like a wolf you know when I look at the car I still see a million things that we need to get done to ship the first cars to customers you know to make delivery on time to do the home Legation and so on it’s never like we’ve done it you know so it’s like a car company or a technology company we want to be both we want to bake the best like two hyper cars in the world and to show what’s possible and to push the bar on the other side we want to help the industry to go electric and to help other car companies like Porsche undying Koenigsegg St Martin and many others to make hybrid and electric cars that are exciting and fun so for use it the cause of the technology that fascinates you more but you know Enzo Ferrari built Road cars to be able to race I’m I kind of started doing technology because I couldn’t find investors for for the supercar business and then the technology business kept the car thing going now it’s different you know you know I was crazy about cars all my life like many of the guys probably watching this video and going at car shows as a kid you’re always wondering what’s been the curtains what’s going to be unveiled and stuff like that and now we are shaping what’s behind the curtains in many ways you know in many companies and so on so it’s super exciting going around Geneva now in a couple of days and having the curtains around before they are wheeling and I know what’s under it of many of them so you know it feels like we have become a really important part of the industry and I think that’s great like shaping the future in a way and of course we’re seeing battery-electric technology being used to enhance these big petrol engines as well so you had the 918 Laffer re generation of hybrid cars but now the aston martin Valkyrie which I know that riemeck works with that’s got the hybrid assistance built into the gearbox so it’s people using this electric power to enhance these petrol engines towards the end of their life of your back yeah it’s about making the cars better not only electrical hybrid for the sake of making select your hybrid but to use the potential of the powertrain to really push the limits and make them better vehicles and that’s the thing also with us we didn’t do this to save the planet or to save co2 emissions with a couple of hundred cars that will produce in the next you know years it’s not going to move the needle but it’s really about pushing the limits and to show that electrification and the future will not be boring for you know there is a fun future for guys like us that love cars and you talked about batteries there this 120 kilowatt hour battery in this where does the next big leap in battery technology come from and are we not in danger of creating a generation of electric cars now that in 10 years are just going to be out of date ooh heavy too full of precious metals etc well I have my notebook where I wrote down everything when I started and I printed out everything and you know there were some certain batteries coming on the market at that time and if you look at the battery cells themselves in the chemistry’s what was state-of-the-art back then in terms of energy density energy per kilogram it’s today it’s still pretty much the same so it’s like 10 percent improvement over 10 years what has happened is the prices have come down massively like 80 or 90 percent but in reality you know people were sending me links all the time like why don’t you use this you battery technology that new battery technology were you have press releases all the time and people announcing stuff but it never came to the market so I don’t really believe that there will be a big leap in battery technology in the next few years it’s incremental improvement we are working really hard around the chemistry so we are working with some manufacturers to optimize the chemistry and to but then our work really starts on the module level like to cool the batteries to pack them as densely as possible to make it safe and so on that’s where we are good at but the fundamentals I don’t think there’ll be this huge leap like with lithium air batteries or let’s type solid stay solid-state might come soon but I don’t think it’s going to have an impact for performance vehicles because it course when it does arrive if and when it arrives the prices going straight back up to the top again yeah but it’s solid-state batteries are more attendant to reduce the cost and to have a good energy density but power density will be at the beginning quite bad so it’s not for performance vehicles it’s more for let’s say family and more reasonable vehicles so how is the business changed since you started and supplying manufacturers can you keep up are you growing too fast when we started it was a very different world it was a world when you had the g-wiz that was the electric car in people’s minds when you when you said electric car you know it’s like small ugly boxy so the world has changed and now everybody’s coming to us they want our stuff in their vehicles and so on it’s hard to keep up the you know a very small company working with the very big companies so you know Hyundai is for example a shareholder and they have four times more revenue than Croatians GDP so all of creation companies combined all of the economy is four times weaker than Hugh and I just one company so there’s some massive companies and you know we are then a little wheel in in there you know huge organizations and it’s tough to be on their level because they are doing it for a hundred years but we are getting there it’s a transition and you know basically it’s something that very very few people have done to create a company in a garage and just in ten years be a supplier of key components you know there are safety critical and that are defining the DNA of the vehicle two major car manufacturers and that’s where a lot of the gray hair comes from so it’s not it’s not just the high-performance companies you’re working with you are working with other OEMs on more mass-market electric vehicles and helping them to develop those mass-market TVs yeah I think it would be you know very elite istic to do this just for hyper cars and that’s not something I would like to do of course hyper cars are beautiful nice and we all love them but it would be really nice if this technology trickles down to more mass-market vehicles and you will see something also in Hue nightstand in this Geneva so the point is that we take what we have here in the two million euros hyper car which it will become more affordable in cars like Hyundai so that’s why you know we don’t want to go against the karna street we want to go with the karna street we see what does the whole difficult it is to ramp up and how much money and people it takes you know billions and billions and tens of thousands of the best people in the world to compete against the car companies because it’s such a hard business I don’t think there’s any hardware business than 10 cars with them we can bring this technology to a wider audience that’s what we want we would like that much wider audience has access to fun electric cars yeah all right so let’s assume that you have a situ in your garage that’s that’s sorted what else would be in your dream lottery wind gauge oh I have a long long list so that’s all right we got some time yeah I actually have a list of things that I would like to weigh like you pulled out your pocket yeah will be very long first I wanted like all the cars where we have our components and but that’s going to be very difficult as smart will curry connect is a Greg era you know it’s going to be quite expensive to do that been fighting about this and these kind of cars that they’re very expensive cars but then you know currently my garage would be mostly combustion engine cars ether tm3 air-cooled Porsches maybe some of the new Porsche is you know gt3 RS or gt2 RS so I would like this like night 90s era 80s kind of cars and you know I read somewhere that the market for these pre-war era cars is dropping a lot and I was wondering why and a guy told me the story that you know you are fascinated by certain cars when you are young and then when you are later successful in life you buy the cars that you liked when you were young and so for me that’s the 80s and the 90s that’s the kind of cars that I would love maybe a Carrera GT you know with the crazy v10 sound or an SLR I know it has a terrible gearbox but it was a car that I had you know on my wall yeah so cars like that yeah so there’s that’s your era that’s the car Marte you’re gonna need a bigger garage oh yeah definitely well you know I have everything in the company so I don’t you know what they say paper rich cash poor so that’s not a priority for me for me the priorities that the company is successful