The Nevera, an electric hypercar made in Croatia, is a stunning vehicle. The car is very low to the ground and it appears that getting in it would be difficult. The first few times you drive it, it takes a bit of getting used to. The steering wheel has buttons for headlights and turn signals, as well as a knob that shifts gears. But once you’ve got that down, it’s simple to operate.
The whole car is like that — simple to operate — its 1,914 horsepower notwithstanding.
One of the first things I noticed as we got underway is that it’s easy to see out of the Nevera. It’s not something you can expect with a car like this. In Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and other low-slung rockets on the highway, it can be difficult to see behind you. While the Nevera’s rear window is not as large as some other cars, it allows you to easily drive on highways. The side mirrors are a big help. The car may not have an engine but it has four electric motors that make a pleasant mechanical sound as the vehicle moves along the road. It wasn’t so loud that it was impossible to talk with my passenger Ryan Lanteigne from Rimac in a normal voice. The Nevera is a very special car, as should be expected for a price of just over $2,000,000. The video will show you why.
The Rimac Story
Rimac, pronounced REE mahtz roughly, is Croatia’s only and first automaker. Mate (MAHta) Rimac is the 35-year old founder of Rimac Automobili. After rebuilding an old BMW that he raced in his teens with an electric drivetrain, he founded Rimac Automobili in 2009, hoping to one day build an electric supercar in Croatia. After rebuilding it with an electric drivetrain — and winning some races, besides — he founded Rimac Automobili in 2009, hoping to one day build an electric supercar in his home country.
Although Rimac the company’s first years were a struggle, Mate’s timing turned out to be excellent in retrospect, with automakers around the world moving to electrify their fleets.
Rimac’s early prototypes were impressive enough to attract significant investments from Hyundai and Porsche, and it raised another 500 million euros (or about $534 million) last year. These prototypes were the basis for what has now become a thriving consulting business, helping traditional automakers build high-performance EVs. Rimac has a few clients that it won’t reveal, including Aston Martin and Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg. Rimac employees say the neveras, or storms, are “extremely strong and charged with lightning,” like their cars. The Nevera is a supercar Mate Rimac had long envisioned. It serves as both a demonstration of Rimac’s expertise in EVs and as a showcase of Rimac’s EV knowledge. It’s a four-motor design — one for each wheel — with a 120 kilowatt-hour battery pack, enough for about 300 miles of range under normal driving conditions.
Four motors and a cravat
But there’s nothing normal about the Nevera’s power output. Four motors provide 1,914 horsepower and 2,360 newton meters of torque, which is enough to reach a top speed 258 miles an hour. Rimac claims that it takes only 1.74 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph. The Nevera is a very friendly car to drive, but it’s also incredibly quick. But it never feels uncontrollable, and that’s a significant engineering achievement.
Even more impressive, albeit more subtle, is the way those four motors work together. The systems of the car adjust each motor’s power output at least 100 times per second in order to maintain optimal handling. The Nevera can take and exit tight corners with no hesitation. It’s a trick other supercars only achieve with braking. It’s hard to believe but the weight of the car is well-packaged, as the batteries are mounted low and near the center. The incredible power available is a big help. It’s also a nice-looking car. Low and radical, but not too much. Civilized. The car is well-made with a flawless carbon fiber exterior and leather interior. The Nevera is a car that reflects Croatian pride. Its intakes are shaped to look like cravats, which were invented in Croatia during the 16th century. The Nevera starts at 2 million euros, or just over $2.1 million. Rimac plans to build only 150.