New-age supercars such as the Lotus Evija and Pininfarina Battista today vie for the throne as highly optimised groundbreaking 2000bhp electric hypercars come of age. It was the Croatian company that arguably introduced us to the notion of an electric supercar, and while the business has still to really achieve its lofty ambitions, the Nevera marks an important moment in Rimac’s journey. That’s because the Nevera is finally ready to go, its 150-unit run is already in production, and examples are due to reach early adopting customers in the third quarter of this year.
In the build up to cars reaching customers, Rimac has taken to the drag strip to give us our first real glimpse of the Nevera’s huge performance. Unofficially, the Nevera already achieved record-breaking quarter-mile runs in June, but with official timing equipment fitted at California’s Famoso Raceway, the Nevera has recorded an 8.582sec pass at an astonishing 167.51mph – this officially makes it the world’s quickest production car. For perspective, the McLaren P1 covers the sprint in 9.8sec at 148.9mph, with the Chiron Sport knocking it back to 9.4sec at 158mph. Tesla’s new Model S Plaid briefly took the production car crown with a 9.247sec time at 152.09mph, but topping this was light work for the Nevera.
Driven by Brooks Weiselblat from Dragtimes, with standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires – just like every Nevera – the car lined up at Famoso drag strip, with the air temperature at 37°C/98F and track temperature 65°C/149F.
With its Launch Control engaged – done by simply putting your left foot on the brake and flooring the accelerator – the Nevera prepared to unleash the full force of its 1,914hp powertrain through four separate electric motors. Having lifted a foot off the brake, the Nevera’s advanced control systems, Including Rimac All-Wheel Torque Vectoring 2, constantly monitored which wheels had the most grip, portioning out the power to minimize wheelspin and maximize acceleration as it launched down the strip.
And in just a blink of an eye, the Nevera set the ¼-mile in a production car world record time of 8.582 seconds, at a top speed of 167.51mph. The run was the 11th of the day in quick succession, without any performance degradation between the runs.
Nevera’s previous unofficial world record quarter-mile time for a production car was set at 8.62 seconds earlier this year during testing in Croatia on an unprepared airstrip. Rimac has now beaten its own record and produced times that can be independently verified by third parties – with lots of performance still to be unlocked through over-the-air software updates.
Miroslav Zrnčević, test and development driver said: This was our first test on a VHT (glued) surface, so we did not know what to expect. At first we were hitting less than expected ¼ mile times (8,7 and 8,8 seconds) than we did on a normal, non-prepped surface in Europe. The track temperature was 65°C and we had to do some adjustments. Our traction control learns the surface on each run and adjusts the torques on the wheels. After some adjustments and different tire warm-up strategies we managed to get better results. Brooks helped with his experience of staging the car and we managed to set the world record for the fastest accelerating production car and also beat our own 1/4 mile record. Still, we are confident that the Nevera has much more to give and that we can go even quicker with more experience and testing on this kind of surface. We will be back.
Mate Rimac, Founder and CEO said: “Our business started with a BMW 3 Series that I had converted to electric power, which went on to set a number of FIA acceleration records. But what we have produced today is on a completely different level. The Concept_One, back in 2011, was the fastest accelerating EV in the world, running the quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds. We’ve now broken that record with a standard production car by 1.4 seconds. With four independent motors, each individually controlled, we have so much flexibility over how the car accelerates and corners, giving us a huge advantage over any combustion-engined vehicles. But Nevera is about so much more than speed. With the largest battery pack ever fitted to a production car, it can travel 340 miles on a single charge. With in-house-developed Rimac All-Wheel-Torque Vectoring 2 it’s as agile as it is fast, and with electrically adjustable dampers and active aerodynamics it’s comfortable and quiet on a cruise, and a performance machine on a track.”