How’s this for an endorsement: I urge you to watch Nico Rosberg’s first drive of his Rimac Nevera—with 34-year-old company founder Mate Rimac in the passenger seat. Keep reading for why I think this 1,900 horsepower EV hypercar might be some of the best car content of the year (so far).
Allow me to state the obvious: conditions here were perfect for an engaging drive.
Nico Rosberg is picking up a Rimac Nevera he paid for from the factory in Croatia. Other than having a flight to catch, he was pretty much free to do what he wanted to when behind the wheel. You’ll see the former Formula 1 ace found his car to have plenty of power, keeping him loose and entertained.
Mate Rimac, on the other hand, is a complete genius who’s switching on the fly between: a brilliant engineer, a car geek riding shotgun to a Formula 1 World Champion, the founder of Croatia’s only car company, the CEO of Bugatti Rimac, and a guy who also has a flight to catch.
The way Mr Rimac explains how the car deploys its performance at that level—as best in the world—is mind-bending. Ultimate limits for the car are thermal, with regenerative braking, the batteries, and other systems working in unison to deliver consistent performance as easy to turn up as a dash-mounted dial.
In fact, its standard performance is so strong that on the day (driver’s discretion, of course!) Rosberg wouldn’t use full throttle. Mr Rimac then explained: in Track mode the car had 30% more power left to give.
I’ve gone through and annotated key moments if you’re looking to quickly jump to interesting bits of dialogue, including Mr Rimac detailing how the CTO of a major automaker wrote off a Rimac, spearing its battery on a hydro pole on the guest’s overconfident first test drive.
- Nico stressing about leaving the garage
- Driving modes
- Nico: “So…is…will this accelerate faster than my F1 car?!” Mate: “I think it’s faster.”
- Track mode for the first time
- Making Mate nervous
- CTO story
- One happy hypercar owner
- Next 10 years of Rimac incl. autonomous cars (perhaps Apple? 🤔)
- Nico trying to spin the tires
- Thermal limits discussion
- Mercedes-AMG One
- Mate Rimac impressed by the Aston Martin Valkyrie
- The next Bugatti & company culture
- Mate: “Actually, I wanted to work for free…”
After I heard Mr Rimac say under his breath over the CTO incident, “these guys don’t feel sorry” and Nico Rosberg throwing shade at the Mercedes-AMG One (my story on the car is here), all I want to see is a limited Netflix series where the two play the jet-set version of Undercover Boss and don disguises to test drive exotic cars at events and dealers around the world. Or something like that.
Nikola Tesla was Croatian, too; perhaps Mr Rimac’s success is both inevitable and the fresh breeze we need to clear some musk from the air surrounding EVs. via Nico Rosberg on YouTube
see also: Mate Rimac on Wikipedia • Rimac Nevera homepage • Rimac BMW E-M3 •
Show some love for Carllective, a new Canadian car website and app (coming soon)!
Focusing on upcoming events, there is a great design and focus so far—everything is on one page, stretching out until October. It is about time enthusiasts had a resource like this!
Something different from Nürburgring resident and driving expert Misha Charoudin: local house tours.
Interesting not only for the in-depth guide to a small number of properties, it’s seductive to picture a future for speedster.news if it had a satellite garage located 10 minutes from the world’s most famous public road. Maybe with a small suite for any members in the area?
Maddening: even Germany seems more affordable than Canada these days. via Misha Charoudin on YouTube
1999 Ranger EV, $16,000 • Mate Rimac got his start in hypercars by converting an older BMW to EV and iterating that. What about starting from the affordable domestic electric pickup truck everyone seems to have forgotten about?
Remember these four words: carbon fiber leaf springs.
Ford was first with the Ranger EV in the late ’90s, and as its small enthusiast community is showing, its age has not dulled its capabilities. Owners and mechanics are successfully modifying the powertrains for newer lithium batteries scavenged off of modern EVs, improving charging options, plus adding modern battery management and displays.
Range? Now more than 140 miles for a handful of owners.
Better yet, anything that’s not powertrain related is a ’90s Ranger. It’s both Pep Boys compatible and a blank canvas to become an off-road EV prerunner, EV overlander, EV mini truck, EV town truck, sleeper EV drag racer…
Because these electrics are few and far between, they tend to have been driven sparingly and well cared for. Still, I could see these becoming even more rare in North America, with good examples being sent overseas to collectors and the rest slowly cannibalized in a drip of parts for survivors.
Those carbon fiber leaf springs, for instance, only appeared in the first year of production.
Why doesn’t Ford talk more about the Ranger EV? It doesn’t have to. Why would it? Opening the door to speculation of why Ford shelved development of its electric vehicles is a slope too slippery.
Regardless, that doesn’t change the fact about 1,400 were produced from 1997-2002 and most of them for sale online still list for less than $10,000. Not rare enough? There’s a Chevrolet S-10 EV, too, which was front wheel drive and based on the legendary EV-1. ;) via Ford Ranger EV (The OEM Ones) on Facebook
see also: REVolt (Ford Ranger EV owner group) • Ford Ranger EV on Wikipedia • Ranger Electric Trucks LLC • Chevrolet S-10 EV on Wikipedia • 2000 Ford Ranger EV - POV Drive