The W16 engine fitted to the Bugatti Veyron produces 1,250 newton metres of torque and a little over 1,000 bhp. It’s the fastest production car in the world and most people accept it’s unlikely ever to be beaten either in terms of those headline power figures or straight-line performance – after all, we live in a period of austerity and environmental consciousness, where a car’s CO2 emissions now lead our new vocabulary for desirability.
So what’s going on with Croatia-based Rimac Automobili’s Concept_One? It certainly fits the profile of an EV, but has gone a bit ‘off message’, missing out on all the self-conscious planet saving stuff and instead focusing on just how much performance can be extracted from these Duracell-like powerplants.
The result is 1073 bhp, 3800Nm of torque, acceleration from 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 191 mph (electronically limited).
Rimac Automobili is a start up Croatian company founded with mission to build the fastest EV in the world. Scuderia Zagreb provided a team of designers experienced with EV’s and ultra luxury cars, whilst a Ex Magna-Steyr designer created the exterior and a team of ex-Pininfarina designers have created the Concept_One’s interior.
Rimac’s basic idea was to create an exceptional supercar with a new propulsion concept. Even primitive (DC) electric motors can outperform combustion engines in almost all areas – efficiency, extremely fast response, wide power band, compact size, regenerative breaking, high torque..etc, but the company decided to go one step further with a new permanent magnet synchronous motor generation system which they developed exclusively for the Concept_One.
Their unique powertrain is divided into four sub-systems, each consisting of one motor, inverter and reduction gearbox. Each of those systems drives one wheel, completely independently from the other. Sophisticated ECUs control each of those systems using the input of many precise sensors placed all over the car. This architecture allows a new approach to vehicle dynamics, which Rimac call – All Wheel Torque Vectoring (AWTV).
Each wheel can independently accelerate or decelerate hundreds of times per second, helping to achieve the desired (driver selectable) handling. Together with the very low center of gravity, extremely high torque available almost from zero RPM and the lack of shift interruptions, the Concept_One is said to deliver a completely new driving experience.
I’ll bet – how exactly do they intend to transfer 3800Nm to the road from zero RPM?
The Concept_One is being revealed at the Frankfurt motor show, when the company will also release further technical details of its propulsion and drivetrain systems.