Mate Rimac is poised to unveil the production version of his company's C_Two electric hypercar concept at the Geneva motor show next March and has already concluded a world-first deal with the London-based HR Owen dealer group to put both the car and supporting tech products on sale early in its life.
He has also announced plans to open a research and development centre here because he “likes working with Brits” and regards the UK as home to Europe’s best, most pragmatic engineers.
The 1900bhp, four-motored, 256mph Croatian-built hypercar, which is claimed to sprint from 0-60mph in less than 2.0sec and has Level 4 autonomy that can teach you the fastest way around race tracks, will go into production at the end of next year. It should become available to UK buyers during 2021 for around £2 million.
Orders are being taken now, and UK cars will be delivered exclusively from a new £40 million HR Owen 'experience centre' in Hatfield, Hertfordshire that the group is building as an outlet for all of its luxury brands.
Rimac, whose boss is in London this week to announce the deal, will make 40-50 examples of the hypercar per year, plus a similar number of the Pininfarina Battista, which uses the same Rimac-designed all-carbonfibre chassis and mechanicals.
The 600-strong organisation has been wowing car industry 'majors' with its ambition and knowhow (it's already 14% owned by Porsche and 15% by Hyundai-Kia) and has already built up a thriving business supplying battery technology and electrified sub-systems to bigger car companies. It will limit production of its own cars carefully. “If we stay under 100 units a year,” says Mate Rimac, “the big guys don’t care."
Production of the C_Two will begin well before the year's end, Rimac says, because the company will build around 25 pre-production prototypes. Finished cars will weigh around 2000kg (about the same as a Bugatti Chiron at the kerb), which seems heavy until you remember that 700kg of that is a 120kWh battery that delivers both enormous performance and a generous WLTP range of 340 miles.
The car began life with a two-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, but Rimac says progress with electric motor design has allowed for a lighter, less complex single-speed unit.
As well as offering huge performance, Rimac says the hypercar will be spacious, allow easy access and be generally “liveable with”. Although closely related to the C_Two, the production model will have a different name. “I can’t tell you what it’s called yet”, says Rimac. “We haven’t decided yet."