In a recent interview on Drive Tribe, Richard Hammond sat down with CEO of Rimac, Mate Rimac, to discuss the elephant in the room - the Rimac Concept One that was totaled with The Grand Tour host behind the wheel. In the 26 minute interview, Rimac and Hammond dissect his crash and go over some specifics of the crash.
After a successful three runs, Hammond had one more run to make with the Rimac. Jokingly, he even put out the idea that this would be the run where he crashed (something he tends to do fairly regularly). As predicted, when Hammond reached the top of the hill, the rear-end of the electric supercar slid out and caused the Rimac to fall onto the road underneath. The car proceeded to roll for around 110 meters (360 feet), narrowly missing a house thanks to the curvature of the surrounding landscape.
And also I was aware that the car was taking just such a beating. I mean if you look at those craters, that's a big hole that's just impact and it looks like the thing has been dropped from space to leave a whole that big. So yeah I was probably going 'well this is it'. In fact that is what was going through my mind. I thought 'I've had it'.
One might wonder how Mate Rimac feel about this crash; after all, any person would hate to see their hard work destroyed. Surprisingly, his first takeaway is just how safe the car was, despite the severity of the crash. Rimac considers his organization a technology company, not necessarily an auto manufacturer. One that started with just 6 people and has since grown to around 250 - the company builds technology for petrolheads, by petroheads. The Concept One's goal was not meant to be efficient by going all-electric, rather because it was the best powerplant for the idea that Rimac felt would be right for the company.
With nearly 1,100 horsepower, the Concept One is fast. Four motors couple to four gearboxes and apply torque vectoring to the wheels over 100 times per second. It even allows for selectable front, rear, and all-wheel-drive configurations. Hammond might simply not have been ready for the technology of the torque vectoring coupled with the sheer torque produced by the vehicle.
Rimac believes that Hammond may have simply been going too fast to provide adequate braking into the corner. During the first run, Richard reached a top speed of 145 km/h before reaching the problem corner. On his last run, a maximum speed of 177 km/h (110mph) was reached. Fortunately for the other seven Concept One owners, the value of their cars just went up. Rimac brought in a customer car for this trial - not one of their own. And what makes matters worse, Mate Rimac states that his company will not be manufacturing a replacement.
Good news for all who want to see the Rimac perform its hill climb, though. Hammond states that they will not be scrapping the piece, as they have enough footage to finish the bit to include in the next season of The Grand Tour.