30 Prototypes at About $1 Million a Pop: How the Rimac C_Two Can Come to America
Watch Rimac’s chief engineer explain the safety breakthroughs needed for this 1,914 HP electric hypercar to go global.
The Rimac C_Two electric hypercar is all about numbers: 1,914 horsepower, zero to 60 mph in less than two seconds, a top speed close to 260 mph. Yet the most important numbers may be these: 30, and 1 million.
The C_Two will be will be a globally homologated car, though production is limited to 150 units. According to company CEO Mate Rimac, in order for it to be legal in The United States, they need to produce 30 prototypes, thus allowing to speed up the validation and development process simultaneously for both markets.
To compare, Gordon Murray Automotive is only building 13 T.50 XP prototypes for the same purpose. Each of Rimac's 30 prototypes will cost about $1 million each, proving that these electric dreams don't come cheap.
Of course Rimac's Director of Vehicle engineering and Chief Engineer Daniele Giachi is not new to this gig. Once at Fiat, Piaggo and Magna Steyr, he later went to Ferrari, where he worked on the structural stiffness, strength, crash performance and durability of several prancing horses, including the hybrid LaFerrari. At Tesla, his tasks included the structural-concept redesign of the Model S architecture to fit all-wheel-drive. He then worked for BMW to sort out cabriolets and the partnership with Pininfarina, only to land at Rimac in July 2016 as the Croatian EV company's Director of Vehicle Engineering.
With such a resumé, it's no wonder Giachi is the person running the 85-strong vehicle engineering team within Rimac's crew of 700 professionals. Their tasks include setting up the first three running C_Two prototype vehicles for the crash performance of the all-carbon structure, the tuning of the suspension and vehicle dynamics, and the integration of the 1,914-horsepower drivetrain and electrical systems.
At 70,000 newton meter per degree, Rimac's carbon fiber monocoque is stiffer than an LMP1 prototype was just a few years ago. What's more, using an H-shaped battery pack that put cells under the occupants' feet, into the tunnel and behind the seats, the center of gravity has been lowered below the axles, as well as forward to improve frontal grip, balance and acceleration.
With a lowered sill pushed inwards and an optimal seat position thanks to no batteries raising the floor, Rimac managed to combine a tub that's a single piece from the front suspension mounting points to the rears, with a low bonded roof, a structural battery pack, reinforcements and crumple-zones for front, rear and side-impact, a carbon fiber rear subframe, and aluminum structures front and rear.
Weighing under 440 pounds, Rimac believes this to have the best torsional and bending stiffness on the market, ready for small overlaps, poles and more even without the structure's roof section in place.
Here's Giachi, talking about the possibility of future roadsters, explaining the tech and more.
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