The Rimac Nevera Is Now the World’s Fastest EV With 258 MPH Top Speed

Beating the top speed of the groundbreaking 2005 Bugatti Veyron, Rimac has shown how far EVs have come in the last decade.

byChris Rosales| UPDATED Nov 15, 2022 10:51 AM
The Rimac Nevera Is Now the World’s Fastest EV With 258 MPH Top Speed

Electric vehicles are known for their physics-bending acceleration, instant throttle response, and whisper-quiet refinement. Top speed isn’t one of those things, and EVs are actually generally weak at going for absolute speed. Rimac has redefined the arena with an astounding 258 mph speed record with a production Nevera supercar.

The history of top speed is glorious and somehow still going strong. The era of the 200-mph car started with the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40 in the ‘80s, moved quickly to the 240-mph McLaren F1 in 1994, then the 253-mph 2005 Bugatti Veyron. We’re in the era of the 300-mph car with the Bugatti Chiron, and that is the pinnacle of top speed and internal combustion. EV top speed, on the other hand, has been more difficult.

Engineering an EV to go fast rather than accelerate quickly is an entirely different ballgame. Where internal combustion makes more horsepower as rpm increases, a typical three-phase electric motor loses power drastically at the top end. In fact, electric motors make the most power at zero rpm, and the Nevera actually holds the title of the fastest accelerating production car, with an 8.6-second quarter mile time. So the issue is obvious. Porsche tackled it with a two-speed gearbox for the Taycan. Rimac uses a single-speed gearbox, which means that the Nevera’s motors are beyond anything else on sale today in terms of capability.

The record attempt happened at Automotive Testing Papenburg, a facility with an oval course featuring two 2.5-mile straightaways. It looks something like Volkswagen’s own test track in Ehra-Leissen and allowed the Nevera to reach its simulated maximum speed of 258 mph. With Michelin Cup 2R tires fitted, the Nevera clinches the title of fastest EV in the world. 

Whether this will ignite a top-speed war amongst EV automakers is unlikely, but it's an impressive achievement that shows just how advanced Rimac’s motor design really is. It’s a breadth of ability only matched by the most expensive internal combustion cars. We might not know it yet, but this is a real moment in the history of EVs.

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