Having unveiled his superfast electric car in Frankfurt last year, a Croatian designer will be trying to find buyers at the prestigious Salon Prive motor show this week in London. Jim Drury reports.
The creators of this million dollar luxury sports coupe hope to change the image of electric cars. Electric vehicles are often lambasted by fast-car lovers as slow and inefficient...but that claim cannot be made of the Concept One. UPSOT: CAR ACCELERATING The Concept One can get from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in 2.8 seconds, reaching a top speed of 300 kph. It has an operational range of 600 kilometres. UPSOT: CAR ACCELERATING Manufacturers Rimac Automobili hope to impress the super rich all over the world. Rimac is a small Croatian firm specialising in developing electric car components. The Concept One was built almost entirely of parts made in Croatia and includes 24 patented innovations. Company owner Mate Rimac (pron: Ma-tay Ree-matz).... SOUNDBITE (Croatian) OWNER OF RIMAC AUTOMOBILI, MATE RIMAC, SAYING: "High-end sports cars - or supercars - have been based on the same principle for decades: they all have a very powerful petrol engine, placed at the rear end; some carbon fibre chassis, and a rear-wheel or a four-wheel drive system. I wanted to shatter that image a bit and take the next step. I was interested in how these cars could be made better." The Concept One is powered by four electric motors producing 1,088 horse power combined. It also boasts Torque Vectoring, an innovative control system. SOUNDBITE (Croatian) OWNER OF RIMAC AUTOMOBILI, MATE RIMAC, SAYING: "We can control each wheel independently and make adjustments a thousand times per second. That means that, for example, when you turn into a corner, the front right wheel can brake for a second, while at the same time the rear left wheel accelerates at maximum power and the front left wheel does nothing." Rimac unveiled the car in Frankfurt last September. Now they're ready to go into production, albeit on a small scale. The company plans to build only 88 of the vehicles, although at 980,000 dollars each that's perhaps not surprising. The Concept One holds five electric car speed and acceleration world records. Its makers hope this year to break their sales records - and leave their fuel-based competitors in the dust. UPSOT: CAR ACCELERATING