Not every automaker is cut out for the SUV market

The gravy train that is the SUV segment continues to roll along with a few notable absences in the passenger cars area. McLaren and Bugatti have made it clear that they are not hopping on the train anytime soon, and now, you can add Rimac to that list. The Croatian automaker that’s famously known for the Concept_One and C_Two isn’t keen on developing an SUV anytime soon. Instead, Rimac will continue to focus on what it does best: build demented hyper beasts. The C_Two hypercar is tracking nicely for a production debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show and after that, Rimac is already working on a new and yet-to-be-identified two-seater supercar. There’s no room for an SUV here, folks.

Why Won’t Rimac Make An SUV?

Rimac, Like McLaren and Bugatti, Has Decided to Skip the SUV Train
- image 827037
Mate Rimac, who told Top Gear that, while a Rimac SUV makes sense from a business perspective, it’s not something that the automaker is willing to get into if it means compromising its core identity as a purveyor of some of the fastest and most powerful cars in the world.

Sounds familiar, right?

I understand the appeal, and I’m sure that Bugatti, McLaren, and Rimac understand it too. The SUV market is rolling right now to the extent that premium automakers who have previously shunned the segment either have models that are already in the market or are about to enter it.The Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga, and Rolls-Royce Cullinan are a few examples of super SUVs that are now selling like hotcakes on a cold winter morning. The Aston Martin DBX and the Ferrari Purosangue are about to enter the market, too. The growing popularity and subsequent rising demand have made the SUV market one of the most lucrative segments in the entire auto industry. If you’re an automaker that wants to make money, this is the segment you go to.

Exotic Automakers Are Making SUVs to Survive But Rimac Isn’t Worried

Rimac, Like McLaren and Bugatti, Has Decided to Skip the SUV Train
- image 827047

Then again, not every automaker is all about the Benjamins. McLaren has made it clear that it has no plans of ruining its identity by throwing an SUV into a lineup that’s exclusively made of high-end performance cars. Bugatti looks keen to do the same thing, though the French marquee has expressed interest in divorcing its lineup with a four-door super-luxury sedan. But an SUV? Nope. It’s not happening.

Rimac’s rationale is similar to that of McLaren and Bugatti. Company boss Mate Rimac spoke to Top Gear about the possibility of entering the SUV market and just as quickly as the C_Two hypercar can sprint from 0 to 60 mph (that’s 1.85 seconds, by the way) Rimac shut the door completely on a potential high-performance SUV. That’s not to say that he doesn’t understand why other automakers have jumped onboard the gravy SUV train.

“As a business decision, I understand,” he said. “At the end of the day, you can please enthusiasts, or have a business that survives. What do you choose? You choose to survive.”

Sticking to What You’re Good At

Rimac, Like McLaren and Bugatti, Has Decided to Skip the SUV Train
- image 827067
Instead of focusing its attention on models it has no plans of building, Rimac is putting its focus on what’s already on its plate.

In the now and the near future, that’s the C_Two hypercar. And further down the road? A two-seater supercar.

The Rimac C-Two Is Getting All of the Attention

The production-version of the Rimac C_Two is expected to make its debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. Development has so far progressed to the point of crash-testing the upcoming hypercar, with Rimac showing a video where it does just that to a prototype C_Two back in September.

The point here isn’t so much about how the C_Two performed when it was crash-tested, but more on the significant developmental steps that Rimac has taken ahead of the hypercar’s launch in March 2020. Mind you, we’re not just talking about a “standard” performance car; we’re talking about a performance car that’s powered by four electric motors, producing a combined output of 1,914 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet of torque. The C_Two’s absurd amount of output can be seen in its performance times; the hypercar can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 1.85 seconds and from 0 to 186 mph in 11.8 seconds.

Rimac, Like McLaren and Bugatti, Has Decided to Skip the SUV Train
- image 827049
Rimac C_Two Performance And Powertrain
Battery Pack Capacity 120 kWh
Range Per Charge 340 miles
Electric Motors four
Combined Horsepower 1,914
Torque 1,696 pound-feet
0-60 mph 1.85 seconds
Top Speed 260 mph

The C_Two’s crash test is just one aspect of what has become an all-consuming developmental process. Before it even gets to that point, Rimac spends a lot of time performing advanced simulations to see how specific designs and components respond to different situations. Once these components are vetted and approved, real-world testing begins, first at introductory component levels before graduating to full-on crash-testing. The intricacies don’t stop there; Rimac actually uses three different versions of the C_Two during these tests. Experimental prototypes go through the wringer first before the prototypes. Once these mules are done, pre-production vehicles are subjected to the same levels of stringent testing.

Rimac, Like McLaren and Bugatti, Has Decided to Skip the SUV Train
- image 827048

With the amount of work that Rimac is putting into the development of the C_Two and whatever two-seater supercar it’s planning next, you can argue that it has neither the time nor the inclination to build an SUV. And you’d be right.

Source: TopGear

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
About the author

Related Articles

Rimac Took the C Two to Nardo and Bragged About it With Some Cool Pictures

The Production Version of the Rimac C Two Debuts in Geneva Next Year, But Under What Name?

The Rimac C Two Shows Off New Livery at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show

2019 Rimac C Two

2017 Rimac Concept One

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: