The next generation of insane electric performance to take on the Tesla Roadster 2.0

At this point, it’s impossible to deny Rimac’s presence among the fastest of the fast in the automotive world. The Croatian brand first made a splash back in 2013 when it released its very first production vehicle – the Concept One. By 2014, all eight units of the limited production run were sold. In 2015, Rimac brought its EV speed slab to Colorado with the intention of competing in the very difficult Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, managing to take home a second-place trophy in the process. More recently, the Rimac has been featured as the upstart challenger lined up to take out more traditional street-legal internal combustion-powered supercars, and so far, its triumphed every time. Then there was that time Richard Hammond wadded one into a tight ball of flaming metal in a hill climb contest. The point is this – in the five or so years its been on the market, the Rimac Concept One has been making waves, and it has now established itself as the go-to for superlative all-electric performance. As you might expect, Tesla isn’t having it. In November of 2017, the California brand unveiled its own supercar killer – the Roadster 2.0, claiming such astronomical specs as 1.9 seconds in the 0-to-60 mph test and 10,000 Nm (7,376 pound-feet) of torque. Thing is, Tesla is gonna need to hurry up and get the next Roadster on the road, because Rimac already has an answer. Dubbed the “Concept Two” (Rimac is expected to give it a “real” name soon), this next-gen EV monster will take battery performance to a whole new level, with ever-higher four-figure output numbers and a 0-to-60 mph that looks to break into the high 1-second range, not to mention highly advanced self-driving tech.

The Rimac Concept Two promises to be a game changer in just about every way, and might have the Tesla Roadster 2.0 beat before it can even rolls off the production line. We should know more when Rimac drops the details at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show next week, but until then, read on for our full speculative review.

Continue reading to learn more about the Rimac Tesla Roadster Competitor.

Exterior

- * Speed wedge style
- * Carbon fiber everywhere
- * Advanced aerodynamics
- * LED lighting
- * Coupe at first, but roadster later?

Side vents and creases move the atmosphere through openings in the tail, while the centrally placed greenhouse balances the proportions, hinting at the car's 50:50 front-to-back weight distribution and low center of gravity.

Rimac has been teasing us about its next supercar for a while now, with videos like this one and this one showing quick shots of the upcoming speed machine obscured by shadow. We just couldn’t wait to see it in the metal, so we went ahead and rendered what we thought it would look like.

The overall style is similar to that of the Concept One, with a wedge-like stance that emphasizes the low and wide dimensions through voluptuously curving body panels. The front end is almost U-shaped thanks to its ultra high fender flares, while the headlights pull back along the sides of the vehicle and towards cabin. LEDs for the daytime running lights and forward projection are pretty much a sure thing. A small front intake and blade-like side intakes help to direct the atmosphere where necessary, with carbon fiber elements breaking up the painted bits with a little composite goodness. A lower chin splitter leads to a flat underbody.

In the side, we find monstrous wheels with a rolling pin-esque width, wrapped in uber-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Side vents and creases move the atmosphere through openings in the tail, while the centrally placed greenhouse balances the proportions, hinting at the car’s 50:50 front-to-back weight distribution and low center of gravity.

2019 Rimac C Two
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Don't bother looking for exhaust tips.

Moving to the rear, we will likely find LED taillights set in a squared-off, short tail. A lower diffuser element terminates the flat undertray, while further carbon panels add the requisite sporty weave. An active spoiler in the rear will provide more downforce when needed, and retract into the body to make for a slipperier shape when it’s not. And oh yeah – don’t bother looking for exhaust tips.

While the Concept Two will initially be released as a hard-top coupe, we would expect the next Rimac to get a convertible version sooner or later, and possibly even some kind of 2+2 seating arrangement even further down the line. Maybe.

Interior

- * Only two passengers at first
- * Lots of customization opportunities
- * Carbon fiber and billet aluminum
- * Digital readouts in the console and gauge pod
- * High level of autonomous capability

2017 Rimac Concept One High Resolution Interior
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Note: Rimac Concept One pictured here.

While still an incredible performer, the Rimac Concept Two will also be relatively plush, and it'll get the latest bits of upscale infotainment gear to keep the occupants adequately informed and entertained.

While a 2+2 seating arrangement could be developed later in the Concept Two’s life cycle, the initial batch will definitely only accommodate two passengers maximum. That said, customizability will be high on the Rimac’s list of priorities, and it’ll offer oodles of high-end materials and unique color schemes to choose from. Alcantara and leather will cover much of the layout, while billet aluminum will be used for the switch gear, pedals, steering column levers, and more. Carbon fiber will also play a major role.

While still an incredible performer, the Rimac Concept Two will also be relatively plush, and it’ll get the latest bits of upscale infotainment gear to keep the occupants adequately informed and entertained. A large touchscreen in the center console will provide much of the inputs, while also providing detailed readouts on stuff like energy consumption, performance data, and the like. A digital gauge layout will be found behind the steering wheel for further critical info (road speed, etc.).

Finally, Rimac is saying the Concept Two will get highly advanced self-driving capability, and will even be able to pilot itself with zero input from the driver if desired. That’s a very desirable feature, especially lined up against the high-tech Tesla, and for those times when you just want to get there, it’s pretty much unbeatable. That said, it remains to be seen how the self-driving capability will play out against the backdrop of changing regional laws.

Drivetrain

- * 1,500 horsepower and 1,700 pound-feet of torque
- * 120-kWh battery
- * Four electric motors
- * Advanced torque vectoring
- * Low 2-second 0-to-60 mph time
- * Top speed of 230 mph
- * 300 miles of range

2017 Rimac Concept One High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 666774

Note: Rimac Concept One picture here.

The four electric motors will not only provide the gobs of traction needed to lay down the mind-boggling output numbers, but should also help the heavy-hitter slice and dice thanks to advanced torque vectoring.

The Rimac Concept One provides quite the baseline, making an incredible 1,072 ponies and 1,180 pound-feet of twist right out of the box. Besting numbers like that is no easy feat, but the Concept Two looks to once again hit the reset switch on what we think is possible from an electron-powered street car.

For starters, the Concept Two will once again employ four electric motors for motivation, mounting one per wheel for an electric AWD system. This will not only provide it with the gobs of traction needed to lay down the mind-boggling output numbers, but should also help the heavy-hitter slice and dice thanks to advanced torque vectoring.

Juicing the motors will be a more potent 120-kWh battery, which will be mounted low in the chassis, just below the driver and passenger. Stamp the long skinny pedal on the right, and the set-up will make well over 1,000 horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque – we’re guessing around 1,500 horses and 1,700 pound-feet of torque is definitely in the realm of possibility. With all that extra go, the Concept Two should hit 60 mph in the low 2-second range, possibly even breaking into the 1-second realm, just like the Tesla Roadster 2.0 claims. Top speed will be around 230 mph.

Numbers like that beg belief, but that’s where we’re at these days.

The Concept Two should also provide over 300 miles of range, but that’s a number that is heavily dependent on conditions and driving style. Plus, who does their daily to-and-fro in a million-dollar EV, anyway?

Prices

2019 Rimac C Two
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Considering the Concept One cost around $1 million, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a seven-figure price tag attached to this next-generation vehicle as well. And while the Concept One was limited to eight units max, its success could prompt Rimac to produce much more of the Concept Two. We’re thinking upwards of 10 to 20 units total, especially if a new drop-top body style is in the cards.

Competition

Tesla Roadster 2.0

2020 Tesla Roadster
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7,376 pound-feet of torque

The Roadster 2.0 is the new EV performance benchmark, and it isn’t even in production yet. But that’s how it goes when Tesla releases a new model – every move is analyzed and judged, even if its just some boasting in a pre-production debut. Either way, if Tesla can follow through on its promises, the Rimac Concept Two will have some serious competition on its hands. With a 1.9-second 0-to-60 mph time, a top speed of 250 mph, and a quarter mile time of 8.9 seconds, this thing can move (or at least that’s what Tesla is saying). Power will come from three electric motors and a 200-kWh battery, which the California automaker says can motivate the 2+2 Roadster a total of 620 miles between plug-ins. It’s also much cheaper than the Rimac, priced between $200,000 and $250,000. Of course, the Roadster 2.0 is still at least two or three years away, so Rimac might have a head start here.

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.

Nio EP9

2019 Nio EP9 Exterior
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Next up on our list of outrageous EV sports machines is the Nio EP9. Hailing from China, the EP9 takes its inspiration from the ground-bound spaceships that compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans, rocking an aero-styled carbon fiber exterior and composite-shell interior. This thing looks and feels much more like a racer compared to the Tesla and Rimac, and its got the specs to match, producing a megawatt of power (1,341 horses, to be exact) and 1,092 pound-feet of torque. Its four electric motors are connected to four independent gearboxes, enabling it to hit 60 mph in 2.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 195 mph. While a bit slower in a straight line compared to the above two vehicles, this thing can handle with the best of ’em, even setting several track records, including blazingly quick times at the Nurburgring and Circuit of the Americas. Pricing is over seven figures at around $1.2 million.

Read our full review of the 2019 Nio EP9.

Conclusion

2019 Rimac C Two Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exterior
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We’re said it before, and we’ll say it again – we’re living in some strange, fast times. The EV revolution is gaining steam, and performance models like the Rimac Concept Two are adding some serious electron fuel to the fire. This latest salvo in the battery-powered speed war is a big one, and it looks to dominate the segment for several years to come. At least until something faster comes along.

We’re still waiting on the final details, so check back next week when the Rimac Concept Two debuts at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show.

  • Leave it
    • * Absurdly expensive
    • * Competition is ramping up

References

Rimac Concept One

2017 Rimac Concept One High Resolution Exterior
- image 666770

Read our full review on the 2017 Rimac Concept One.

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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

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