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A remarkable young man

1 year ago

Writer:

Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder

Date:

9 April 2021

On the second day of the 48-hour trip, I became the first journalist in the world to sample the all-electric Rimac Automobili Concept One. I drove it for a couple of hours on some pretty coastal roads where the irresistibly blue Adriatic Sea meets Croatia’s arid soil. In sweltering summer heat, the car drained its batteries far sooner than it should, meaning I had precious little actual driving time.

I found myself with even less driving time whenever the car shut itself down, requiring a pair of Rimac technicians to reboot the thing so I could continue on my way. When the batteries were more or less empty after a couple of hours or so, I parked up, got out and breathed a sigh of relief – but only because I didn’t really fit inside. The Concept One’s roofline arcs so reluctantly over the tiny cockpit that I, at six-feet tall, had to contort myself in the driver’s seat just to be able to operate it.

Even now, I remember the awkward position into which I had to bend myself. But it was everything that happened on the first day of that 48-hour trip I recall more strongly still when I think of Rimac Automobili and those two days Croatia. None of us really knew what this upstart company was all about back then, in the middle of 2016. Its founder was in his late twenties at the time, just a couple of years younger than me. The striking hypercar his small team of designers and engineers had produced used four electric motors and a 90kWh battery pack to produce around 1200bhp.

Rimac was going to build only eight of them, each costing €1m. It didn’t look like much of a business plan. I landed at Zagreb airport with a photographer early in the morning, irritable and tired to my core because I’d been in another part of continental Europe earlier in the week and North America the week before that. When we arrived at Rimac’s sizeable headquarters on the outskirts of town, I reckoned there was a good chance this fledgling company would go bust before my return flight touched down at Heathrow.

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