A 740 horsepower, all-wheel drive Lamborghini Aventador SV is probably the worst car . Croatia's ultra-limited electric hypercar, the Rimac Concept One also has all-wheel drive, but it packs a whopping 1224 horsepower and 1180 ft.-lb., a hundred percent of which is available from zero revs in race mode. Yet thanks to it being from the future, the Rimac works even in the city with the biggest potholes on the planet, accelerating off the line at an unparalleled rate.
New Yorkers trying to guess what they see but can't hear called it a Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, only for one guy to declare that it's just a Corvette. We reached the top when somebody shouted DeLorean. I did not see that coming, but then again, the same could be said about the car itself. The Concept One is an electric techno extravaganza designed and built in the most unlikely place. It packs a very advanced torque vectoring system to balance out the weight penalty that comes with the batteries, and although we did not need to improve our cornering speed in the heart of Manhattan, its electrically raised suspension came very handy. When it comes to the roads, NYC literally looks like a war zone.
Rimac's first car cost well over a million dollars, and only eight were built, since the Concept One's main purpose was to demonstrate what they can do. Half of those eight were sold to America, two went to the United Kingdom, while the remaining pair headed to the Middle East. This silver example lives in Florida, and its owner has put over 6000 miles on it. Hot climate testing, done.
Inside, the Concept One feels exactly like the name suggests: a concept for something totally new, turned into a fully functional product. It's tiny on the outside, tight in the cabin, and there's not much greenhouse to look out. The carbon tub you sit in is rigid as a nuclear bunker, and with its short wheelbase and high-performance tires, the suspension can't make you forget that this is a 220 mile per hour car, not necessarily designed to do urban off-roading at 20. But unlike most really fast cars, it can do that as well, always finding traction via controlling each of its wheels individually.
On paper, having the world's highest power density motor system on board means more than 90 percent efficiency, full torque at zero speed and a very wide power-band. As wide as 1224 horses. In New York traffic, you might not reach sixty in 2.5 seconds every time you decide to leave the world behind, but 2.8 feels roughly the same, and its utterly impressive.
In race mode, the Concept One doesn't turn into a fire-spitting, obscenely loud neck breaker. All it does is provide maximum performance whenever you need it, sending more power to the rear, sharpening up the gear changes and taking its brake regeneration efforts lightly.
The Rimac is almost as low as its powertrain's torque curve is flat. It makes the totally new experience of out-accelerating everybody this side of a Demon on slicks look almost normal, repeating the stunt over and over again without any fuss. Apart from the usual EV Jetsons noise and the tires rolling, Rimac's hypercar only makes a sound when its inverters kick in, as a gentle reminder that you're sitting in the automotive equivalent of a small power station.
A sexy, clean, fast and driftable power station.