The story of Rimac Automobili is in some ways quite incredible. What started out as one person modifying their clapped-out BMW E30 to have an electric powertrain (and eventually set speed records for electric vehicles) became a dedicated company set on making EVs exciting, in 2009.
Since then, it has grown into an industry supplier of electric drive systems so respected and trustworthy, that not only has it supplied the likes of Mercedes-AMG (SLS E-Cell), Koenigsegg (Regera), Aston Martin (Valkyrie) and the VW Group (Cupra e-Racer), but Porsche has now bought a minority stake in the company, in a move to collaborate with them on future electric sports cars.
During their growth, they’ve built cars of their own to showcase what they can do and grab a few headlines (both good and... dramatic). The first was the Concept_One, which initially appeared as a prototype in 2011 before finally reaching just eight planned customers in 2016.
It was designed, developed and manufactured entirely in-house – right down to the lights and interior switches – despite Mate Rimac and his eponymous company being based in a country with virtually no automotive industry: Croatia.
The design, overseen by Adriano Mudri, had a unique balance of proportions afforded by the layout of its all-electric powertrain, complimented by an interesting bare-carbonfibre graphic running from the front corner, along the bodyside and terminating in the rear apron. Sat inside this graphic, just ahead of the rear wheel, is an air intake covered by an arrow-like strip of carbonfibre.
Rather than an arrow, however, the shape of this little piece of composite is in fact a visual reference to the company’s homeland, as Croatia is also the place where the necktie, or cravat, originated. The carbon cravat functionally closes off the air intake for the rear cooling systems, and visually carries the tapered side graphic ‘through’ the rear wheel arch and around the rear corner to the tail.
The sequel to Rimac’s supercar, the bonkers C_Two unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, has kept its tie on despite the toned-down side graphic. For this second generation (which will be limited to 150 cars instead of just eight), the tie has gone all stripy, with three blue LED lights along the centreline. Well, you’ve got to have your snazziest tie on for special occasions…
The C_Two is making its American debut at Pebble Beach this week, in a fancy new sky blue hue. As well as being ‘smart’ for its Level 4 autonomy and state-of-the-art active electric powertrain, it will also be following a smart dress code.