I came, I saw it, and I took pictures of the Rimac Concept Two at the Geneva Motor Show, but this great new hypercar did not leave me unimpressed. Unlike the last Lamborghini hurricane, which tears off the heart's fibers at first sight, the all-electric Rimac feels anonymous and not very exciting. Each undulating curve, each flowered design feels like something I've already seen: the headlights of the C Two remind of Ferrari Superfast and Koenigsegg Regera, while the taillights seem inspired by the BMW i8. The Rimac goes crazy fast, and I'm sure that much of its design is motivated by the demands of aerodynamics, but it lacks the visual appeal of the most evocative supercars in the world.
It just feels like a fictional supercar.
If we look at the claimed performance numbers of the Rimac Concept Two, aesthetic repairs evaporate. This car comes with amazing claims of 1,914 horsepower, a time of 1.85 seconds 0-60 mph, and a top speed of 258 mph. The promised range of 400 miles on a single charge is also hugely impressive.
But, being in the Geneva Motor Show and seeing it in an inactive position, all I can do is comment on the way it was designed and designed. Rimac says that the butterfly doors of the C Two allow for "sophisticated inputs and outputs." It's an elegant way to say that you can get in and out of the car without the uncomfortable technique required by the fastest Ferrari and McLaren cars. I found this car more tolerant and complacent than most others in the hypercar class, and the leather interior compliments it very well with a soft and supple feel.
The incongruous tablet that is perched in the middle of the C Two booth is rather a distraction, and so is the choice of a user interface with uppercase that seems to shout at the driver instead of helping him. There is also a thin digital reading in front of the passenger seat, which Rimac describes as part of "a semi-gaming experience". That is a justification for simply putting more readings in front of people, and there is nothing unpredictable or exceptional about the inside of this Rimac concept. It has all the usual controls that you would expect, organized in a mostly typical way. (On a related note, when will auto companies know that the text is easier to read when it is not capitalized?)
Rimac has a couple of smart touches on the outside of Concept Two. The wheels have an aerodynamic design that "channels the cooling air to the carbon ceramic braking system and ensures a smooth flow of air from the sides of the car". The tires are a custom compound, developed with the help of Pirelli. The headlights are made up of 58 LEDs each and come with custom control units, while the taillights also include integrated air outlet channels.
These large incisions on the bonnet are not just to be seen: they are active fins that modify the aerodynamic profile of the car. The rear spoiler also moves to provide additional downforce or serves as an air brake when necessary. And what we do not see, the bottom of the car, was also designed to optimize air flow, with active fins that channel cold air into the battery's cooling systems.
There is no doubt about the great sophistication of engineering, aerodynamics and the science of materials that has been dedicated to the development of the Rimac C Two. Experts will also find subtleties such as Level 4 autonomy for when they do not feel like driving, facial recognition replacing the need for a key (to unlock and start the car), voice control, ADAS and preloaded career maps and guides for the aspiring track hero.
We have been comparing many of the new electric cars here in Geneva with Tesla's EV range, which casts a menacing shadow around the venue in the same way that the iPhone threatens the Mobile World Congress exhibit. But a comparison against the Rimac C Two would be unfair even for the next-generation Tesla Roadster. Concept Two is (a) not a production class vehicle, and (b) competes in a much higher price range. Both factors are also the reason why I am disappointed by the appearance of this car: it is a concept for something that can cost seven figures, is it too much to ask to have a more extravagant and unique design?