The Rimac C_Two EV hypercar, which was first revealed at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, is currently in the prototype phase, and the lucky folks at Top Gear were able to score some time behind the wheel. The C_Two reportedly boasts 1,914 horsepower (1,408 kilowatts) and 1,696 pound-feet (2,300 newton-meters), courtesy of four individual electric motors that also provide torque-vectoring all-wheel drive.
Curiously, however, the prototype Rimac that Top Gear drove didn’t feature torque vectoring, and that’s because Rimac founder and CEO Mate Rimac wanted the C_Two to offer very good “passive” handling. Rather than beat the road into submission with active traction management and suspension systems, Rimac wants its all-electric hypercar to handle well all on its own, then to improve performance further with technology.
Top Gear’s Jack Rix seems to think the tactic is working, saying in his video review that the Rimac drives quite a bit lighter than its estimated 4,400-pound (2,000-kilogram) curb weight would suggest. The acceleration of the C_Two was a bit blunted by a two-speed transmission that was locked in second gear, according to the video. This is because Rimac is abandoning the planned two-speed in favor of a simpler, lighter, and more reliable single-ratio gearbox, modifying the C_Two prototype’s transmission controller similarly.
Once rolling, Rix says the hypercar explodes forward with as much force as one would expect, but since this particular C_Two is a development mule, it’s only putting out about two-thirds the power of what’s expected from the production car. That means there are likely another 600 horses waiting to be let off rein, boggling the mind as to what the Rimac will be capable of once fully developed.
Gallery: Top Gear Drives the Rimac C_Two Prototype
The C_Two boasts a 120-kilowatt-hour battery that Rimac says will open up a range of about 340 miles (nearly 550 km), and it can be recharged to 80-percent capacity in 30 minutes using a fast charger. Speaking with Mate Rimac, Top Gear discovered that the CEO opted to invest in EV technology not as a way to garner some environmentalist credibility but because electric vehicles offer loads of performance potential. “...EV is the best solution,” he told the magazine. “It will make for a better car.”