Croatian electric supercar manufacturer Rimac has built a name for itself as a designer and builder of insane 1000+ horsepower electric hypercars, but it has been hard at work behind the scenes on a different strategy altogether — to become the world’s leading OEM supplier for all things electric.
Rimac has built up a name for itself riding on the electric visions of founder Mate Rimac, who made his first foray into the world of electric performance vehicles with his converted BMW E30. Performance was in his blood and he quickly set a new Guinness Book of World Records time for the fastest electric quarter mile time, among other records.
From those humble beginnings, Rimac took on the challenge of developing his own supercar, which became the Rimac Concept_One, a 1,224 horsepower beast that was built from the ground up by the Rimac team.
Concept_One redefined the electric supercar and set the performance bar for all current and future supercars — whether powered by petrol or electricity. It offered a 2.5 second 0–100 km/h time, a 220 mph | 355 km/h top speed, and a heart-stopping 1,180 ft/lbs | 1,600 Nm of torque.
Rimac is now planning for its followup to the Concept_One, a vehicle it forecasts will have a production limit of 200. In comparison to the 8 Concept_Ones it built, that represents a step change in production, which speaks to the massive injection of cash Rimac secured for the launch.
The vehicles Rimac designs and builds are surely the heart of the company, but the real tofu and potatoes that provide the financial fuel for its growth are likely to come from another area. Rimac has taken pride in building everything for its vehicles in-house from the ground up. That experience has earned Rimac the right to build electric components for a variety of high-performance vehicles across the industry.
Rimac built electric components for the Koenigsegg Regara and Aston Martin–Red Bull Racing’s hypercar (which aims to deliver racecar performance in a street vehicle), but these are just the start of what looks to be a flood of OEM components coming from Rimac. The auto manufacturer is taking its experience to the next level in a new joint venture in China to produce even higher volumes of its components in a bid to become the largest OEM supplier of components for electric vehicles.
This move has the potential to be a game-changer, combining Rimac’s proven expertise and mastery of electric vehicles with enough capital to drive scale, potentially upsetting the entrenched business models of established OEMs like Bosch, Continental, and Magna. The value proposition is very straightforward, as Rimac aims to offer its higher quality products with more options for customization than the competition.
Rimac has proven its ability to deliver on these things in the past, so they’re not really a variable. The real question moving forward is scale. Can Rimac ramp up production volumes while maintaining the flexibility and quality it has come to be known for. Moving operations to China is a risky venture, but one that has the potential to be a blockbuster for Rimac and for the industry as a whole if it is successful.
Source: Road and Track