Car Review: Crossing the frontiers of ‘fast’

A hypercar from Rimac, the Nevera claims a top speed well over the take-off speed of an A380 airplane

By George Kuruvilla

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Published: Mon 4 Mar 2024, 6:22 PM

Last updated: Mon 4 Mar 2024, 6:23 PM

From a small and unsuspecting town in Croatia called Sveta Nedelja, an electric car company called Rimac has spawned, which is taking the notion of ‘speed’ very seriously. and taking the glory for producing the world’s fastest EV production car, the Rimac Nevera.

With some stroke of luck and Dubai’s undeniable gravity and charm, Rimac brought a single sample of the Nevera here. And we got to experience that same gut-wrenching acceleration from the driver’s seat in what could be the shortest test drive (1.5 hours) ever.

Left foot on the brake, right on the accelerator, and then as I took my left foot off, I was shot forward like a cannonball. I went from sitting still, comfy in a seat, to a blistering pace in just over a heartbeat, quite literally.

The 1.74 seconds it takes to go from a standstill to 100 kmph is not even enough for the fastest rear-wheel drive petrol-engine cars to find their footing, or in mechanical terms…traction. It felt like a blip in time, something the mind can’t seem to compute. And if you keep that right foot planted, onward it goes in a seamless, unending race to the horizon, which temporarily bonds you with the seat until you’re late to realise that highway speed limits can be breached so easily. To think that this mind-bending experiment of speed is something that you can purchase and bring home is both shocking and an insight into human potential.


The Rimac Nevera is named after the sudden and short Mediterranean storms off the coast of Croatia.

Rimac claims the Nevera can hit a 412 kmph top speed. While this stipulated number is well over the take-off speed of an A380 airplane, Rimac has left the fight for top-speed glory to its sister company Bugatti, also partially owned by Mate Rimac. And I’m OK with that considering we don’t have a speed oval or the German autobahn in our region. It is the thrill of sprinting between traffic signals we are after, and this does it in the shortest possible time. Somehow, they’ve also managed to mechanise the operating sounds made by what is essentially an EV. There is nothing fabricated there, which is fascinating.


Body type: 2-seater; 2-door ultra-high-performance coupe

Engine: Four permanent magnet motors; all-wheel drive

Peak output: 1,914 PS & 2,480 Nm

0 to 100kmph- 1.81 seconds (claimed)

1/4 mile: 8.25 seconds (claimed)

Top speed: 412 kmph (drag limited; claimed)

Price: €2-plus million

Going around corners was overwhelmingly easy in the Nevera, at least at the speeds we were driving at. It was like riding a high-speed carousel. The Nevera effortlessly stays affixed to the curved stretches of tarmac that I intended to follow. All I did was hold a titled steering wheel and not much more. It’s no wonder that they were able to clock a blistering 7:05:298 minute lap at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a short window allotted to them by the track authorities, and that too on stock tyres.

Being a low-slung hypercar, getting in feels like going through a short crawl space. But once inside, I felt cocooned, tucked into the seat with all the necessary driver’s controls right where I wanted them. But bear in mind, if you’re over 6 feet tall or have unusually long legs the ride may not be as joyous. I also did find that the steering wheel has an atypical design with a gaping top half. But I noticed that being so, I had an unobstructed view of the instrument panel, so it made sense. And I could keep my phone and wallet stowed away behind the swivelling infotainment screen, which was nice considering that every inch of real estate in a hypercar is limited.

What intrigues me about the Nevera is its build quality. in the Nevera there was a primordial sense of quality experienced from everything you see and hold, from the fit and finish to quality in general. It is built like a rock, but gentle to the touch and easy to operate. And to think that they designed and built every element from scratch — from the panels, knobs, and even the UX-friendly operating system, takes one to the point of disbelief.

Being an electric vehicle, I’m obliged to tell you that it can travel over 300 miles on a single charge, and re-charging the 120kw battery from 0-80per cent takes less than 20 minutes – both commendable numbers.

If you can afford the €2-plus million price tag, it means you are already on the invite list of an inner circle that isn’t related by blood, but by bonds, brokers and bills. You already live an elevated material life that money can afford and the Rimac Nevera comes in as a fitting accessory to that surreal existence. It’s a hypercar like few others which treats high-speed exercises like a joke and sets a new scale of awe in personal transportation.

With the launch of the Nevera, the battle has been won, but the war rages forth for the some-3,000-strong Croatian Rimac team as they take on giants in the luxury and hypercar industry and attempt to carve a coveted and sustainable name in the market and within their clientele.


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