Before he ever began work on the thrilling Rimac Concept_One electric supercar, Rimac Automobili founder Mate Rimac converted an old BMW E30 to an electric speed demon. The decades-old car, fondly nicknamed the "green monster" but more formally known as the e-M3, was recently awarded several electric vehicle world records.
"I owned an old BMW E30, which I used for drift and circuit races," Rimac explains. "At one of these races, the gas engine blew up. Then I decided to try building an EV. After one year or so the car was able to drive, but I was not satisfied with the result. It was heavy, not very powerful and the range was very limited. I started to gather a team of experts to develop our own components since I believed that the electric propulsion can give much more compared to what was available on the market. At that time, I already had a very clear vision of my ultimate goal. Today, hard work is making my dream come true."
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Some people might be discouraged by the thick smoke emanating out of the hood, but Rimac just picked himself up and made something much more awesome. The realization of his dreams didn't come easy – it took five different iterations of the electric Bimmer to get things right – but it did come.
The e-M3 puts out 600 horsepower and 664 lb-ft (900 Nm) of torque in its current tune. It launches to 62 mph (100 k/mh) in 3.3 seconds – faster than a Ferrari 458 Italia – and tops out around 174 mph (280 km/h). It's definitely a little more riveting than a Mitsubishi i-Miev, but still packs a respectable range of 112 miles (180 km) per charge.
Rimac put the car to the test in the spring of 2011 on a piece of military asphalt in its home country of Croatia. After receiving official recognition from the FIA, Rimac announced two records this month, calling the e-M3 the fastest accelerating electric vehicle. The e-M3 raced the 1/8-mile in 7.549 seconds and the 1/4 mile in 11.808 seconds. The vehicle set the record in the Category A, Group VIII (electric vehicle), Class 3 (above 1,000 kg).
Rimac is still awaiting certification of several other records, including a 23.26-second kilometer run. We also expect to see the company working on breaking its own records with the 1,088-hp Concept_One, which it claims can hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.8 seconds. It plans to deliver the first of the 88 limited edition supercars before the end of the year.
Source: Rimac AutomobiliView gallery - 16 images