Rimac Nevera destroys Tesla record to become world’s fastest EV
Croatian electric hypercar manufacturer Rimac has officially laid claim to the outright EV top speed record, at a blistering 258 mph (412 km/h), putting a 91-mph (146-km/h) gap on the highest speed we can find verifiably recorded for a Tesla Model S Plaid.
Granted, the extraordinary Nevera – already the fastest-accelerating production car in history having recorded a scorching 8.582-second quarter mile last year – is a US$2.1 million, two-seat hypercar and the Model S Plaid is a US$136,000 five-seat family car. So you'd certainly expect it to lay the wood down when it finally made it to a VMAX test.
Rimac took the Nevera out to the Automotive Testing Papenburg track in Germany for the top speed run. The track features long, fast banked curves opening up into two 2.5-mile (4 km) straights, making it one of the few places in the world that's safe for this kind of testing. A Racelogic V-Box GPS-based measurement device was fitted to verify the results. You can see the full run in the video below.
The Nevera was never short of power; its four-motor powertrain belts out a horrific 1,914 horsepower (1,427 kW) and 1,741 lb-ft (2,360 Nm) of torque, making its sticky Michelin tires very much the limiting factor for acceleration. The general issue for electric top speed runs is the gearing. Most EVs, including the Nevera, are single-speed vehicles optimized to be quick off the line, they tend to gallop out in front of fast combustion engine cars when the lights go green, but run out of mustard and get reeled in once you get past about double the highway speed.
So it's extremely impressive to see Rimac slaying both the drag strip and the top speed record – incidentally, at the exact same 258 mph Rimac predicted four years ago, when this car was unveiled as the C_Two at the Geneva Motor Show.
"To travel at 412kph, or 258mph, means traveling at a third of the speed of sound," said Miro Zrnčević, Rimac’s Chief Test and Development Driver, in a press release. "Simply achieving that alone in a road car is incredibly complex, but in Nevera we have created a car that can travel long distances on a single charge, can tackle tight and twisting race tracks and can drift as well as break straight-line speed records, both for acceleration and V-MAX. I’ve driven Nevera since it first turned a wheel and to see the perfectly honed car that is today is a really emotional moment. The most important thing I have learned during the top-speed attempt is how composed and stable the car was – confirming that our aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics teams have done an amazing job."
Don't go trying this in your own Nevera – customer cars are limited to 219 mph (352 km/h) out of the crate, and Rimac will only unlock the car's full performance at special customer events "with support from the Rimac team and under controlled conditions."
The Nevera's 258 mph is surprisingly close to the outright production vehicle speed record, currently held by Shelby Supercars of the USA. Its SSC Tuatara has been verifiably measured at 282.9 mph (455 km/h). But in reality, it's probably not that close. SSC set that official record on a short runway track after an absolute debacle of a record claim it was forced to retract earlier, and the Tuatara is one of a few combustion cars widely expected to eventually record a top speed well over 300 mph (483 km/h).
Check out a video below.