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Watch Rimac explain how the C_Two puts 1700 lb-ft of electric torque to the ground
Rimac Automobili founder and CEO Mate Rimac is here to explain in detail how an electric hypercar with 1914 horsepower and 1694 pound-feet of torque can manage all those forces, putting down enough to outrun a high-maintenance combustion car like a Bugatti Chiron. This means it’s time for us to geek out about how EV powertrains work in general and how that applies to Croatia’s ridiculously quick C_Two (which will also be available later as the Pininfarina Battista).
With battery-electric vehicles, it all starts with the question of those lithium-ion packs. Rimac designed an H-shaped battery unit that weighs over 1330 pounds alone and needs to deliver 1.4 megawatt of power, plus a range close to 372 miles on the European WLTP cycle. Unlike Lotus and Williams Advanced Engineering, who placed the upcoming Evija’s battery behind the driver, Rimac put most of the cells in the central tunnel, with some behind the seats and the rest in the footwell.
As Rimac explains, the process of building a hypercar begins with figuring out the packaging, which sets the car’s width, height, wheelbase, and the location of the passengers, with extra attention paid to their H-points (hips). With this H battery, the C_Two’s center of gravity remains low, right around axle level. Rimac’s carbon tub has been designed for easy access as well, with a narrower front section providing additional foot room. For the same reason, the car uses doors similar to those on the McLaren F1 as well as Ferrari’s Enzo and LaFerrari. This supercar solution originates from 1990’s tiny Toyota Sera.
Plenty of weight and power means high loads for the tires, yet Pirelli also needs to balance grip with low rolling resistance to give Rimac its desired range. Active aerodynamics play a huge role in this field, limiting downforce at high speeds to keep load indexes in check.
Finally, there’s the question of speed. The C_Two features four motors with four inverters and four single-speed gearboxes, for a total output of 1914 hp and 1694 lb-ft of torque. Having a single speed means the EV is running in what would be the top gear of a combustion car, delivering constant torque figures that are surpassed only by a Bugatti Chiron’s in first gear. From the moment the Bugatti’s double-clutch transmission jumps to second or higher, the Rimac, in comparison, puts down significantly more torque along with its higher horsepower figure.
What remains a huge challenge during this dynamic development phase is tuning the software that controls slip, torque-vectoring, and the four motors’ power delivery in general. While the Rimac C_Two needs to feel natural at its limit, it doesn’t have physical differentials, meaning all you turn, push, or twist is fly-by-wire. Still, no oil changes!