Croatian startup Rimac Automobili, located just a few hours’ drive from the birthplace of Nikola Tesla, has ambitions of becoming a major carmaker. Its first-generation vehicle, and the first step in its master plan, a powerful beast called the Rimac Concept_One, may be familiar to EV cognoscenti as one of the pace cars for the Formula E championship.
Now Rimac has partnered with Team APEV and Monster Sport to field an entry in the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race, which takes place from June 23rd to June 28th.
Racing legend Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima will be driving the Rimac E-Runner Concept_One, billed as the world’s first one-megawatt electric racing car. The motors and controls, battery systems, transmission and other powertrain-related systems of the vehicle were developed and manufactured by Rimac Automobili, in cooperation with Tajima Motor Corporation, specifically for Pikes Peak.
The E-Runner Concept_One is powered by four independent electric motors with total power of over 1.1 MW (1,475 hp). The power of each motor is transferred to the wheel by a chain drive system. An adapted racing version of the Rimac All Wheel Torque Vectoring system controls the torque of each motor 100 times a second, and can vary the torque on each wheel depending on steering angle, speed, longitudinal and lateral forces, yaw rates and other variables.
The Pikes Peak hill climb is 19.9 km long, and ends up at 4,301 m above sea level. Gas engines begin to starve for oxygen at that altitude, and the power of the engine can decrease as much as 40 percent. Rimac helpfully points out that electric motors need no oxygen.
“We measured 0-100 km/h in 2.2 seconds,” said Rimac founder and CEO Mate Rimac. “200 km/h comes in 5.4 seconds from a standstill. Cornering forces and stopping numbers are also impressive, but let’s not spoil the surprise. We are quite confident that Tajima will break the previous year’s record. He raced Pikes Peak his first time a year before I was born. 28 years later, we work alongside to push the limits further. With the support of our best engineers and technicians, our technology, powertrain, battery system and Torque Vectoring, he will be able to push the boundaries of electric race cars to a whole new level.”
“The Pikes Peak is one of most difficult hill climbs in the world, because it is held on a public road, not a race track,” said Mr. Tajima. “The conditions are constantly changing. We want to develop technology and gather experience from the Pikes Peak race for development of better, safer, and zero-emission road cars. Rimac is a quite young company but their mind and their spirit are fantastic. The level of technology and vertical integration that this company has managed to achieve in such a short time amazed me.”
Source: Rimac Automobili