On a twenty-three degree morning in Croatia recently, an electric Rimac Concept One destroyed a Bugatti Veyron in a quarter mile drag race.
The Rimac ConceptOne needed four 1 MW engines to perform this feat, but its real power is in the acceleration made possible by its electric engines and fine control of how much torque it can apply to the road. This kind of performance means the Formula E Circuit is really going to be something to watch in the next few years.
The Rimac Concept One car gets its phenomenal acceleration from its unique motor design. Each wheel has its own motor, gearbox, and electric power source. The motor on each wheel produces a megawatt of power as the car accelerates, which is enough to power about 164 homes for an entire year. With this system, the wheels can be fine-tuned a hundred times a second to get absolutely the most torque out of the wheels as possible. The Concept One also has dual speed double clutch gearboxes on the rear wheels – all in the spirit of allowing the car to jump out of the gate as fast as possible.
A lot of cars have similar design elements – the Bugatti has a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, for example. This gives the Bugatti Veyron 1500Nm of torque onto the road, about 100Nm less than the Rimac Concept One. The Bugatti Veyron also lacks the automatic adjustment of the wheels for traction, and doesn’t have access to its full torque out of the gate.
Towards the end of the drag, the Bugatti has regained some of the distance between the two cars. This is the visible shift of the turbo engine really gets into gear. It wasn’t enough to catch the Rimac, but under warmer conditions where the wheels are getting better grip on the road off the bat the Bugatti might be at less of a disadvantage.
The Concept One is one of the cars that is likely to be featured in the Formula E Circuit, which comes through New York City this year.
If you can’t get enough of the electric action, here’s the two cars on a drift track.