The Grand Tour presenter Richard Hammond suffered minor injuries when he crashed the world’s fastest electric car, the Rimac Concept One, but the car was not so lucky. It’s the only prototype Rimac has and although Mate Rimac will put a brave face on things, this is a disaster for the Croatian company.
Hammond was competing in a hillclimb event in Switzerland and he was clearly taking it seriously. In the video, he carries way too much speed into the left hander and simply didn’t make the turn. He could have missed a braking point, he could simply have suffered sensory overload and forgotten that the tight left-hand bend was coming.
It used to be my job to drive stupidly fast cars, just like The Grand Tour presenter, and I’m not sure I’d have fancied taking the one and only prototype of a 1000bhp+ electric car on to a tight and winding course like this.
One Small Mistake Costs Millions
It only takes one small mistake to bury more than $1 million of advanced tech in the wall and reduce it to scrap metal and ash. Unfortunately, that happened to Jeremy Clarkson’s sidekick. You might remember his last big off, in a drag car, where he crashed at more than 200mph and was lucky to escape with his life.
This time he fractured his knee and created headlines all around the world, once again. So it might be a win for his Amazon Prime paymasters. It’s a real pain for Rimac, though.
You can see from the wreckage, the car is a total mess and probably a write off. Fire and carbon-fiber don’t play well together and it’s probably going to be a case of building another car. Rimac deserves better luck than this, but any time you go into a competitive event like this then you take a chance.
Rimac is a Pioneer in the EV World
For years the Croatian firm toured the motorshows with a static display car and a great story about a 1000bhp+ electric car that would wipe the floor with the very best cars on the road today. The problem was, none of us really believed them.
This was groundbreaking tech, a 220mph+ battery-powered car with four-wheel-drive, a motor in each wheel and all kinds of things that major manufacturers had tried and failed to make work. Here was a little Croatian company telling us they had succeeded where Ferrari, Audi and Porsche had failed.
Rimac Destroys LaFerrari on Drag Strip
Recently, though, Rimac had started to back up its words with indisputable proof. His Concept One destroyed a LaFerrari on the drag strip.
It beat other established hypercars,too, and now Rimac was starting to get brave. He undoubtedly had his sights set on the Nurburgring record and a whole slew of other records that would prove his technology beyond doubt.
That would be the making of the company.
This Crash Will Hurt Rimac
Now the company has to build another car, alongside fulfilling customer orders and selling its technology to the automotive industry as a whole. For a company like Porsche, they really don’t feel the impact of a crashed car. They just stamp out another one. For the likes of Rimac, which produces bespoke cars, this could set them back months.
The car costs $1 million if you want to buy one of the few examples out there in the world. But Rimac will have to factor in lost time and that is a killer in the car industry.
They’ll get on with it and come back fighting. But it’s a shame to see a company that was doing great things and breaking down the walls in front of the EV industry suffer a blow like this.
We wish them well. And we’re still glad Hammond is OK. He can be a bell-end sometimes, but he seems a likeable bell-end and he’s certainly not afraid of putting himself in harm’s way.
Lead picture courtesy of Amazon.