Rimac could not have chosen the name for his masterpiece better. Because Nevera not only emphasises the Croatian origin, of which the company boss is so proud, but it is the name for a storm off the coast, which comes up out of nowhere and sweeps everything away before leaving everything calm.
Now, however, the calm before the storm prevails and Nevera stands peacefully on the runway of Zadar airport. It is deep, wide and long like any other super sports car, and invitingly stretches its scissor doors into the bright blue sky. Instead of a large engine at idle you can only hear a very fine shimmer when the current flows through the electrical circuits.
This make it even more surprising when you drive it. We are used to electric cars having instant acceleration, but noting prepares you for the Nevera. Push the throttle and the brutal, explosive, breathtaking power hits you – without any time delay, without any loss of traction and above all without any warning. It’s faster than your brain can cope with, and even the digital speedometer struggles to keep up. It literally takes your breath away, and when you finally do remember to breathe, 60mph has long gone. The 100, 120, 140, 150… Even at 180mph the energy of the electric motors doesn't let up a bit.
But the world blurs in the side windows, while the end of the runway looms into view frighteningly quickly in front. At the end of the runway, the Nevera has another surprise in store: the 2.2-ton monster brakes as well as it accelerates. With the full recuperation power of its electric drive, huge ceramic discs and a rear wing that stands almost vertically in the wind, the storm subsides as fast as it arrives and effortlessly the car manages the stop.
Then it’s time to turn the car around, and it reveals another trump card. Because each wheel is driven by its own motor and the forces can be almost freely regulated by the supercomputer at the bottom of the small boot in the rear, the Nevera dances between the cones as light-footed as a ballerina. It makes every Porsche look bulky, cumbersome and stiff.
The effort for this is of course enormous. It needs two motors per axle, at the front with 268bhp each and at the rear with 670bhp for each wheel. As a comparison, a Porsche 911 has around 400bhp in total. The motors are fed by the largest battery which has (so far) been mounted in an electric car - 120 kWh. Elaborately air-conditioned, it is T-shaped between and behind the seats and becomes an elementary component of the car’s racing-car like structure.
So that the joy of driving does not end in frustration when charging, the Nevera can charge with up to 500 kW – 10 times the speed of a Nissan Leaf. Or rather, it could, if there was a charging station currently capable of providing such speeds.And because Rimac not only wants to set standards in terms of drive and battery, but also in terms of equipment, he has also developed his own infotainment system with six screens and made the Nevera fit for autonomous driving.
By next year at the latest, there will be an update – over the air, of course – with the "Drive Coach", which chauffeurs and trains drivers until they master every race track like a pro. But the Nevera also has another side – it is suitable as a relaxed cruiser. Where other super sports cars like to be divas who who eat the driver's nerves, this electric car whirrs relaxingly over the Croatian coastal roads. After all, it does have 310 miles of WLTP range and it is ready to use it.
It is not the curves that are a struggle, nor are the few bumps that have not yet been flat-ironed with EU funding. Because no matter how narrow or wavy the road becomes, the Nevera can be guided with the little finger and feels surprisingly light and easy. Overtaking becomes child's play with this car. Even before the indicator stalk snaps back into the starting position, the manoeuvre is over and the other driver is only a small dot in the rear-view mirror.
The only strenuous thing is the constant fight with the speed limit, because with all the ease and silence the feeling of speed is completely lost and you constantly risk your driver's licence.
You might ask what place a car like this has on today’s crowded roads. But of course, the Rimac is not only interested in the 150 rich drivers who he wants to make happy with the Nevera. And also not about the buyers of the Pininfarina Battista, which uses the same base. The Nevera is also a showcase of what his young company can do as a supplier and development partner for the large-scale manufacturers. Future models we drive everyday will use less extreme versions of the Nevera’s technology. As a showcase for the future of electric cars, the Nevera is a storming success.