From the ugly duckling comes the beautiful swan. If you are talking high end, exotic luxury sports cars, you are usually talking about a very early stage development model, or just something being tinkered with in the garage, that is used to show you might actually know how to build vehicles. Such is the case with Rimac Automobili, who took an old beater of a BMW and turned it into their first EV test mule. Not that this ugly duckling was a wimp under hood, recently setting several world acceleration records.
The Rimac e-M3, according to the automaker, was the car that started the company down the road to their ultra expensive – $1 million to be exact – limited edition Concept_One electric supercar. Rimac founder Mate Rimac, who was 19 at the time, owned an old BMW E30 (MY 1984) which he used in drift and circuit races. At one point, he said, the gas engine blew and he needed an alternative. That’s where green car technology came into play.
“Then I decided to try building an EV,” said Rimac in a statement. “After one year or so the car was able to drive but I was not satisfied with the result. It was heavy, not very powerful and the range was very limited. I started to gather a team of experts to develop our own components since I believed that the electric propulsion can give much more compared to what was available on the market. At that time, I already had a very clear vision of my ultimate goal. Today, hard work is making my dream come true.”
The e-M3 is, like I said earlier, an all-electric monster under the hood in its own right. It hosts, as the result of five development evolutions, 600 horsepower, 900 Nm of torque, reaches 62 miles per hour from a standstill in 3.3 sec and has a top speed of nearly 174 MPH. Not bad for an old timer.
As for the records that were broken, these occurred in what’s described as Category A, Group VIII (EV), Class 3 (above 2200 pounds), according to Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) categorization. This body is said to be known to most as the governing authority for many auto racing events.
The time frame and location for when and where these records were actually broken, according to Rimac, took place on a 1.2 mile long military runway near Zagreb on April 17th, 2011. They couldn’t be announced until now though because it took the FIA time to officially approve publishing them.
As for what was broken, here’s Rimac’s breakdown. Not a bad set of times for the electric converted BMW. Those with * indicators were, as of press time, records still subject to official FIA approval.
- 1/8 mile: 7,549
- 1/4 mile: 11,808
- 1/2 km: 13,714*
- 1 km: 23,260*
- 1 mile: 35,347*