Here's What It's Like to Drive the Rimac Nevera, the Quickest Car in the World

It is difficult to imagine a “proper” location for driving a car that makes as much power as a dozen Honda Civics. A jaunt on the autostrada helped accustom me to the fearsome potential available to my right foot, especially the capacity to overtake clumps of slower moving vehicles simultaneously (and, behind the wheel of a Nevera, all other vehicles are slower moving.)

After this, we made our way to a small track Rimac uses to demonstrate the Nevera’s capabilities to potential clients. “We wanted to make a car that is not just a one trick pony,” Renic said. Meaning, the car is designed to turn and handle confidently, and not simply blast through the space-time continuum in a straight line.

I tore around the various sweepers and twisties, and came away impressed. The car feels very planted, communicative, and precise even under high force on tight corners. Some credit goes to its computer-controlled torque vectoring algorithm, which detects which wheel has the most grip, and sends power that way—or limits power to wheels with less grip. This allowed me to seamlessly escape from corners, even if I entered or exited them with too much steering input or speed.

In general, the Nevera is easy to use, whether on the track, on the street, or even in the rural Croatian hills, though it became increasingly less so near the limits of its (or my) abilities, which are far too potent for any normal street, and perhaps many racetracks. To wit, I overcooked the entry to a surprise downhill hairpin, and found myself sliding in a way that felt unexpected, like one might in a big SUV. The car’s giant carbon fiber brakes can certainly haul it down, as evinced by its recent record-setting. But the Nevera is also a big, wide, heavy object, and once it has initiated entropic forces, no amount of tire or code can disrupt the laws of physics. I mostly blame myself for the brief but sobering experience.

Similarly striking was my flat-out run from 0-60, which took place on the track’s straightaway. “It is simple,” Renic said. “Just press and hold the brake pedal with your left foot, floor the accelerator with your right, and then release the brake.” He didn’t mention that I would lose my breath and feel my soul exiting.

Like a trip on a rocket, or some yet-to-be-designed designer drug, the Nevera not only represents an evanescent future. It manifests it. Remember the first time you watched your favorite science fiction or fantasy movie, plummeting into a fully formed world akin to yours, but decidedly not? Driving any seven-figure exotic is like that. But this was some standard deviation beyond mere delusion. Alluring, complicated, and challenging.

To pretend that the Nevera is just a hypercar with another source of power kind of misses the point. It is a rupture. And though few of us will ever experience it, we all now exist in the fissure it’s created.

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