MALIBU, Calif. – The most amazing thing about the $2.1 million Rimac Nevera is how easy it is to just hop in and drive.

The Nevera is an electric hypercar from Croatia. It’s low – very low – to the ground and at first glance it looks like getting in easily might be complicated. But the doors, which lift and slide out like a Lamborghini, are cut into the roof just enough to keep me from hitting my head when I slide into the driver’s seat.

Getting started requires a bit of learning experience. Gears are changed with a large button to the left of the steering wheel, the power seat settings are hidden in a touchscreen, and switches for turn signals and headlights are mounted directly on the steering wheel. But once you understand that, it’s easy to use.

The whole car is easy to operate despite its 1,914 hp.

One of the first things I noticed as we set off was that you can see well from Nevera. That’s not a given with cars like this. For example, with Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other low-slung highway rockets, it’s often a challenge to see what’s behind you. But while the Nevera is definitely low, there’s just enough rear window to make driving in traffic easier. Good side mirrors certainly help.

There’s also just enough mechanical noise to remind you that you’re in a hypercar. While there is no engine, there are four electric motors that make gentle mechanical noises as the car moves down the road. Not so loud that I couldn’t have a reasonable conversation with my passenger, Ryan Lanteigne of Rimac. It’s just loud enough to remind us that we’re riding something special.

And the Nevera is very special indeed – as befits its price tag of just over $2 million. You can see why in the video.

The Rimac story

Rimac – roughly pronounced REE-mahtz – is Croatia’s first and only car manufacturer. Founder Mate (MAH-ta) Rimac, 35, started tinkering with electric vehicles after the engine of an old BMW broke when he was a teenager. After converting it with an electric powertrain – and winning a few races along the way – he founded Rimac Automobili in 2009 in the hope of one day building an electric supercar in his home country.

Although the company’s early years were difficult for Rimac, Mate’s timing subsequently proved excellent as automakers around the world electrified their fleets.

Rimac’s early prototypes were impressive enough to attract significant investment from Hyundai and Porsche, raising another 500 million euros (or about $534 million) last year. These served as the basis for what is now a thriving business consultancy for traditional car manufacturers who want to build high-performance electric vehicles. Aston Martin and Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg are among Rimac’s customers, along with a number of others that the company says it cannot yet disclose.

The Nevera is named after the violent summer storms that roll into Croatia from the Adriatic. (Rimac employees like to say that Neveras – the storms – are “extremely powerful and charged with lightning,” just like their car.)

The Nevera (the car) serves as both a rolling demonstration of Rimac’s EV expertise and the supercar that Mate Rimac has long dreamed of building. It’s a four-motor design – one for each wheel – with a 120-kilowatt-hour battery pack that’s good for about 300 miles of range under normal driving conditions.

Four engines and a tie

But there’s nothing normal about the Nevera’s performance. These four engines produce a total output of 1,914 horsepower and 2,360 Newton meters of torque – enough for a top speed of 258 miles per hour. According to Rimac, zero to 60 mph takes just 1.74 seconds.

I have not verified this time with great precision, but I can confirm that such a burst of force is plausible. As traffic-friendly as the Nevera is, when fully uncorked it is almost unbelievably fast. But it never feels uncontrollable, and that’s a significant technical achievement.

Even more impressive, albeit subtle, is the way these four engines work together. The vehicle’s systems adjust the power output of each engine 100 times per second to ensure optimal driving performance from moment to moment. Or to put it another way: the Nevera races through and out of tight corners without hesitation. This is a trick that other supercars can only replicate when braking.

Considering the car weighs around 5,100 pounds, this is an even more impressive trick. But as heavy as it may be, that weight is packed so well, with the batteries mounted low and near the center of the Nevera, that it’s barely noticeable. (Of course, the enormous power you have at your disposal helps.)

It’s a good looking car too, low and radical but not over the top. Civilized. It’s well-made, with pristine carbon fiber on the exterior and comfortable leather throughout the interior. Croatia has no tradition of car manufacturing, but the Nevera reflects a certain national pride: in addition to the car’s name, the air intakes on the sides are designed to resemble a tie, the ancestor of the modern tie – a Croatian history of invention dating back to the 16th century .

The Nevera starts at 2 million euros, or just over $2.1 million. If this is in your price range, get in touch soon. Rimac plans to build just 150 of them.

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