Rimac Nevera taken on a filthy drive before it meets its maker

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This month, Mate Rimac (pronounced MAH-tay REE-mahts) took over as CEO of Bugatti Rimac, the shareholders being Rimac (55%) and Porsche (45%). Let's take a moment to think about that sentence. We have Bugatti, perhaps the ultimate in OEM, series production speed, power and luxury; Rimac, maker of an astonishing electric hypercar full of gotta-have-it EV technology; and Porsche, one of the world's legendary sports car makers, collaborating on future product. There is no better place to put this cliché: What a time to be alive.

Anyway, Rimac is constructing a new headquarters in Sveta Nedelja, near Zagreb, Croatia, at the same time as it prepares the Nevera for global sales. The company has 16 pre-series prototypes built to 95% production-spec, used for activities like track and road testing, investor and customer drives, and media outings. Every one of of them will end its life being run into a wall at high speed, sometimes repeatedly after being rebuilt, until it's dead. So Mate decided to take one of those prototypes out for a drive on the dirt roads around the HQ building site for our enjoyment, before the car is painted in a light blue matte hue for a fatal encounter with offset barrier and 30-degree frontal crash tests. And it worked. We enjoyed it immensely. Then he washed the car at a self-service car wash, because that's just the kind of guy he is.

As for the $226-million, carbon-neutral HQ, it will be completed in 2023. The company says the site will house one of the largest R&D and production facilities in Europe for any industry, and expand Bugatti and Rimac's combined headcount of 435 employees by about 2,500 heads. There will be a "command center," virtual reality rooms, a customizations studio for buyers, a museum and a bar. There will also be a test track that runs between the buildings, which we suppose is the kind of thing you can have when you make EV hypercars.

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