Ex-Tesla and Aston Martin engineer joins Rimac

New chief technology officer will oversee product development as 1408kW C Two enters production

Croatian EV specialist Rimac has named ex-Aston Martin and Tesla engineer Chris Porritt as its new chief technology officer.

Reporting directly to company founder and CEO Mate Rimac, Porritt – who also served as head of special projects at Apple – will oversee the development of future models, following the recent completion of the production line for the 1408kW C Two hypercar.

Porritt brings three decades of automotive industry experience to the role, having previously overseen the production of Aston Martin’s limited-run One-77 and V12 Vantage Zagato supercars and worked closely with Elon Musk to test new technology for Tesla models.

Porritt said: “The opportunity to join Rimac Automobili is an engineer’s dream. Since nearly every key component is designed and built in-house by Rimac, this gives us the freedom to create something that’s unlike anything else that has been done before in the hypercar world.”

He added: “What the team has already achieved with the development of C Two thus far is phenomenal, and I look forward to guiding the engineering development of future Rimac products that will push the envelope of performance.”

He joins Rimac as the firm’s pivotal C Two geas up for production in 2021, two years since it was revealed in concept form at the Paris motor show. The 150 hand-built customer cars are claimed to accelerate from 0-100km/h in less than 2.0sec and to 160km/h in just over 4.0sec, making it one of the fastest production cars in the world.

Last month, Rimac revealed that four testing prototypes had been completed, with an additional 13 needed for crash testing and homologation purposes.

Prior to Porritt’s arrival, Rimac had secured an AUD$132 million investment from the Hyundai Motor Group as part of a new partnership that will result in the firms collaborating on a range of performance EVs.

Porsche also increased its stake in Rimac from 10% to 15% last year, following the launch of its own electric sports car, the Taycan.

Additional big-name industry partners include Koenigsegg, Automobili Pininfarina and Aston Martin, for which Rimac helped develop the hybrid powertrain for the upcoming Valkyrie hypercar.

Although it has now launched two bespoke models, Mate Rimac describes his brand’s main purpose as “helping other companies to build interesting products and electrified, connected, smart vehicles”.

Although there have been hints that future models could be produced in higher numbers, marketing chief Marta Longin told Automotive Daily’s exclusive partner Autocar last year that hypercars will remain the focus and that Rimac is “always going to be niche”.

Felix Page

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