Apologies for the convoluted title, but it does pan out: Croatia-based supercar scale-up Rimac has hired former Aston Martin’s Chief Engineer and Tesla VP of Engineering Chris Porritt to work alongside founder and CEO Mate Rimac as the company’s brand new CTO.
Before joining Rimac, Porritt had a senior role within Apple’s ‘Special Projects Group’.
It’s a notable steal; with a career spanning more than three decades, Porritt has overseen the development of a number of performance and electric vehicles, including the limited-production One-77 hypercar and V12 Vantage Zagato at Aston Martin (which has also been a long-time partner of Rimac).
Porritt joined electric vehicle and clean energy company Tesla in 2013 as its VP of Engineering, and subsequently went to Apple. And now he’s joining a slightly smaller company.
Mate Rimac recognises that it was not an easy hire to make, given his company’s humble beginnings:
“We have started out in a country which is not known for developing cars. We learned so much through trial and error as it was difficult to attract people from other countries, making the process challenging but exciting. I can not imagine what our journey would have been like and how far along we would be now if we had Chris with us from the early days,” he said in a statement.
“I had concerns that people with great industry experience would not be a fit for our culture and company spirit. However, as a car enthusiast through and through, who gets the “hands dirty” himself, Chris fit right in from the first moment. We share the same mindset: we want to develop cars that raise the bar, are fun and great quality. I can’t wait to see what we will be able to create together,” he continued. And neither can we.
For Porritt, it seems what attracted him to the role – which he refers to as “an engineer’s dream” was that nearly every key component is designed and built in-house by Rimac, giving the company “the freedom to create something that’s unlike anything else that has been done before in the Hypercar world”.
This year is certainly a crucial period for the debut of Rimac’s latest all-electric hypercar, codenamed C_Two and looking gorgeous, as the prototypes are about to start being built, tested, and crashed for ‘global homologation’ (the process of certifying vehicles to comply with regulation).
The 150 production examples of the new car will be hand-built on a new production line in Croatia, beginning in 2021. The Rimac C_Two will deliver a 0-100km/h time of 2 seconds and a top speed of 258mph in final production form. Porsche has been increasing its ownership stake in the Rimac business to 15.5%, while last year Hyundai Motor Group pumped €80 million into the company.