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Can an electric car be a genuine grand tourer? We take a Nevera to the Alps to find out

We're flying into the northern Italian city of Milan late at night, and to welcome us there's an electrical storm of biblical proportions towering over the city. Turns out it's quite a fitting introduction to the car that's waiting for us - but more on that later. The reason we're here is simple. We want to answer the question that is on the mind of every petrolhead anxious about the future of motoring.

Can an electric car deliver a memorable, trouble-free and, above all, fun road trip? The kind of trip undertaken for the sheer joy of driving, where the destination is an afterthought, merely taken into account once you've had your fill of adventure? To give the EV world the best possible chance of a positive answer, we had to get something special; enter the Rimac Nevera hypercar. And for an appropriately epic route, we've mapped out some of the top tarmac in the Alps, with breathtaking views at every turn.

Before we wax lyrical about the sights, though, back to the Nevera. Whether or not it's the world's best all-electric performance car we'll find out, but it certainly makes a good case for itself. The Rimac's performance accolades are absolute - and absolutely stunning. Above all, the real headline-grabber is its 0-62mph time of 1.85 seconds. This makes the Nevera the quickest-accelerating production car in the world today, with performance records tumbling at its hands in 2023.In a single day, the car broke no fewer than 27 of them before going on to secure the bonkers title of the fastest car in reverse - at 171mph. It also broke the Nürburgring lap record for electric cars and tops the standings for the fastest EV flat out, at a Bugatti Veyron-baiting 258mph.

For a grand tourer, though, those figures are about as relevant and useful as a boot capacity measured in millilitres. And while we're talking practicality, the Rimac's boot may only take 100 litres, but its shape means two people's weekend luggage will fit quite comfortably. After spending a night next to Lake Como (as we say, we're doing this properly), the Nevera is fully charged in the morning and ready to hit the road - which amazingly is completely dry, despite the best efforts of the storms. The Nevera has a maximum range of 304 miles - a distance that some hypercars don't do in a year, let alone in a single trip. This will easily be enough for our194-mile run through the Alps to the French-Italian "It's easy to place the Nevera, with direct steering that boosts your confidence at every turn" border, though, even if we're occasionally tempted to tap into the sensational performance on offer.

We open the butterfly-style doors, hunker down into the bucket seat and take in the wonderful cabin. There are smatterings of carbon fibre, titanium and leather in all the right areas for a driver-oriented, focused interior that provides just enough comfort. The tech is bang up to date, too, with a crisp three-screen layout; the dials with integrated displays are simply brilliant and the general quality is something to be admired. Setting off, the first thing we notice is how civilised the Nevera is. Obviously it's supremely quiet, thanks to the electric powertrain, but given its surprisingly decent visibility, navigating the exceptionally tight streets around Lake Como is no problem, despite the Rimac being almost as wide as a Range Rover.

We're in the Cruise driving mode (there'll be time to explore the more focused settings later), and despite the cobbled streets, we're enjoying the Rimac's ride quality - among the best in any hypercar, thanks to not only an excellent chassis tune, but also a set of relatively subtle 20-inch wheels and a sensible amount of tyre profile. For a brief moment while waiting at some traffic lights, the suppleness of the ride and the quiet powertrain have caused me to become blissfully unaware I am driving an incredibly rare £2.4million hypercar. A local gives me a thumbs up and it takes me a second to realise he's appreciating the car; a quick glance at the Nevera's reflection in a shop window reminds me why.

After a few miles meandering around the lakeside roads, we're on to a stretch of dual-carriageway. I know this isn't exactly driving nirvana, but it's important to get a taste of a variety of roads, and here the Nevera settles down, albeit with the odd irresistible burst of acceleration - each one as unbelievable as the last. We come off the SP71 (in case you want to check it out on Google Maps) and turn on to some twisting mountain roads that'll provide a rather more exhilarating route to our lunch spot high up in the clouds. But just as it was around town, the Nevera is wonderfully easy to place on these switchback roads, thanks to direct steering that increases your confidence with every turn.

Did we mention the Rimac's power output? Well, it's 1,888bhp, from four electric motors - one on each wheel. Its an insane figure to get your head around, and with the driving mode set to Sport Plus, we have access to it all. It's actually rather difficult to reach the limits of the Nevera on the road, and with seemingly never-ending sheer drops coming into view as we climb, some dense fog, and a few eager cyclists to dodge, our confidence is waning. A good time to stop for some lunch, then. Here, even in its muted grey and black, the Nevera is a superb centrepiece for some scenic shots - a must on any road trip.

At this point, several hours into our drive, the battery is barely half-empty. Our next leg takes us to an lonity charging station - a key indicator of the viability of an all-electric road trip. If the charge takes too long or, heaven forbid, the chargers are full or broken, it'll be a disaster and will really dull the romantic notion of an emissions-free grand tour. En route, the Nevera continues its sedate cruise, punctuated by occasional moments of enthusiasm from me. I have a representative from Rimac beside me for most of the trip, and while she's had plenty of experience in the car, I still feel obliged to warn her when I am about to unleash the full force of the drivetrain. The acceleration - from a standstill or a rolling start - really takes a toll on your neck.

We reach the small town where the lonity charging points are located. It's a fairly new station with 12 bays, and only one is taken up by another EV. Most electric cars today come with a maximum charging speed of around 100kW, but the Nevera maxes out at 500kW. There aren't any charging stations that'll generate that kind of figure just yet, but lonity's new 350KW chargers are the next best thing, and even quicker than Tesla's V3 250kW Superchargers.

We huddle around the lonity monolith, eager to see the charging speed rise. Having plugged in with 30 per cent charge, within a few moments we're above 50 per cent and topping up at a rate of 345kW; we don't see the magical 350kW, but it's impressive nevertheless. If there had been a shop, we would have barely had enough time to grab a coffee and drink it before the Rimac was filled to the brim with electricity. It also doesn't cost us anything because a partnership between Rimac and lonity means that Nevera owners receive eight years of free charging at lonity stations.

We then set off for our final destination, a tiny village in the middle of the Alps. Along the way we take in mile upon mile of motorway, passing Turin-bound traffic. The Nevera handles this all with ease; you really could drive this car all day and step out feeling as fresh as you would from any family-orientated EV. With no more charges planned and a clear run to our end, l'm able to give the accelerator some more frequent jabs. I still can't quite come to terms with the acceleration, but even if I'd driven all the way back to Britain, I wouldn't have believed this car's relentless performance.

Luckily for me, a few road closures allow some extra miles in the Nevera. I'm eager to discover more great routes, and although it's been a long day, the Nevera is keeping me fully awake. The steering is superbly weighted and the front end is keen to respond to inputs, so even at relatively slow speeds the Nevera feels alive; the piped drivetrain noise is a little odd, but most welcome when you're trying to gauge just how fast you're going. Step it up several notches and there's still plenty of grip and control; this is not a scary car. We're on a steep downhill stretch and while you might think the 2,150kg Rimac will feel like a runaway train, whopping 390mm carbon-ceramic disc brakes keep things in order.

Just as well, because it's now pitch black and quite a sizable wild boar suddenly appears in the road. But those huge brakes halt the car - to the boar's delight, as well as ours. Mindful of the increase in wildlife and that our car will soon be a museum piece at the Rimac factory, we cruise along serenely for the final few miles, savouring the moment.

The next day, the Nevera slinks off to its next destination - maybe a glittering press event or to smash further records. It's the current pinnacle of the EV world, and for our trip - along with the lonity network - it has done its job superbly. Yes, it's an unobtainable hypercar for most of us, but we expect some of the cutting-edge tech will trickle down into more affordable electric sports cars in the coming years. That will mean there's a future for EV road trips for us all.

Click here for our list of the fastest accelerating cars in the world...


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