Adriano Mudri, former Director of Design at Rimac Automobili, is taking on a new role within the Rimac Group, becoming Chief Design Officer at Project 3 Mobility. He will be leading a team specifically dedicated to this transformative mobility service – currently operating in stealth mode – and overseeing the complete process from idea to public rollout.
Having graduated from FH Joanneum with a focus on Transportation Design in 2007, followed by taking on roles at Magna Steyr, General Motors, and Qoros, Adriano Mudri was already on track for a glittering automotive design career.
In 2010, he first met his fellow countryman Mate Rimac. With no funding, no team and absolutely no guarantee of success, Mate proposed that he and Adriano work together to design the world’s first all-electric supercar. He could have easily chosen the well-trodden route of an established car manufacturer, but Adriano believed in Mate’s vision, motivated by the opportunity to not just design a car, but to conceive a completely new car brand and to create something that’s going to change the industry. And to do it all in his home country.
The task ahead of him was immense. While most cars are designed by a team of tens, if not hundreds of designers, Adriano took on the task of designing the Concept_One and conceiving the Rimac Automobili design DNA from scratch. While working at General Motors, he would also spend his evenings and weekends designing every single little detail, from lamps to wheels.
Adriano’s challenge was to establish a design language for an entirely new type of car, an electric hypercar, from a country with no automotive heritage. He was starting with a completely blank canvas, free from constraints of tradition, but with the weight of the knowledge that this car must succeed from its get-go. His creation must subtly emphasize its unique four-motor all-electric powertrain, it must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with designs from the world’s greatest manufacturers and it must be proudly Croatian.
The car that would become Concept_One began development in 2010. Adriano’s design evolved as he refined the idea of symmetric double curved lines, reminiscent of an inverted Venturi channel, which itself subconsciously communicated the idea of speed. These lines also provide a suitably understated nod to the car’s Croatian heritage, harking back to the cravat (necktie) – long associated with Croatian soldiers since the Napoleon times.
The Concept_One itself was free from outlandish aerodynamic additions, immediately recognizable and – as time has gone on to prove – everlasting in its proportions and sculpting. At one point, Adriano coincidentally found a Concept_One lined-up next to one of the most beautiful supercars of all time, the Lamborghini Miura, and found the proportions to be almost identical. Today, an example of Adriano’s first Rimac design sits in the Petersen Automotive Museum in California.
With the Concept_One, Mate Rimac and Adriano had introduced the all-electric supercar into the world’s consciousness, blazing a trail that many then went on to follow. This meant, that when it came to designing Concept_One’s successor – the 1,914hp Nevera – competition was fiercer than ever.
Now with a team of 25 designers and the challenge to build a car that would be globally homologated for sale in markets all over the world, the level of complexity in designing Nevera was much higher than Concept_One. Adriano’s design language for Rimac subtly evolved in the Nevera, with the Rimac design trademark cravat motif, muscles, and clean lines immediately marking it out as a member of the Rimac Automobili family.
Refining the design from Adriano’s initial sketches was a process that took years, as homologation and engineering constraints threatened to detract from his vision. The short front overhang was redesigned again and again until it complied with USA crash safety regulations – whilst keeping the design theme – and the generously sculpted side profile was saved from additional air vent intakes for the rear powertrain, with the engineers challenged instead to improve upon the package and radiator ducts to achieve cooling and aero targets.
In the interior, a unique H-shaped Rimac-designed battery allowed the driver and passenger to sit low down in the car, lowering the roofline of the Nevera by about 150 mm compared with a flat-floor battery. The unique powertrain setup and possibilities to interact with the car, allows also for a completely new and unique user experience for the driver. Whilst all driving-specific inputs have physical and engaging interfaces, the infotainment and regular vehicle functions are accessible via the touchscreen. Ergonomical and tactile billet aluminum control knobs had to be designed to look precious and technical besides feeling solid and giving the driver confidence, all while being able to break off under a certain load for unbelted USA impact tests. Everywhere there were challenges and obstacles, but Adriano and his team created a new breed of hypercar with a timeless design and a next-generation interface.
With all sorts of different custom-configured Neveras rolling off the production line and into the hands of customers throughout the world, an ever-increasing amount of Adriano’s time has been spent working on the Rimac Group’s next revolution. Focused on the future of mobility, the company is currently operating in stealth mode, designing a highly complex product and service, with funding already secured from several high-profile global investors and plans to introduce it to the world in late 2024.
Having been involved with Rimac Automobili longer than anyone else aside from Mate Rimac, no one understands the long-term vision of the Rimac Group quite like Adriano. He has already moved to take up solely the role as Chief Design Officer at Project 3 Mobility, leading a team specifically dedicated to the project and overseeing the complete process from idea to start of service.
Mate Rimac, Founder of the Rimac Group, said: “When I met Adriano in 2010 all I really had to show for my work was an old BMW 3 Series that I had converted to electric power. And yet, he completely understood the vision and the potential of creating an all-electric hypercar in Croatia. Adriano has been by my side since the very beginning, and without his fierce determination and eye for detail, Rimac Group would not be the company that it is today.
Now, as we look to revolutionize another area of mobility, I want Adriano to be the one that establishes its future personality and image of a completely new type of product and offering. With Concept_One and Nevera he made the idea of an electric hypercar mainstream, with a design that immediately communicated its heritage and its innovations. What we have planned next is an even larger technological leap but this time in a completely different challenge and goal. I am looking forward and very excited for the outcome of this new endeavor that we’ve taken on.”