Kimi Raikkonen Is Now Zeekr’s New Chief Performance Advisor

The former F1 world champion’s first task will be to fine-tune the hot new Zeekr 001 FR.  

Despite his nonchalant demeanour, Kimi Raikkonen has certainly not taken it easy after his retirement from F1 in 2021. The former world champion has for instance taken to a spot of oval racing in Nascar since then, in addition to also being the team principal of the Kawasaki Racing Team in the Motocross World Championship for the 2022 season. 

Though in spite of all these other commitments already, it would seem that the ice man has room for one more job, and that is as the new chief performance advisor at Zeekr.

According to the post on Zeekr’s official account on X (formerly known as Twitter), the Finnish racing driver’s first task at his new job will be to make its new 001 FR ‘faster and stronger’. Raikkonen will be assisting the Chinese automaker’s engineers in fine-tuning of the chassis and powertrain of its performance EV, taking advantage of his vast experience in different fields of motorsports over the years.

And unsurprisingly for a man of such high profile, Zeekr has taken the opportunity to use Raikkonen to add some pizzazz into the promotional material of its 001 FR. Though given the signature stoic style of the ice man, the 24-second video where he announced his new role did have exactly the same amount of excitement as when he was performing marketing duties for Weichai Power during his Ferrari days. 

Now for those who are unsure of what the 001 FR is, it is essentially Zeekr’s alternative to the Tesla Model S Plaid and Lucid Air Sapphire. Based on the existing 001 fastback that debuted in 2021, the performance-focused flagship variant comes fitted with quad electric motors setup outputting an impressive 1,248 hp, which in turn then equates to a mind-bogglingly quick 0-100 km/h time of just 2.07 seconds in a rolling start scenario. 

Thanks to having a motor on each wheel too, Zeekr touts for the 001 FR to feature sophisticated torque vectoring capabilities, in addition to having the capability of performing tank turns. These electric motors are to be fed by a a CATL-sourced Qilin battery pack with an energy capacity of 100 kWh, which can be recharged from 10-80% in just 15 minutes. 

The 001 FR’s performance potential is boosted by the inclusion of beefy AP Racing brakes that hides behind 22-inch forged alloy wheels, KW-sourced suspension and a host of carbon fibre aero additions. Moving inside meanwhile, the 8.8-inch digital instrument cluster and 15.5-inch central infotainment touchscreen is now joined by a flat-bottomed steering wheel and acres of Alcantara for that sporty feel.

Zeekr plans to officially debut the 001 FR in Beijing on the 27th of October, where more information regarding this hot new EV will be likely be divulged. Kimi Raikkonen will supposedly to be present at the event too, but it is uncertain whether the man on stage will be his usual stoic self or his happy (but intoxicated) alter-ego. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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