Croatian electric hypercar manufacturer Rimac is making some really big moves, punching way above its weight class. For over a decade Bugatti has been the name that everyone thinks of when they picture a fast car, and Rimac just merged with the high-end French boutique manufacturer. There is something beautiful about one of the fastest and most brutal internal combustion engine brands, Bugatti, merging with one of the most forward-thinking and fastest electric brands, Rimac. And all of this will take place under the dutiful and prepared tutelage of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. It’s a complicated plan, but one that we think will work incredibly well for all involved.
So here’s the plan. Porsche will take over 45 percent ownership of Bugatti Rimac. The other 55 percent of the company will be owned by conglomerate Rimac Group, of which Porsche owns 24 percent. So, in a round-about way, Porsche kind of owns nearly 60 percent of Bugatti Automobiles and Rimac Automobili. Sort of. It’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s the simplified answer. Anyway, this is pretty cool.
It’s pretty telling that Porsche is interested in this combination, because there is plenty of expertise in both types of fast that Porsche is interested in going. Not only can Bugatti help develop technology and speed for future internal combustion Porsches, but Rimac can help Porsche develop future electric machines which go fast. Porsche is the brand for which this merger makes the most sense, as it is straddling the curve and working to develop speed in both camps. Future fast Porsches will definitely benefit from this collaboration. Plus Porsche has desperately wanted to get its hands on a greater stake of Rimac for years, and Volkswagen has desperately wanted to offload Bugatti for years. It’ll be interesting to see where everyone goes from here.
Rimac CEO Mate Rimac had this to say of the merger in discussion with Ars Technica: “You know the easiest thing, what maybe some people expect might happen, is to take the Nevara and slam Bugatti on it and call it a Bugatti, but that’s absolutely not going to happen,” Rimac told me. “We will not just recycle what we have, we will not like just restyle the Chiron to make a new car, or just hybridize the Chiron. We are developing a complete new product from the ground up — everything — because we think that’s the best way to go, and that product will still have a combustion engine.”
“However, we are thinking long-term and we’re going to add this amazing brand, which has a lot of diversity in its heritage, can be used to make products that are not only hypercars, and they’re the opportunities to make very exciting, different cars that are very strongly electrified, and fully electric. So, I can tell you that within this decade, there will be fully electric Bugattis but I can also tell you that at the end of this decade, there will be still combustion engine Bugattis.”
“Considering the heritage of Bugatti, and the fan base, and having these two very distinct brands Rimac and Bugatti in the same company, we can do, very cool things. So with Bugatti focusing more on heritage, craftsmanship, details, quality, and Rimac focusing more on technology — you know geeks, data, stuff like that. But to answer your question there will be fully electric Bugattis but we believe that through intelligent combination of electrification and combustion engine, there is still time for the combustion engine Bugatti.”
At 2PM Eastern on July 5, you’ll be able to watch a livestream of the Rimac Live Event where all of this is explained in detail. Check it out by clicking play on the video below.