Bugatti and Croatian electric supercar maker Rimac join forces in joint venture

The new company will be called Bugatti-Rimac and will manufacture both Bugatti and Rimac cars. Bugatti, like Porsche, is part of the Volkswagen group. Porsche also owns a stake in Rimac.

Bugatti-Rimac will be based in Zagreb, Croatia, not far from Rimac’s current headquarters. Bugatti, meanwhile, will continue to build cars at its current headquarters in Molsheim, France, according to a Porsche announcement. It will continue to operate as a separate car brand, although Bugatti and Rimac will jointly develop new Bugatti models, according to the announcement.

Porsche started investing in Rimac Automobili in 2018 and now owns a 24% stake in the company. Porsche will directly own 45% of Bugatti-Rimac while Rimac will own the remaining 55%. Bugatti is transferred to the new joint venture by its parent company, the Volkswagen group.

“We combine Bugatti’s strong expertise in the hypercar field with Rimac’s formidable innovative strength in the very promising field of electric mobility,” said Porsche President Oliver Blume in the announcement.

Rimac and Bugatti could not have more different origins. Bugatti was founded in 1909 and made cars for royalty and celebrities, before closing its doors shortly after World War II. The brand was relaunched in 1987, closed again in 1995. Volkswagen recreated the Bugatti brand in the 1990s and early 2000s after purchasing the name, logo and site of the company’s original headquarters in eastern France. Today, Bugatti assembles cars like the $ 3 million Chiron and the $ 6 million Divo, with gas-hungry 16-cylinder engines, some variations of which can propel its cars to speeds in excess of 300 miles at time.

Rimac, on the other hand, was founded by then-21-year-old Mate Rimac in 2009. It developed electric cars like the 1,224-horsepower Rimac Concept_One, of which only a few were made, and the new $ 2.4 million 1,900- horsepower Rimac Nevera, the company’s first production model. Until now, Rimac has mainly specialized in the development of electric powertrains and batteries. Its customers included Jaguar, Aston Martin and Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg. Rimac is also providing the engineering for the $ 2 million Pininfarina electric supercar created by the once famous Italian firm for Ferrari design. Rimac will continue to operate a separate division, Rimac Technology, which will continue this type of development and engineering work for outside companies.

The joint venture with Rimac does not mean that Bugatti will only produce electric cars, Mate Rimac said, although there will be Bugatti electric vehicles in the near future. Mate Rimac has indicated that the successor model of the Chiron, Bugatti’s next high-performance supercar, will likely be a hybrid.

The Bugatti lineup could be expanded to include other models that are not high performance supercars, and these vehicles could be fully electric.

In the longer term, Bugatti could produce electric hypercars like Rimac’s, Mate Rimac said, but even then the brands will stand out, with Rimac focusing primarily on performance and Bugatti more on craftsmanship and style. .

Mate Rimac will be the general manager of Bugatti-Rimac. Two Porsche executives, including Blume, will sit on the Bugatti-Rimac board of directors. The company is expected to be created by the end of the year.

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