Porsche is getting even more involved with Rimac, upping its stake to 24 per cent.
If earlier reports are accurate, Porsche’s increased stake in Rimac is the first step in the Volkswagen Group offloading all or part of Bugatti to the Croatian EV hypercar firm.
In a deal announced overnight Porsche has invested €70 million ($108 million) in the electric hypercar specialist. While this ups its stake to 24 per cent, Porsche says it will not be “exercising a controlling influence”.
According to Mate Rimac, the Croatian automaker’s founder, “With many car manufacturers across the world being Rimac customers, it is important, both for Rimac and Porsche, that we remain an entirely independent business”.
Automobili Pininfarina’s first production vehicle, the Battista, will use a Rimac drivetrain and share its platform with the C-Two. Rimac also supplies components for the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Koenigsegg Regera.
Should Bugatti’s mooted partial or full sale to Rimac go through, as reported, during the first half of 2021, it’s likely Bugatti will transition from its current W16-based cars to vehicles based on Rimac’s established hypercar platform employing its electric drivetrain technologies.
The Volkswagen Group is reportedly keen on finding a long-term solution for Bugatti as it has more important matters on its plate, including its own electrification strategy, which will see the flagship Volkswagen brand deriving 70 per cent of its sales in Europe from EVs by 2030.
Porsche’s financial relationship with Rimac began in 2018 when it purchased a 10 per cent stake, and this was raised to 15.5 per cent the following year.
“Rimac is well on its way to becoming a Tier 1 supplier for Porsche and other manufacturers in the high-tech segment,” Lutz Meschke, Porsche’s head of IT and finance, said in a prepared statement.
As part of the companies’ deepening relationship, Rimac is due to supply Porsche with “highly innovative series components”, while Porsche provides Rimac with the Stuttgart firm’s “know-how in production and methodological expertise in development”.
Rimac founded his eponymous car maker in 2009 at the age of 21. The first production copy of the 960kW Concept One began rolling out of the factory in 2016.
In 2018 the company unveiled its successor, the C-Two with a monstrous 1427kW and 2300Nm from its four electric motors.