By on September 17, 2020

Bugatti Chiron speed attempt

Croatian supercar firm Rimac Automobili is reportedly in the process of acquiring Bugatti from Volkswagen. While rumors had been swirling that VW might offload a few of its brands in a bid to focus on electrification and emissions compliance, this is is the first time we’ve heard credible rumblings about real action being taken.

Considering the space Rimac occupies, adding the formerly French Bugatti brand also makes some amount of sense. We’d be a lot more skeptical if founder Mate Rimac was alleged to be making a move on SEAT because he suddenly found a passion for designing economy cars. But the prospective tie-up is more complicated than it seems at first blush. Volkswagen Group’s Porsche actually owns a 15-percent stake in Rimac so it can tap into some of its sweetest technical equipment for the purpose of building EVs.

While nothing is official, Reuters reported that Manager Magazin (the German business monthly) had a piece alleging the Bugatti sale would be a major topic among VW board meetings this year and that Mr. Rimac seemed the likely beneficiary of those talks.

We’re guessing Volkswagen is considering this because it has already lost a substantial amount of money this year and has to continue spending to progress the development of electric and/or autonomous vehicles (on which it has bet the farm). It also doesn’t make much sense to own Bugatti when it already has Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bentley  especially if the rumors that VW lost nearly $6 million on every Bugatti Veyron sold were true.

Deceased VW patriarch Ferdinand Piëch went well out of his way to acquire Bugatti, noting that it was more for his own pleasure than anything else. The ultra-premium brand was the fat ruby in Volkswagen’s crown as it went from the cusp of bankruptcy to the largest automaker in the world under Dr. Piëch’s leadership. But he’s no longer around to fight for one of his favorite projects, making it a probable sell as the company tightens its belt a few notches. If the Porsche-Piëch family can benefit from the existing corporate connections, we doubt they’ll mind.

[Image: Bugatti]


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6 Comments on “Rimac Planning to Buy Bugatti?...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Makes sense. But the important question is this: will Bugatti continue using a VW W16, or will they move on to something else?

  • avatar

    In addition to Porsche’s 15.5%, Hyundai has 11%, and Kia 2.7%. Their independent wheel drive 4-motor-technology is interesting and one of their biggest assets.

  • avatar

    I wonder why no one mentions how Russian oligarchs are involved in all that. I can imagine Bugatti being bestselling vehicle inside of Moscow’s Garden ring.

    But seriously, if VW cannot make profit making Bugatti how can some obscure Croatian firm do it?

  • avatar

    I believe rimac will move towards introducing a joint product between the two companies that showcases the history and workmanship of bugatti alongwith the modern electric power, and quipment of rimac. It will be a hybrid boasting upwards of 1600hp easily and will contend for the fastest car in the world against Koenigsegg. They will surely downsize their engine from the w16 that bugatti is currently using since it is a VW engine architecture derived from VR6.

  • avatar

    I have heard a rumour that VW is looking to buy some of Tata motors shares using Bentley and VAG tech in Part exchange. Makes sense Bentley gets folded in with Range Rover and Jaguar whilst JLR and Audi can share components. Clever move if true.

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