Bugatti Merges With EV Hyper Car Maker Rimac, and That's a Good Thing
We reported last fall how Volkswagen-owned Bugatti had its future products on hold, given the financially turbulent and awful year which was 2020. In addition to the global pandemic cutting production, sales, profits, and everything else, VW was pouring lots of development money into its I.D. electric vehicle lineup.
At the time, there were mumblings that EV startup Rimac was in talks to purchase the brand from VW. News broke yesterday of a merger, where Volkswagen and Porsche are not entirely out of the picture.
A 10-year-old firm started by one man in his garage, Rimac is a Croatian producer of incredibly powerful electric hypercars. In the July 5th announcement, the company celebrated its merger and debuted its new holding company structure. Within the new Rimac Group are Bugatti Rimac and Rimac Technology, the former being the brand that produces the cars. The firm will be lead by Rimac CEO and founder Mate Rimac.
Rimac Technology is 100 percent owned by Rimac Group, and the Bugatti Rimac branch has split share ownership: Fifty-five percent is owned by Rimac Group (the controlling stake) while 45 percent is owned by Porsche. As shown above, major holders of the Rimac Group include Mate Rimac at 37 percent, Porsche at 24 percent, Hyundai at 12 percent, and other mixed investors at 27 percent. The Taycan appears in the announcement photos so you ain’t be forgetting how Porsche owns their piece of the pie here.
Rimac Technology is a newly-minted firm that develops and produces various battery systems, components, and drivetrains. In the deal Rimac Technology is an independent entity, doing its own thing. Entity separation makes distribution to other companies easier, for example if Hyundai wanted some Rimac tech in its EVs. The brands will retain their production facilities separately, too. Rimacs are made in Zagreb, Croatia, and Bugattis are produced at Molsheim, France. Development of Rimac and Bugatti vehicles will take place in the near future at a singular global HQ, a new 100,000 square-meter campus scheduled to open in 2023.
While Bugatti’s product has been on hold, Rimac recently released its newest hypercar. Called Nevera, it has some truly ridiculous specs. Driven at all four wheels by magnetic motors, Nevera has a total of 1,914 horsepower, and 1,740 lb-ft of torque. This instantaneous Rare Ride accelerates to 60 in 1.85 seconds, and on to 100 in 4.3 seconds. 186 miles per hour is reached in 9.3 seconds (good grief!) and the top speed is 258 miles per hour.
Those sorts of power and torque figures best gasoline-powered Bugattis several times over. The merger will allow Volkswagen-Porsche (they own one another, remember) to have a piece of Bugatti while someone else does the costly EV development. Given gasoline-powered hypercars are looking more and more dinosaur-y by the day, this type of merger makes perfect sense. In a low-volume, high-dollar hyper EV brand it’s best to turn the reigns over to a specialist, and that’s what Volkswagen has done here. Look for a Rare Rides on the Nevera very soon.
[Images: Bugatti Rimac]
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Note that there are two “Porsches.” One is the car brand, an operating division of VW AG. The other is Porsche SE, a holding company that owns 53.3% of VW AG. Porsche SE is 50% owned by the various Porsche and Piëch family members, but since the remaining shares are non-voting, the holding company is effectively controlled by the families. So which Porsche is taking an ownership position in Rimac, I wonder?
This is most definitely not a good thing. I see this to Bugatti being completely ruined as they cave to the EV fashion market of 4 wheeled compliance vehicles.