Bugatti, Porsche and Rimac are set to join forces and become a powerhouse of electric supercar design.
After months of speculation Volkswagen Group has revealed plans for its French hypercar brand, Bugatti, revealing it won't be sold to Croatian EV specialists, Rimac. Instead, Bugatti is set to fall under the control of Porsche, allowing the three brand's to focus on high-performance cars and in particular electric sports cars.
Speaking at the company's annual media Volkswagen Group CEO Herbet Diess explained that Bugatti makes more sense to be run by Porsche – instead of under the VW Group umbrella – as both are specialist performance brands. Only last week Porsche increased its stake in Rimac, up to 24 per cent, to allow it to take better advantage of Rimac's cutting-edge battery and electric motor technology. And it looks like the Croatian start-up could soon have a stake in Porsche in return.
“Transferring [Bugatti] to Rimac isn't true,” Diess explained. “Porsche is currently preparing a partnership that's going to be under discussion with Rimac, and Porsche will be taking care of that.
“The whole thing isn't yet finalised. What we want to do is transition responsibility of Bugatti to Porsche, and Porsche in all probability will establish a joint venture with Rimac, with a minority share of Porsche.”
Diess explained that Porsche, Bugatti and Rimac can work together on other areas beyond batteries, including carbon fibre. Porsche has experimented with hybrid hypercars in the past, the famous 918 Spyder, and this new three-way partnership opens the door to a new hero hypercar in the future, sharing Bugatti and Rimac technology and platforms. Just last year the company teased a range of hypercar concepts, indicating there's always been an interest in such cars within the company.
In the short-term, the focus for Porsche will be expanding its EV range beyond the current Taycan, recently-revealed Taycan Cross Turismo and the upcoming Macan EV. The company is yet to confirm its next step, but recently Porsche GT and Motorsport boss, Frank-Steffen Walliser hinted an electric powertrain could power the next-generation 718 Cayman and Boxster range.
The move also opens the door for Bugatti to take greater advantage of Porsche's investment in carbon neutral synthetic fuels, which could allow the French brand to continue building its powerful internal combustion engines into the future.