Bugatti and Rimac officially partner to develop next-gen hypercars
6 July 2021 - autocar
Newly formed Bugatti Rimac LLC will be headquarted in Croatia, but Bugatti will retain Molsheim factory
The long-mooted partnership between Bugatti and EV technology specialist Rimac Automobili is now official, with the two firms becoming a stand-alone entity headquartered in Croatia.
The new company, Bugatti Rimac LLC, is 45% owned by Porsche and 55% owned by the newly formed Rimac Group, in which Rimac founder Mate Rimac – who will be CEO – retains a 37% shareholding, with Porsche holding a 24% stake, Hyundai Motor Group 12% and other investors making up the remaining 27%. Porsche chairman Oliver Blume and deputy chairman Lutz Meschke will both serve as supervisory board members at the new joint venture.
Rimac’s powertrain, battery and components development arm will be separated out into a new, dedicated Rimac Technology division, which is part of the Rimac Group but remains independent and will continue to work with other manufacturers.
Bugatti and Rimac will remain separate brands, retaining their respective current French and Croatian production facilities. However, from 2023, the newly formed company will be based at the new Rimac Campus on the outskirts of Zagreb, which will employ 2500 people. From launch, the company employs some 430 people: around 300 in Zagreb and 130 in Molsheim.
The move has significant implications for future models from the two firms – particularly Bugatti, which will gain access to Rimac’s high-output electric drivetrain technology as a potential replacement for its long-standing W16 petrol engine in the coming years.
Rimac will continue to build and develop its own models following the impending launch of its Nevera flagship, while Bugatti will initially continue to build and market its Chiron hypercar.
Porsche chairman Oliver Blume explained the potential mutual benefits of the partnership: “We are combining Bugatti’s strong expertise in the hypercar business with Rimac’s tremendous innovative strength in the highly promising field of electric mobility.
"Bugatti is contributing a tradition-rich brand, iconic products, a loyal customer base and a global dealer organisation to the joint venture. In addition to technology, Rimac is providing new development and organisational approaches.”