Rumors about the Volkswagen Group trying to find a new home for boutique marque Bugatti first emerged in September 2020. At that point, a couple of reports stated the head honchos at VAG were looking to sell the Molsheim-based company to Rimac as part of a tie-up that would involve Porsche increasing its share in the Croatian electric hypercar manufacturer.
Fast forward to February 2021, Porsche CEO and member of the management board of parent Volkswagen AG, Oliver Blume, told German weekly Automobilwoche a decision regarding Bugatti's fate will be taken soon. How soon? "I believe that the issue will be decided by the group in the first half of the year."
He admitted Rimac "could play a role here because the brands are a good technological fit." However, Blume specified VAG is currently analyzing "various scenarios with different structures," meaning the direction Bugatti will take has not been decided and it's premature to say it will change hands. "At the moment there are intense deliberations on how Bugatti can be developed in the best possible way," Porsche’s boss told Automobilwoche.
Rimac joining forces with Bugatti would be a match made in hypercar heaven as they'd be able to cover both the EV and ICE spectrums. The C_Two coming later this year is at the forefront of electric performance while the Chiron with its massive W16 engine is the epitome of combustion engines.
If Bugatti and Rimac were to collaborate in one way or another, it would allow the former to embrace the inevitable electrification to secure its future by sourcing tech from a company that has exclusively developed EV powertrains since its inception back in 2009. Some say Porsche is looking to increase its share in Rimac from the current 15.5 percent to as much as 49 percent, which would allow the Zuffenhausen brand to have significantly more influence.
It's worth mentioning the Hyundai Motor Group – which also includes luxury brand Genesis and a controlling stake in Kia – is investing €80 million (nearly $97M at current exchange rates) to speed up the development of performance EVs. It will be interesting to see how the partnership will evolve should the relationship between Porsche and Rimac change after a final decision will be taken concerning Bugatti's future.