Two years ago, Mate Rimac told me that the moment would soon come when he’d stop being the majority shareholder of the EV company he founded in 2009. This was just after Porsche had acquired 10 percent of Rimac, only to follow up with another 5.5 percent in 2019. Today, the Croatian company’s automotive investors include the Hyundai Group, Magna, Koenigsegg, and Jaguar. And if a new report by German publication Manager Magazin is to be believed, Volkswagen is to raise Porsche’s stake further by selling Bugatti to Rimac.
When asked about this, Rimac simply said that it can’t comment on speculation. According to multiple reports, however, Volkswagen is moving towards full electrification and autonomous drive, meaning that the late Ferdinand Piëch’s collection of prestige brands that currently make W16 hypercars, V12 supercars, W12 luxury GTs, and L-Twin motorcycles are all up in the air—starting with Bugatti.
If Bugatti is sold to Rimac so that Porsche can gain an advantage in the EV field, naturally, Rimac’s strong ties to the Volkswagen Group will mean it can also do more with Audi in the future.
A report by Car Magazine also suggests that Bugatti boss Stephan Winkelmann is all set to leave, just not before approving the zero-emission, track-only one-off called Vision Le Mans for production, a concept penned by 27-year-old design graduate Max Lask.
Having named its limited-edition, supercapacitor-enhanced hybrid Sián FKP 37 in honor of the infamous executive who acquired Lamborghini through Audi in 1998, Ferdinand Karl Piëch, the question of the Italian supercar brand remains an open one. The same could be said about Bentley, Ducati, and Seat, which may end up merging into its recently launched performance sub-brand Cupra.
Take all of this with a huge grain of salt. Yet if all this speculation turns out to be true, Bugatti is sure to give up its 8-liter quad-turbo W16 for the like of a quad-motor electric drivetrain offering well over 2000 horsepower.
All of this, so Volkswagen can gain the tech and the know-how of 600 Rimac employees while also making sure to keep the Porsche/Piëch dynasty happy. A fine balancing act indeed.
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