Rumors of the Volkswagen Group seeking to find a new home for the Bugatti boutique brand first appeared in September 2020. At that time, a few sources suggested that the head honchos at VAG were looking to sell the Molsheim-based business to Rimac as part of a tie-up that would entail Porsche raising its share of the Croatian electric hypercar maker.
Fast forward to February 2021, the CEO of Porsche and member of the board of directors of the parent company Volkswagen AG, Oliver Blume, told German weekly Automobilwoche that a decision on the fate of Bugatti will soon be made. How soon is it? “I believe that the issue will be decided by the group in the first half of the year.”
He agreed that Rimac “could play a role here because the brands are a good technological fit.” But, according to Blume, VAG is currently evaluating “various scenarios with different structures,” implying that the path Bugatti will go has not been determined and it is premature to conclude that 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’s joining hands with Bugatti will be a match made in the hypercar sky, since they could span both the EV and the ICE range. The C Two coming later this year is at the forefront of electrical efficiency, while the Chiron with its huge W16 engine is the epitome of combustion engines.
If Bugatti and Rimac were to work together in one way or another, it would encourage the former to accept imminent electrification in order to protect its future by sourcing technologies from a company that has exclusively produced EV powertrains since its inception back in 2009. Some claim that Porsche is aiming to raise its share of Rimac from the current 15.5 per cent to as much as 49 per cent, which will allow the Zuffenhausen brand to gain considerably more power.
It is worth noting that the Hyundai Motor Group – which also includes the luxury brand Genesis and a majority interest in Kia – is spending €80 million (nearly $97 million at current exchange rates) to accelerate the growth of EV results. It would be important to see how the collaboration will develop if the relationship between Porsche and Rimac improves until a definitive decision about the future of Bugatti is made.