Autocar

Rimac partnership allows Bugatti to expand and add new models

There can’t have been a more surprising hypercar event in recent years than the plan announced last year to merge bugatti and Rimac into a new company, with Autocar’s Issigonis Trophy winner Mate Rimac as CEO and Porsche as the key technical partner.

At the time, there were few specifics about the Bugatti Rimac purpose, although it had been clear that the Volkswagen Group was reluctant to invest the billions in new Bugattis for the EV era. Mate Rimac’s key mission, it turns out, was to get much better control of model development costs.

“On a car-by-car basis, Bugatti is very successful,” he says.

“People would be surprised how profitable each one is; I certainly was. But it has been less successful in developing cars. It cost them more to create the Bugatti Chiron from the Bugatti Veyronwhich has the same W16 engine and eight-speed gearbox, than we spent developing our Rimac Nevera from scratch.”

Volkswagen’s technique had been to outsource a lot of work to other companies, Rimac explains. It faced a choice: invest billions in EVs (“they didn’t want to do that, because Ferdinand Piëch is no longer with us”) or kill off Bugatti, with all the practical problems that would bring.

Then somebody had the idea of ​​merging it with Rimac… “I see this new arrangement as a win-win-win-win,” says Mate Rimac.

“It’s a win for us, having a wonderful brand with a 113-year tradition. It’s a win for Volkswagen, because Bugatti has a great future, they have a shareholding and we will keep costs under control.

“It’s a win for the employees, because we will expand. And it’s a win for customers, because we have exciting new products coming. We won’t just hump along; we will flourish.”

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