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Rimac takes over Bugatti from VW in powerhouse electric supercar deal

Croatian electric supercar startup Rimac announced that it was taking over Bugatti from Volkswagen to form a new company called Bugatti Rimac. The news was first reported by the Financial Times.

Bugatti Rimac will be led by Mate Rimac, who founded the company in 2009 in a garage as a one-man operation. Over that period, Rimac has become a highly desirable brand, with many legacy automakers calling upon the startup to help build their own electric supercars.

It’s not much of a question why that is. Earlier this year, Rimac released the Nevera, a quad-motor, 1,914 horsepower demonstration of electric absurdity, with a top speed of 258mph and an ability to leap to zero to 60mph in less than 2 seconds. The Nevera is expected to be the fastest sports car ever made, a title previously held by the Bugatti Chiron.

Under the deal, Rimac will own a controlling 55 percent stake in Bugatti, the 112-year-old French brand known for its aggressively priced supercars like the Chiron and Veyron. VW’s Porsche brand will own the remaining shares in Bugatti. (Even though Porsche owns some stock in Rimac, it’s total ownership will not give it a controlling interest in Bugatti, the companies told FT.)

Volkswagen has owned Bugatti since 1998, when it bought the sports car brand for $50 million after acquiring Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini. This was an all-stock deal, meaning no money changed hands, according to Porsche boss Oliver Blume.

Rimac Group will own both Bugatti Rimac and Rimac Technologies, an offshoot of the company focused on the development, production and supply of battery systems, drivetrains and other EV components. Over the years, Rimac has supplied automotive components to Porsche, Hyundai, and, yes, Bugatti.

“Bugatti and Rimac will both continue as separate respective brands, retaining existing production facilities and distribution channels,” Rimac says. “Bugatti Rimac represents the company that will develop the future of both Bugatti and Rimac vehicles, by joining resources and expertise in research and development, production, and other areas.”

Both companies will retain their respective headquarters, but Rimac plans to eventually merge its workforce at the planned $200 million campus in Croatia, which is set to open in 2023.

“This is a truly exciting moment in the short, yet rapidly expanding history of Rimac Automobili,” Mate Rimac said in a statement. “We have gone through so much in such a short space of time, but this new venture takes things to a completely new level. Rimac and Bugatti are a perfect match in terms of what we each bring to the table. As a young, agile and fast-paced automotive and technology company, we have established ourselves as an industry pioneer in electric technologies.”

Rimac said Bugatti would have an electric model this decade but would still produce hybrid models by the end of that period.

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