Luxury car brand Bugatti has a new owner, but you could be forgiven for never having heard of them.
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The big news in the car industry this week is that Bugatti has been bought by Rimac Group.
There have been rumours of a takeover for a while, but the companies have now partnered up in a deal worth millions of euros. Here, we explain the deal and everything you need to know about the little-known Croatian firm.
What is Rimac?
You’d be forgiven for never having heard of Rimac. Aside from the awkward moment when Richard Hammond crashed one of its cars down a hill during filming for The Grand Tour, the Croatian company has kept a relatively low profile.
However, if you’re really into cars, you’ll know it as one of the fastest growing component companies in the industry, becoming hugely respected for its electric vehicle technology.
It has its own ultra-limited-edition electric supercars, but also provides vehicle components for major car manufacturers around the world. The company was founded in 2009 by Mate Rimac, who had been working on converting his old BMW to an electric powertrain and was inspired to design his own components that were better than what was on sale at the time.
It’s a small company, then?
Not anymore. Despite only being in its 12th year of existence, Rimac has grown rapidly. What started in Rimac’s garage and had just eight employees 10 years ago, now has 850 employees.
It has its headquarters in Sveta Nedelja near Zagreb, Croatia, which it moved into in 2013. When it outgrew that, it also established offices in Split and Osijek, with a joint venture in China and a new production facility in Veliko Trgovišće.
Rimac says its ‘dream location’ is currently in the works.
What companies does Rimac work with?
While it’s likely there will be many major car manufacturers that quietly work with Rimac on their mainstream vehicles, there are a few notable projects that have come to light over the years.
The company makes the kinetic energy recovery system for Aston Martin’s Valkyrie hypercar, which is the technology that captures energy usually lost through braking and uses it to replenish the battery. It has also produced batteries for Koenigsegg and the Seat Cupra e-Racer concept.
In 2018, Porsche gave Rimac a public vote of confidence when it acquired a 10 per cent stake in the firm to form a development partnership.
What about Rimac’s own cars?
They’re purely electric and the first was revealed very early in the company’s timeline. The Concept One went on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011 with production models reaching customers in 2016. This was followed by a lighter track-focused version called Concept S.
The Concept Two (known as C_Two) was revealed at the 2018 Geneva motor show. The production version of that car is now being built and has been renamed Nevera. It makes 1,887bhp and 2,360Nm of torque with a sub-two-second 0-60mph time.
Rimac’s new campus will be ‘state of the art’ according to the company. (Rimac)
Does Rimac solely own Bugatti now?
No, it’s a majority owner with 55 per cent of the company falling under the new Rimac Group umbrella, with Porsche owning the other 45 per cent.
Rimac Group ownership is made up of Mate Rimac (37 per cent), Porsche (24 per cent), and Hyundai (12 per cent), with other investors making up the final 27 per cent.