Iconic car maker Bugatti taken over by electric supercar company Rimac

Rimac unveiled the Nevera earlier this year, an electric car that has a top speed of 412km/h.
Rimac unveiled the Nevera (r) earlier this year, an electric car that has a top speed of 412km/h Photo credit: Rimac Automobili

Electric supercar company Rimac has taken control of one of motoring's most iconic names, Bugatti, from Volkswagen.

Rimac - formed as a one-man operation by Mate Rimac in Croatia in 2009 - has become one of the most desirable supercar brands since and also develops and manufactures car components for other companies.

The deal creates a new company called Bugatti Rimac, with Rimac owning a controlling 55 percent stake of the French manufacturer, known for supercars like Veyron and Chiron.

"Uniting Rimac's technical expertise and lean operations with Bugatti's 110-year heritage of design and engineering prowess represents a fusion of leading automotive minds," the company said.

Earlier this year Rimac unveiled the production model of the Nevera, it's electric concept car first announced in 2018. There are plenty of clues in that model's performance that indicate the deal with Bugatti could deliver spectacular results.

The Nevera has a top speed of 412km/h and accelerates to 100km/h in under two seconds. That power comes at a very steep price - only 150 will be made, each costing US$2.4 million.

The handcrafted cars have a 120kWh battery pack, powering four electric motors - one for each wheel. This outputs 1.4MW of power, the equivalent of 1914 horsepower, Rimac has said.

In comparison, the Ford Ranger - Aotearoa's most popular car of 2020 - outputs around 270 horsepower.

Bugatti and Rimac will both continue as separate brands, the company has said, with the Bugatti Rimac eventually relocating to the NZ$336 million, 100,000 m2 Rimac Campus, due to open in 2023.

"We have gone through so much in such a short space of time, but this new venture takes things to a completely new level," Mate Rimac, founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili said.

"Rimac and Bugatti are a perfect match in terms of what we each bring to the table. With the Nevera, we have also proven that we can develop and manufacture outstanding hypercars that are not only fast but also exciting and high-quality. 

"Bugatti, with over a century of experience in engineering excellence, also possesses one of the most exceptional heritage of any car company in history."