It was quietly hidden in a press release.
Since last fall, there have been rumors that Rimac has been in discussions with the Volkswagen Group to buy a controlling stake in Bugatti. The automotive giant's CEO, Herbert Diess, later clarified that the Croatian all-electric hypercar would not take full control of Bugatti, but rather partner with Porsche, which recently increased its stake in Rimac. In the meantime, Bugatti reported the best quarter in its entire history.
The Bugatti Chiron, launched in 2017, continues to sell well even with its $3 million starting price. But what about its eventual successor? Will it be all-electric? A plug-in hybrid? Based on a recent statement from Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann we'd bet on the former.
Tucked away in a press release last week where Bugatti committed to a more sustainable future, Winkelmann had this to say:
"With regard to carbon emissions, there's a simple order that applies to us all - first avoid them, then reduce them, and then offset any remaining emissions. For this reason, we at Bugatti work hard to avoid emissions and other environmental impacts wherever possible in all of our development and production processes."
This is, without question, the strongest indication to date Bugatti is pursuing an all-electric future. The automaker further adds it's fully committed to the Volkswagen Group's environmental mission statement "goT0zero," the new approach of pooling together the Group's green environmental protection measures under one umbrella.
With a specific focus on climate change, resources, air quality, and environmental compliance, the automaker intends to reduce the carbon footprint of its entire vehicle fleet by 30 percent by 2025. It'll be carbon neutral by 2050. Switching to a pure battery-electric setup makes sense for Bugatti, a brand that's long taken pride in both design and technological innovations. Whether the eventual Chiron successor receives tech assistance from Rimac is not the main point.
Winkelmann's "offset any remaining emissions" remark is what strikes us the most. Like several other automakers, it certainly sounds like Bugatti will soon leave internal combustion behind.