But Bugatti will continue to offer a combustion engine for years to come.
It's been a big week for Bugatti and Rimac following the announcement of the new company very appropriately called Bugatti Rimac. The shares split will see 55 percent held by Rimac Automobili and 45 percent by Porsche. An endless amount of exciting new projects are now possible and we can't wait to see what the two brilliant companies have planned. But one thing is already being made crystal clear: Bugatti has no immediate plans to abandon combustion engine technology despite Rimac's vast battery-electric powertrain knowledge.
Equally important, Mate Rimac confirmed to Autocar the company's first EV won't be a rebadged Rimac Nevera. "What some people expect might happen is that we take a Nevera and slam a Bugatti logo on it and call it a Bugatti," the young CEO said.
"That's absolutely not going to happen. We will not just restyle or hybridize the Chiron to make a new car. We're developing a completely new product from the ground up, because we think that's the best way to go, and that product will still have a combustion engine."
However, the future of the quad-turbocharged W16 found in the Bugatti Chiron still remains unclear. Chances are it won't exist in its current form once the Chiron passes its expiration date, which could potentially come as soon as 2023 or 2024. This doesn't mean it won't be hybridized, however. The addition of plug-in hybrid technology would vastly improve the W16's fuel economy and possibly even, thanks to Rimac, offer a limited all-electric range.
Porsche chairman Oliver Blume, who's also a Bugatti Rimac board member, confirmed the Chiron isn't going anywhere just yet and that there are already "ideas for new cars and to develop once again a very unique product." There's also a good chance that not all future Bugatti Rimac vehicles will be hypercars, though no one is talking just yet about which segments they'll eventually fill.
One thing is clear: "within this decade, there will be a fully electric Bugatti," Rimac confirmed. "But I can also tell you that by the end of this decade, there will still be combustion engines - not fully combustion-engined, of course, [but] very heavily hybridized." We have no qualms with that.