The Valkyrie could face a new enemy.
While Rimac builds its own vehicles, like the upcoming C_Two, the company works with OEMs on their battery tech, most notably Hyundai and Porsche. Last year, Porsche purchased a ten percent stake in Rimac and just this month the stake in the Croatian carmaker increased to 15 percent.
With the 718 rumored to go all-electric in the next generation, Porsche's investment in Rimac makes a lot of sense. But in an interview with Motoring, it was revealed Porsche might have even bigger plans for Rimac's incredible battery technology. "Our target is always, no matter what car we're doing, to have the sportiest car in the segment," Dr. Stefan Weckbach, Porsche's head of EV projects, said. This could include the long-awaited successor to the 918 Spyder, which was previewed by the beautiful 917 Concept (pictured below).
Porsche and Rimac won't be going into battle unmatched because the upcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie is set to arrive using a Formula 1-derived V12 churning out 1,160 horsepower. With the help of Rimac, Porsche is confident its next hypercar will be among the quickest cars on the market, just like its predecessors the 918, Carrera GT, and 959.
"Well, all of those Porsche supercars and hypercars, they aim to be the best in the market at the time. This is the target for the next one as well," said Weckbach. "We see the potential for future co-operation with this, that's why we raised our stake in Rimac," said Weckback. "The knowledge exchange between them and us is valuable for both parties. So we just decided to strengthen our relationship."
It is still unclear whether or not this new Porsche hypercar will be all-electric or if it will continue to use an internal combustion engine because solid-state battery technology may not be ready in time for the car's release. "I'm pretty sure solid-state batteries are going to be the next step. I think there's going to be a technology step in lithium-ion batteries within the next few years, but is solid-state [technology] ready for industrialization and mass market within the next five years? I don't know, but I don't believe it," Weckback explained. "If it's all-electric it might be an approach, might be a Porsche motor as well," he added.
As for when this new car will arrive, "I think it's rather talking about seven to 10 years. So there's different ideas and discussions ongoing and there will definitely be a next Porsche hypercar in the market, but I cannot tell you today when [it will be], and what the technology of it would be," Weckback said.
"It's much too early to talk about any technical concepts or details of an upcoming, potentially upcoming hypercar. There are many ideas. If you look at 919 hybrid [race car], for example, it was a very small V4 engine, highly electrified. There's a big range of cars that we could do and we need to have a sound internal discussion in order to make sure the next supercar is a benchmark as its predecessors," Weckbach said.
It may be a while before we see it but the 918 successor but when it arrives expect it to be something very, very special.