When Mate Rimac speaks, everyone should listen.
Bugatti is now officially in the hands of Rimac, the all-electric hypercar and technology company from Croatia. Rimac has come a very long way in just 12 years; it outgrew Mate Rimac's garage long ago. Today, he's the CEO of both Rimac and Bugatti, taking over the latter from Stephan Winkelmann. Not bad for a guy who turned 34 this month. That being said, people are now wondering what, exactly, does Rimac have planned for future Bugatti hypercars. Bear in mind that the Chiron is now entering the final production phase, so work on a successor is already underway. Question is, will it be fully electric?
Mate Rimac confirmed to Automotive News Europe that "a Bugatti should still have a combustion engine for some time. But it will be developed in a way that is financially viable."
Now, here's where things are going to get very interesting. The W16 engine used by Bugatti is nearly two decades old now and it must meet new and far more stringent emissions standards. Does Rimac ditch it or replace it? "The easiest thing for us would be to take the Nevera and slam a Bugatti logo on it and call it a day. But I was against it," the young CEO added.
Instead, the Chiron's successor will be "heavily electrified, but we'll have a very attractive combustion engine. I think that we are developing the best possible solution for Bugatti, which is not an electric car today.
It will be one day, but not today." Rimac confirmed the next Bugatti's combustion engine will be developed entirely from scratch in-house. That's where Porsche comes in.
The VW Group's decision to create a new joint venture, called Bugatti Rimac, between Rimac and Porsche was both bold and brilliant. VW Group determined that Bugatti needed to be run differently in the new electrification era and Rimac was the ideal partner. Bugatti models, in general, are completely sold out until 2025. That's good because it gives Rimac plenty of time to get that new powertrain developed, tested, and ready for production.