Porsche buys 10% stake in Rimac

Published: 20 June 2018

► Porsche buys 10% stake
► Makers of C_Two
► Rimac makes batteries for AM Valkyrie

Porsche has just bought a 10% stake in Rimac Automobili as it looks to accelerate its development of electric hypercars. Although known primarily for the Concept One and later the C_Two, Rimac has also become a leading manufacturer in high-performance electric vehicle powertrain systems and battery systems. It’s producing batteries for the forthcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie, and even powered the electric E-Type at Prince Harry’s wedding.

It’s this cutting-edge R&D part of the business Porsche must be most interested in.

Why is Porsche buying a stake in Rimac?

In an announcement released confirming the purchase, Porsche’s deputy chairman of the executive board, Lutz Meschke, said: ‘By developing the purely electric two-seaters super sports cars, like the Concept One or C_ Two, as well as core vehicle systems, Rimac has impressively demonstrated its credentials in the field of electromobility.’

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‘We feel that Rimac’s ideas and approaches are extremely promising, which is why we hope to enter into close collaboration with the company in the form of a development partnership.’

Despite its small beginnings, Rimac now employs around 400 workers at its Zagreb base, and is leading the charge in high-voltage battery technology, electric powertrains and the development of digital interfaces. With so many key buzzwords in its portfolio, you can see why Porsche wants to partner up…

Of course, this collaboration is also much cheaper than Porsche developing the tech on its own – and it’s not the first VW Group tie-in revealed today either. After last night’s announcement revealing that VW and Ford will work together, today Audi and Hyundai revealed they’ll be working on fuel-cells. Porsche’s decision to work with Rimac marks the third high-profile collaboration from the VW Group in 24 hours.

What’s in it for Rimac? 

Rimac will gain the might – and funds – of Porsche behind it, and further realise its dreams of becoming the battery supplier of choice for high-end EVs. Yes, Rimac also makes cars, but it appears to want to be known more as a premium supplier, than car maker in its own right. Think of it like Intel processors being a mark of high quality in computing hardware, even though they’re found in many different brands of PC. 

‘This partnership now is an important step for Rimac on our way to become a component and system supplier of choice for the industry in electrification, connectivity and the exciting field of advanced driver assistance systems’, said Rimac’s CEO, Mate Rimac.

Taycan: the first all-electric Porsche

The EV revolution may be imminent, but Porsche hasn’t exactly stood still. The Porsche Taycan (formerly Mission E) will be one of the first electric supercars ever made – and represents a joint project between Porsche and Audi. Fitting somewhere between the Panamera and the 911, it’ll be fast – but won’t produce hypercar levels of performance. Instead, it’s possible Porsche will team up with Rimac to build more exotic, even faster two-seater cars.

When CAR spoke to Porsche at the Geneva motor show, we were told that while the Taycan would use LG-produced batteries, the VW Group would pool its resources to develop its own batteries more cheaply in the future. It’s uncertain if Porsche’s decision to buy 10% of Rimac goes against that original plan.

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By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast