Porsche has bought a minority stake in Rimac Automobili. You know, the 400-strong Croatian company behind the Concept One and C_Two EV-hypercars. The company that supplies Koenigsegg, Jaguar and Renault. And the company that will develop the battery system for the Aston Martin Valkyrie. Yeah, those guys.
CEO and namesake Mate Rimac, who remains the majority shareholder, says entering into this partnership with Porsche “is an important step in [Rimac’s] strategy to become a leading EV technology supplier to global OEMs”. Porsche’s Lutz Meschke – deputy chairman of the company’s Executive Board – says that with cars like the Concept One and C_Two, Rimac has “impressively demonstrated its credentials in the field of electromobility”, and that its “ideas and approaches are extremely promising”.
Porsche also hopes for some kind of development partnership as a result, though hasn’t yet specified what form this will take.
As we know, Porsche is just months away from launching its first pure-EV. The Taycan is a 600-odd bhp four-seater powered by two permanent magnet synchronous motors – one on each axle giving all-wheel drive and 0-100kph in “less than 3.5 seconds”. Rimac, on the other hand, has only ever done EVs. The company was founded in 2009, but it wasn’t until 2011 that it presented the Concept One at the Frankfurt Motor Show. There was a hint of vapourware about it – as indeed there always is with this kind of car – but sure enough, in 2016, Rimac returned to the spotlight with the final car, of which it promised to build no more than eight.
The numbers were outrageous. 1088bhp, 1600Nm and 0-300kph in just 14.2 seconds. It had four motors – one for each wheel – each with their own inverter and gearbox. This meant all four corners could be controlled independently, giving all-wheel torque vectoring. The C_Two, which was revealed at this year’s Geneva show, moves things on somewhat – to 1,887bhp, 2300Nm and a Tesla-baiting 0-97kph time of 1.85 seconds. You can read all about it by clicking on these words. So you can see why Porsche gave Rimac a call.
What could this mean for Porsche and for Rimac? For Porsche – much expertise conceiving, designing, building, testing and selling the most extreme all-electric cars out there. And for Rimac – a pair of incredibly deep pockets. We can’t wait to see how this one plays out.