Porsche announced last week that it has increased its investment in Rimac Automobili, the Croatian electric sports-car maker. It now holds 15.5 percent in Rimac, a step up from June 2018, when the German sports car maker purchased a 10 percent stake.
What’s one established sports-car brand—and part of the greater Volkswagen Group, with its massive research-and-development coffers—doing investing in a smaller, much less established one?
Rimac CEO Mate Rimac with Porsche Taycan
Part of it relates to how Rimac is building more than a car. Rimac, which now employs about 550, is putting the focus on high-voltage powertrains and battery tech—so there’s likely quite a bit of alignment with Porsche.
“We quickly realised that Porsche and Rimac can learn a lot from each other,” said Lutz Meschke, the Porsche AG board member in charge of finance and IT. We believe in what Mate Rimac and his company have to offer, which is why we have now increased our stake and intend to intensify our collaboration in the field of battery technology.”
Mate Rimac called gaining Porsche as a stakeholder “one of the most important milestones in our history,” with this increase of its stake in the company “the foundation for an even closer relationship.”
Porsche isn’t the only one investing in Rimac, though. Hyundai Motors, which includes Kia, earlier this year announced that it would invest $80 million in Rimac in a partnership extending to battery tech.
Rimac has already supplied the 800-volt battery pack and power systems for the Koenigsegg Regera supercar, and its most recent triumph has been the development of the C Two, an upcoming two-seater that reaches a claimed 256 mph, charges at 250 kw, and can go 404 miles on a charge in the very generous NEDC measurement.
2020 Porsche Taycan
With the newly shown 2020 Porsche Taycan the first mass-produced car built on an 800-volt system and the Volkswagen Group’s SPE electric supercar platform potentially nixed from the global giant’s R&D budget, a modest stake in Rimac might indeed be a very savvy investment.