Vehicles | August 25, 2021 1:37 pm

Watch Out Tesla, Porsche Has a New Secret Weapon in the EV War

The German automaker is relying on some Croatian ingenuity

A Porsche Taycan in Rubystone Red. The electric car is newly available in the heritage color, but the more exciting EV news comes from Porsche's partnership with Rimac.
The Taycan will be available in Rubystone Red, but that's not the Porsche news you should be paying attention to.
Porsche

In the high-end EV space, the question most moneyed buyers ask themselves is simple: do I buy a Tesla Model S or a Porsche Taycan? Consumer Reports and Joe Rogan are team Elon, Edmunds and Bill Gates are team Stuttgart, and the war continues.

It looks like the scales could soon tip in Porsche’s favor, however. Over at Bloomberg, Hannah Elliott recently interviewed Mate Rimac, the 33-year-old founder of Croatian electric car sensation Rimac, who let slip some hints about upcoming Porsche technology.

What does Rimac have to do with Porsche? As we explained last month, the upstart company recently purchased a controlling 55% stake in Bugatti, with Porsche owning the other 45%, and the company created from that restructuring is called Bugatti Rimac. But Rimac doesn’t only produce cars, they also supply EV tech to other companies (like Koenigsegg, Pininfarina, Hyundai and, of course, Porsche). That tech is offered through Rimac Technology while the company’s proprietary vehicles are offered through Rimac Automobili. You can see the full ownership breakdown here, but suffice it to say Porsche and Rimac are now strategic partners in electrification, more than they ever were before.

Which brings us to the most interesting tidbit from the Bloomberg interview. As Elliott notes, Porsche is owned by Volkswagen AG, but this new partnership with Rimac may lead to a significant difference between EVs from VW brands like Audi and Bentley and VW brands like Porsche and Bugatti. In fact, Mate Rimac says as much.

“We are already developing stuff that will be soon in high-volume Porsches,” says Rimac. “Not special projects, but the mainstream.” 

What could that be? Better batteries? We’re still waiting for the next big breakthrough in that department, especially concerning range. But whatever it is, it’s good news for people who are intrigued by Rimac’s $2.4 million electric Nevera hypercar but possibly looking for something that’s about $2.3 million cheaper.

The headline for the Bloomberg story is a quote from Mate Rimac where he said, in full, “I am not somebody to play it safe. Never. Not even close.” In a normal automotive PR setting, we’d take that for empty bluster or marketing speak. But in the case of Rimac’s momentous rise, we believe it, and we can’t wait to see what’s cooking at Porsche.