Mate Rimac Details The Future Of Bugatti And Sounds Like The Car Guy The Brand Deserves

Mate Rimac Details The Future Of Bugatti And Sounds Like The Car Guy The Brand Deserves

It’s rare to see big names in the automotive industry change hands but that’s exactly what happened last year to Bugatti. It’s out from underneath the Volkswagen umbrella and is now part of a joint venture called Bugatti Rimac with none other than Mate Rimac at the head as its CEO. He’s just laid out his plans for the future of the brand and how Rimac itself fits in.

In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Mate Rimac was very clear about things he didn’t want to do as well. That starts out with not just “slam a Bugatti logo” on the Nevera and “call it a day.” That’s the kind of against the thinking that lots of car companies adopt.

He also said that Bugatti simply didn’t fit under the VW brand any more thanks to changing times. “Profitability wasn’t really the problem for Volkswagen. The problem was, what comes next? Because if you look at Bugatti, it’s all based on the W16 engine, which is almost two decades old. It is an amazing powerplant that created the hypercar business… I’m an electric car guy, but a Bugatti should still have a combustion engine for some time.”

Related: Rimac Completes The Final U.S. Crash Test For The Nevera Supercar

That isn’t to say that Bugatti is going to keep running with a totally unelectrified powertrain though. Rimac went on to say that the next flagship combustion engine featured in a Bugatti would be “heavily electrified.” Don’t let that worry you if you’re a purist though. One of the most important factors in a Bugatti is how bespoke everything about it is.

Rimac says that sort of attitude will continue and harmonize with the way the Nevera is made as well. “Everything in the Nevera (is made) from scratch. You will not find one piece in that car that you can find on another car… we will do the same for future Bugattis, creating really exceptional products that are not comparable with anything else on the market.”

He also spoke about the research and development center that’s being built near Zagreb and how important it was that young people have the chance to be influenced by supercars. To help accomplish that, he’s built the center without fences that other brands use to keep prying eyes out.

“Maybe 15 to 20 years ago, if you asked an engineer: “What’s your dream job?” the engineer would have probably said: “Working for BMW or Mercedes.” Today, I’m not really sure that’s the case. So, the question is: Why do you need fences?… We have kids driving around here with their little bicycles, looking at how we do things. I would feel terrible if we had to exclude them.”

That sounds like the same attitude some supercar companies used to take. Famed Lamborghini chief test driver Valentino Balboni was hired after being attracted to the factory as he saw Miura bodies arriving from Bertone. It’s encouraging to see Mate Rimac taking such an approach to his community.

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