Hyundai and Rimac breaking up over Porsche

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Hyundai is reportedly cutting ties with electric supercar maker Rimac Automobili. Hyundai-Kia has owned a 12% stake worth $90 million in the Croatian maker of the Nevera since 2019. However Porsche, which has owned a 10% stake in Rimac since 2018, upped that share to 24 percent last year.

According to Automotive News, that newfound closeness with Porsche is what's prompting Hyundai to end its collaboration with Rimac. Hyundai had two projects in progress with Rimac: an electric sports car to bolster its N performance subbrand that had yet to earn a name, and the Vision FK Concept, hydrogen-powered sports sedan with a Rimac battery pack.

The AN article states that Hyundai will continue its own development of the former, while the latter is dead in the water. However, the same piece also quotes an official response from Rimac, "We have two active high-level projects ongoing [with Hyundai], one completed and several future projects under discussion."

Rimac's deal with Porsche also gave it a 55% stake in the newly formed Bugatti-Rimac, while Porsche took the remaining 45%. It effectively gave Rimac control over the 113-year-old company, in which future Bugattis would run on Rimac's electric drivetrains. Porsche still retains its own 24% stake in Rimac.

At this point it is still unclear whether Hyundai-Kia will sell its stake in Rimac, but if the unnamed sources in the AN article are correct it doesn't seem like there will be much of a point in keeping it.

It could be argued that Rimac, Porsche, and Bugatti are a better fit, as the Nevera is limited to 150 units and costs $2.4 million. Even as an N performance car, Hyundai's EV would have required greater volume and demanded more mass market engineering constraints. It's quite a different beast than building a low-volume car where money is no object.

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