Porsche just took a 10% stake in electric car maker Rimac Automobili

Porsche AG is taking a 10% stake in Rimac Automobili, the Croatian hypercar and electric vehicle components company behind the world’s fastest electric car. 

This isn’t just a big-storied-automaker-takes-an-interest-in-a-startup kind of story. Rimac has street cred and not just because of its latest electric hypercar, the C Two, which debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2018. 

The two-seater C Two is certainly a standout. The electric hypercar has a 1,914-horsepower engine that enables the vehicle to reaches a top speed of 256 miles per hour and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 1.85 seconds. That’s faster than Tesla’s next-generation Roadster prototype that CEO Elon Musk unveiled in November. The Rimac’s battery is no slouch either and gets 405 miles to a single charge, nearly double other EVs on the market. 

But Rimac Automobili is more than a startup that plans to produce 150 or so $2.1 million C Two hypercars. The company, which was founded by Mate Rimac in 2009, also engineers and manufactures high-performance electric vehicle powertrain systems and battery systems. The company has already worked with Renault, Jaguar, and Aston Martin. The company’s tech was even used in the E-Type Zero Jaguar driven by Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex at their wedding last month.

Now Porsche wants a piece of Rimac’s electric vehicle magic. Porsche says it’s seeking a development partnership with the company.

Porsche has its own electric ambitions. The German automaker’s first electric sports car—the Taycan, once called Mission E, is expected to go on sale at the end of 2019. The electric vehicle is seen (in some circles) as a threat to Tesla, which has dominated the luxury electric vehicle market. Porsche is clearly looking for an edge.

“By developing the purely electric two-seaters super sports cars, like the ‘Concept One’ or ‘C Two’, as well as core vehicle systems, Rimac has impressively demonstrated its credentials in the field of electromobility,” said Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of Porsche’s executive board and member of its executive finance and IT board. 

Rimac, which employs about 400 people, is focused on high-voltage battery technology and electric powertrains. It also works on the digital interfaces in the car and even has a separate electric bikes subsidiary called Greyp Bikes.