Ultra-exclusive Bugatti brand may get a new owner. Picture: SUPPLIED
Ultra-exclusive Bugatti brand may get a new owner. Picture: SUPPLIED

Volkswagen is in talks to sell its supercar brand Bugatti to Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac, according to a report in Germany’s Manager Magazin.

The sale will be discussed by Volkswagen’s committees this year, the publication quoted insiders as saying, but there was no official confirmation of the deal from Bugatti, Rimac or Volkswagen.

According to UK’s Car Magazine, Volkswagen Group no longer wants to lavish money and manpower on the so-called “hobby brands” acquired by its late former CEO Ferdinand Piech.

It quotes sources saying the deal has been approved by VW executives but the supervisory board has still to give its stamp of approval. A part of Bugatti would still have ties to the VW Group as Porsche owns a 15.5% share in Rimac.

Bugatti is a European brand founded in 1909, and produced sports cars that claimed numerous motor racing victories. The company’s demise coincided with the death of its Italian founder Ettore Bugatti in 1947, but it was revived in 1987 by an Italian entrepreneur who built cars in Modena, before Volkswagen bought the marque and transferred production back to its original home in Molsheim, France.

Under VW’s custodianship Bugatti has developed some of the world’s fastest sports cars in the form of the Veyron and its successor, the Chiron. Last year a modified Chiron achieved a top speed of 490.484km/h to make it the world’s fastest supercar.

It’s rumoured that other brands within the extensive VW Group family — namely Lamborghini, Seat, Italdesign and Ducati — may also be up for sale.

Rimac builds electric sports cars, as well as drivetrains and battery systems which it supplies to other carmakers, including Automobili Pininfarina. Rimac has built a small number of electric hypercars, starting with the Concept One launched in 2011 with only eight units built. The latest is the gull-winged C-Two coupe with four electric motors producing a combined 1,427kW and 2,300Nm.

In recent years, Hyundai/Kia, Koenigsegg, Jaguar and Magna have all invested in the Croatian company, which was founded in 2009.

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