THE VOLKSWAGEN Group has announced a pair of new partnerships intended to boost its development of electric and hydrogen powertrains for cars.
The deal sees VW Group sub brands Audi and Porsche teaming up with Hyundai and Rimac respectively. The Hyundai/ Audi alliance will involve hydrogen fuel cell development, while Porsche and Rimac will collaborate on electric sports cars. Porsche acquired a 10% financial stake in the Croatian firm.
As Volkswagen is the parent company of Porsche and Audi, though, all of the advancements and know-how acquired through these deals will potentially be divvied out among the myriad other brands that make up the Volkswagen Group.
The hydrogen fuel cell arrangement should also be highly beneficial for Hyundai. Having been a long-time proponent of hydrogen fuel cell technology, the partnership should help bring its technology to the mass market. It’s also conceivable that Hyundai’s sister company Kia will benefit from the knowledge-sharing.
Rimac will be further assisted by Porsche’s investment; as well as creating tech for its own vehicles, Rimac has also built the batteries for hybrid hypercars such as the Koenigsegg Regera and Aston Martin Valkyrie. Porsche will soon launch its own electric sports GT, the Taycan (formerly known as the Mission-E).
The announcement of the collaborations comes shortly after the VW Group agreed to pay an additional €1bn (£880m) for its role in the “dieselgate” scandal.
Rimac made the front pages around the world last year after Richard Hammond had an horrific crash in one of its Concept One hypercars during filming of The Grand Tour, in Switzerland.
At time of writing, Porsche and Rimac have yet to state what the first car to benefit from this partnership will be. In contrast, the inaugural fruits of the Audi-Hyundai collaboration has already been confirmed as a “sporty SUV” — though this model won’t be introduced until the early 2020s, and will only be produced in small numbers.