June 20, 2018 / 7:36 AM / 5 months ago

Porsche acquires acceleration expertise with Rimac stake

FILE PHOTO: The Porsche Logo is seen in Gilching near Munich, Germany July 28, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German sportscar maker Porsche said it was taking a 10 percent stake in Rimac Automobili, a Croatian start-up sportscar manufacturer which has developed a battery-powered car capable of accelerating to 400 kilometers an hour.

Porsche, which did not disclose financial terms for its investment, said it would strive to reach a development partnership with Rimac as part of its program to develop electric-powered vehicles.

Electric cars have upended the bragging hierarchy in the sportscar industry thanks to their ability to develop instant torque which enables them to out-accelerate most rivals powered by the internal combustion engine.

Tesla’s Model S P100D, for example, is faster and cheaper than Porsche’s high-end Turbo S model. The Tesla reaches 100 km/h in just 2.7 seconds, beating Porsche’s Turbo S model which takes 2.9 seconds. At 145,650 euros ($168,000) it is also cheaper than the Porsche, which starts at 205,133 euros.

Rimac unveiled its ‘Concept Two’ vehicle at the Geneva auto show this year, costing 1.7 million euros and capable of accelerating to 100 kilometers an hour in 1.9 seconds and to 300 kilometers an hour in 11.8 seconds. Rimac plans to start deliveries of the car in 2020.

“Our idea is to take technology as far as it can go,” Rimac spokeswoman Marta Longin told Reuters.

Rimac’s motor packs 2,000 horsepower; has a range of 650 kilometers (400 miles) and has a battery pack capable of charging to 80 percent capacity in half an hour, Porsche said in a statement.

Porsche has already developed an electric sportscar, the Taycan, which will start rolling off production lines in 2019.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine and Edward Taylor; Editing by Arno Schuetze and Louise Heavens

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