Here's How Koenigsegg Sees the Future

Christian von Koenigsegg's future two-model lineup will include a "smooth monster," and a "not such a smooth monster." Plus, his views on internal combustion.

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Máté Petrány / Road&Track

So far this March, we have established that the man behind the world's fastest car, Christian von Koenigsegg, loves Adrian Newey's Aston Martin Valkyrie, and also thinks that Volvo's design team is beating the Germans at every angle. He is particularly fond of the Polestar 1 hybrid coupé.

Perhaps more importantly, Koenigsegg's headcount has also gone up to 165, and the company is looking to hire another 60 people in the coming months, at a rate of one per week. This is all so that they can establish a one car per week cycle, which is an ambitious goal considering that Christian would be happy if they ended 2018 with 28 cars finished, despite an initial target of 38.

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The company will double its production floor by relocating some WW2 warplanes from an old hangar next door, but in the meantime, Koenigsegg will also finalize the replacement of the Agera RS, and show us what the Regera can really do at speed:

When we introduced the Regera, we said from now on, we’re going to be an at least two model company. And in order to stay true to that sentiment, we need a replacement for the Agera RS, because the last one is going off the line as we speak. We’ve been working away for one and a half years already on a replacement for it, and we are showing it now virtually to our customers, like a VIP treatment, and next year, we plan to showcase it here (at Geneva). And the year after that, in 2020, we plan to show off the first production version. So, that’s the plan. And by then, we should still have twenty Regeras left to build, and then, we’ll have to come up with a Regera replacement as soon as possible.

With the Regera, we really tried to turn a little bit more towards luxury. With creature comforts such as wireless phone charging, electric memory seats, heated windows…and everything is robotized. And the smoothest powerplant in the world. It’s very fierce anyway, but it’s like a smooth monster. While the Agera RS in not such a smooth monster. It’s more of a classic monster. And our customers like that as well, and that’s what we are known for. So, by removing all the luxury stuff, it becomes lighter of course. And having smaller batteries, and this and that. More raw power, more combustion power, less batteries, less creature comforts. So, more of a track weapon.
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And then come this summer, it’s really time to show what the Regera is worth. 0-400-0, and stuff like that. We are looking forward to it. We’ve done some track testing of course, with more and more track-focused settings, and the results are fairly shocking. We thought it was going to be fast around a race track, but our initial not-so-serious times for performance kind of match with the One:1’s around our local track. Which is kind of surprising given that it’s a couple of hundred kilos heavier, with much less downforce. No big wing, more weight…but you’re always in the right gear! You can always spin your tires, anywhere you want. The power is there instantly, and too much, everywhere. Which, apparently compensates for less downforce and more weight.
During the top speed run in Nevada, our aero settings, engine and turbo mapping, the wake of the car, the wings, the front flaps…we kind of extrapolated all those curves into software form, comparing with the speed we have been at before. Which was fairly close, but now, we could set the car perfectly. Now, all the RSes have a software upgrade, so if you happen to drive that fast, the aero is correct for that. We had no way of testing that before.
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While its reassuring to know that your Agera RS will now work perfectly at 285 miles per hour, I was also curious to learn how Christian sees the future of internal combustion engines, given that most of his cars' power comes from a monstrous twin-turbo V8:

From our little perspective, it kind of feels weird, because I’m an environmentalist, I love EVs. So, I’m a little bit confused about what I’m saying here…but I love the combustion engine. And in our volume, if you do it well, and you can have high power density, and you make it clean, maybe with Freevalve, I think our kind of car can still benefit from having an ICE.
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Máté Petrány / Road&Track
Also, because of the sound, you know. If it’s light, and have the sound, it’s got more of a soul. And even if you produce a hundred cars a year, you won't destroy the planet. If they are driven every Sunday every third month, we’re not gonna kill the planet, right? So therefore, I want to keep it alive. It’s like a Swiss watch, you know. The Casios came in the seventies, and almost killed the Swiss watch industry. Then, they turned towards luxury and hand-made craftsmanship, and they are still thriving.
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Máté Petrány / Road&Track
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Máté Petrány / Road&Track
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Máté Petrány / Road&Track
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