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Koenigsegg plans a ‘CO2 neutral’ hybrid supercar

Fresh from receiving a 150 million-euro infusion from National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the Chinese-backed company that bought up Saab‘s assets out of bankruptcy, supercar maker Koenigsegg has signaled just what it plans to do under the new joint venture. Christian von Koenigsegggave an interview to Top Gear in which he said he wants to develop an all-new supercar to sit below ultra-exclusive models like the Agera RS and Regera, priced at around €1 million (about $1.15 million) to grow sales from 20 a year into the hundreds, because “our brand has outgrown our production volumes by quite a big margin.” And it will feature a novel, “completely CO2 neutral” hybrid powrtrain using the “freevalve” camless combustion engine technology the company has been developing in concert with battery-electric power.

“Given the freevalve technology, we can actually cold-start the car on pure alcohol, down to -30 degrees Celsius, so there’s no need for any fossil fuel mix then,” he told Top Gear. “The idea is to prove to the world that even a combustion engine can be completely CO2 neutral.”

Von Koenigsegg previously hinted at the setup after talking about how his engineers were responding to Tesla‘s claims that its forthcoming next-generation Roadster would be capable of a 1.9-second 0-60 mph time. He further hints that the new hybridized supercar will look unmistakably like a Keonigsegg but be in a different segment altogether from either the Agera RS or plug-in hybrid Regera.

Consider us very much intrigued and eager to hear more. Meanwhile, Koenigsegg has said it plans to reveal the successor to the Agera RS next month at the Geneva Motor Show based on a refined version of the same supercharged V8 combustion engine.

The new joint venture with NEVS, meanwhile, sees that company take a 65 percent ownership stake, with Koenigsegg holding the rest and contributing its trove of intellectual property, technology licenses and product design. NEVS also gets a 20 percent stake in Koenigsegg itself.

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Final Koenigsegg Agera FE coupes are named Thor and Väder

Though the Agera line sold out a while ago, Koenigsegg has finally built the last examples of the supercar. They are Koenigsegg Agera FEs, for “Final Edition,” and each has a name. One is named Thor, and one is called Väder. Each sports its name in badging where the normal model name is usually placed.

Being FE versions, each car is a little more special than the “typical” Agera model. Apparently the owners didn’t have to pay anything extra for options and development of unique parts. Among those unique parts are larger front spoilers and rear wings. Thor has a dorsal fin and Väder has some unique cutouts in the wing supports to show off the components that actuate the active wing. Thor’s finish is a two-tone with some of it in a plain clear carbon fiber finish, and some of it in a clear finish with “diamond-flake.” Väder has the diamond-flake finish over the entire car along with white gold leaf accents across the body. Both cars also feature the 1,360-horsepower twin-turbo V8 from the One:1.

With the final Agera, and the final Regera built, Koenigsegg doesn’t have any models on sale. But that’s a temporary situation that will be rectified soon. The company announced that the Agera’s successor will be revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. We have no doubt it will be as wild-looking and astonishingly fast as every other Koenigsegg.

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Koenigsegg teases replacement for Agera RS in sketch

Koenigsegg just opened its first official sales location at a luxury-vehicle dealership in Australia, and at an invitation-only cocktail launch party late last week, the supercar maker gave attendees an exclusive glimpse of the upcoming replacement to the world-beating Agera RS.

Granted, it’s only a fairly crude sketch of the hypercar’s rear end, so there’s not a lot to go on, save for the large wing and diffuser, though the well-heeled attendees also were treated to a virtual-reality presentation of the new car. Koenigsegg says it will make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2019.

First unveiled in Geneva in 2015, the company within 10 months sold out all 25 examples of the 1,160-horsepower Agera RS it planned to build, making it Koenigsegg’s fastest-selling model in its history. Last fall, the hypercar set an average top-speed record of 277.87 miles per hour in the Nevada desert.

Company founder Christian von Koenigsegg told Top Gear back in March that the replacement car will be “more capable than the Agera RS.” He also said the replacement won’t rely on a hybrid powertrain, to keep it distinguished from the plug-in hybrid Regera, but will instead focus on refining the company’s supercharged V8.

The Agera RS hit 284 mph in its one-way speed assault in Nevada last year, and companies like Hennessey are gunning to hit the 300-mph mark. We’ll see if this one’s the car to do it.

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One-off Koenigsegg Agera RS Gryphon supercar crashes again

Almost exactly a year after a rare $1.5 million-plus Koenigsegg Agera RS crashed during testing in Sweden, it’s happened again. To the same, repaired supercar.

Swedish outlet Teknikens Varld reports the crash happened last week after the Agera RS crashed into a ditch in a rural area near the National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) headquarters where Koenigsegg test-drives its cars. It confirms it’s the same vehicle that crashed in May 2017 after the driver lost control of it on the wet track.

According to The Drive, it’s an Agera RS Gryphon, an all-carbon fiber, 3,075-pound beast with 24-karat gold leaf trim that does a ridiculous 1,360 horsepower and 1,011 pound-feet of torque. It was originally built for U.S. car collector Manny Khoshbin before it wrecked last year shortly before delivery.

The Swedish supercar maker reportedly set to work on a replacement Gryphon following that wreck while pledging to repair the crashed model for use as a factory test and demonstration car.

It’s not clear what caused the most recent crash. The reader who submitted the photo said it was clear from skid marks the car had been on both sides of the road. It also wasn’t clear whether the driver suffered any injuries.

Teknikens Varld says it’s believed to be the first time the repaired car had been driven in the open since the 2017 crash.

The Agera RS is the world’s fastest production car.

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Koenigsegg Agera RS Gryphon Crashes for a Second Time

Reports circulated in Swedish media yesterday that one of the 25 Koenigsegg Agera RS’ had crashed while testing on a road outside Trollhättan, Sweden. Photos seem to show a Koenigsegg finely balanced on the grass verge of a road. The car in question is hard to make out, yet a few Koenigsegg aficionados seem to have identified the wrecked hypercar as the Koenigsegg Agera RS Gryphon.

We know the Gryphon quite well. We saw it first at the Geneva Motor Show 2017. It was designated for famous US collector Manny Khoshbin at that time and featured a wealth of custom features, making it one of the most expensive Koenigsegg’s of all time.

Koenigsegg Agera RS Gryphon Crashed

Soon after the Geneva Motor Show, while Koesnigsegg were carrying out shakedown tests of the car, it was crashed into a ditch. Khoshbin was subsequently offered a new chassis to replace the crashed vehicle. The replacement, recently delivered and the last of the Agera RS production run, was named the Koenigsegg Agera RS Phoenix. It is understood that the Gryphon was to serve as Koenigsegg’s test mule.

The photos show that damage to the underside of the car is likely to be extensive. The exterior looks to be relatively in tact. Photos show that the Gryphon was likely running without a rear wing at the time. We understand that there were no reported injuries to the driver or passenger.

The accident happened near NEVS’ facility in Trollhättan. NEVS are the company that acquired the assets to Saab when it went bankrupt in 2012. It develops electric vehicles at the moment which begs the question, was it purely coincidence that an Agera RS test mule was operating near their test facilities? Is this an early mule for the next iteration of the CC/Agera platform?

The accident happened on a public road, Flygfältsvägen, very close to the NEVS facility.

Hennessey planning Venom F5 speed record assault

New details are emerging from Geneva about Hennessey‘s ambitions to claim the record for world’s fastest car, including the V8 powertrain that will drive the upcoming Hennessey Venom F5 toward its promised 301 mph top speed benchmark.

Founder and CEO John Hennessey told “Top Gear” the hypercar will have “a completely bespoke, 8.0-liter twin-turbo V8” that will hit no less than 1,600 bhp, which equates to around 1,622 horsepower. But he said he’s contemplating slapping on a couple more turbos and expects to decide before the Pebble Beach Concours in August.

Hennessy first revealed the supercar at the SEMA show last November. There, John Hennessey told Autoblog that he wasn’t necessarily aiming to set a record at the Nürburgring, just to do a lap in under seven minutes, a feat notched by cars like the Lamborghini Huracán Performante and the Porsche 918 Spyder. He also talked about how the car’s design was meant to look like a peregrine falcon. But at the time, the V8 engine specs were still being kept under wraps.

Hennessy unofficially had the title of world’s fastest car in 2014 after the 1,451-hp Venom GT hit 270.49 mph. That’s of course since been eclipsed by rival Koenigsegg, which raced an Agera RS helmed by Swedish race driver Niklas Lilja to an official top speed of 277.87 mph on a closed highway in Nevada in November. When it comes time, Hennessey told Top Gear he may make the attempt in Texas, or return to the same road in Nevada traveled by the Agera RS.

But he insists the Venom F5 will be more than just a straight-line track monster. “Could we build a high-downforce version with the massive splitter and massive wing and lots of downforce? Maybe we’ll do that later,” he said. “For now, [the F5 is] a proper road car that can be driven at crazy speeds in a straight line but still go around turns and stop.”

The company plans to make just 24 examples of the Venom F5 and sell them at $1.6 million apiece.

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Christian von Koenigsegg on tires, record speed and watchmakers

Christian von Koenigsegg isn’t short on confidence. In his early 20s, he founded a car company that has churned out some of the fastest and most powerful production automobiles ever created. He’s developing a camless engine that uses air pressure and electronic signals to actuate valves. The Koenigsegg Regera is a 1,797-horsepower hybrid supercar that ditched a traditional transmission in favor of a direct-drive system. Last November, an Agera RS set a production car top-speed record on a set of off-the-shelf tires. Bugatti who?

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Koenigsegg told us Agera RS’ record-setting run took place on a public road because “even a space shuttle landing strip was too short.” Several miles too short, it seems. The car eventually hit its top speed on an 11-mile stretch of pavement. And rather than a set of specially crafted tires, Koenigsegg went with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, the same kind you can order right here on Tire Rack. Seriously.

Both Michelin and Koenigsegg were so proud of that fact that they perched the car on the tire manufacturer’s stand at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. It’s wearing the very same rubber that propelled the car to 277.87 mph on a Southwestern Nevada highway. In fact, those are the only tires that the car used during its record-setting runs. The team had extra sets on hand, but the tread and temperatures remained well within the margin of safety. Looking at the Cup 2s now, it’s clear they’ve been abused, but there’s a solid amount of tread still left.

When pointing out the tires, Koeningsegg himself seemed embarrassed that that the lightweight carbon-fiber wheels weren’t coated in a glossy finish like they would on a customer’s car. He really made a point of saying that the wheels aren’t representative of a truly finished product. The man is a bit of a perfectionist, but that’s why Koenigsegg cars have the performance and reputation they do.

Instead, he prefers to point out the suspension, in particular the long-arm wishbones. Weight may be the number one thing that allowed the Agera RS to hit 277 mph (That’s the average. The one-way record is 284 mph.) on street tires (3,075 lbs vs. the Bugatti Chiron’s hefty 4,400 lbs), the suspension played a key role. Koenigsegg explained that a tire will slightly move left and right, scraping and scrubbing away the tread. The suspension geometry is set up in a way that keeps the tires planted and straight at high speeds, reducing the amount of tread the tires lose on each run.

Listening to Koenigsegg, you start to share his sense of excitement. He’s truly passionate and proud of the cars that roll out of his factory in Sweden. Low production volume means each car can be designed and built to a certain standard. It’s not enough to make a frankly absurd amount of power. The cars have to be livable and drivable and conform to both safety and emissions standards around the globe. Watch this video of a new Regera going through some brutal crash testing. The Agera RS isn’t a hopped-up three-turbo Lamborghini Gallardo. It’s a well-built, fully balanced product.

When asked about the future of the auto industry, Koenigsegg seemed surprisingly confident that his cars will have a market in the future. “Look at the watch industry,” he said. “In the ’70s, digital watches came in and nearly cleaned out mechanical watches. But there are still watchmakers around.” His point is that the market has shifted, but there will always be a customer base for a premium product. “Some people just prefer to wind a watch themselves.” We tend to agree with his sentiment.

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Koenigsegg closes highway near Vegas for top-speed record attempt

An 11-mile stretch of highway plays host to a top-speed record attempt by Koenigsegg this weekend. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Nevada Department of Transportation granted a special permit to the Swedish automaker to close a long, straight stretch of State Route 160 between Vegas and Pahrump. The event is hosted by Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club, and it’s apparently been in the planning stages for over a year.

A reporter from the Journal reports on Twitter that an Agera RS has already hits speeds of 291 miles per hour, albeit unofficially. If that’s true, it’ll handily destroy the current 268-mile-per-hour top-speed record set by Bugatti in 2010. Of course, Koenigsegg has a habit of one-upping Bugatti, having broken the Chiron’s 0-248-0 record of 41.96 seconds by a comparatively massive 5.2 seconds.

The Koenigsegg Agera RS being used reportedly has the factory’s one-megawatt upgrade, which means it’s sending 1,360-horsepower and 1,011 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. We’ll have to wait for an official Guinness-approved record announcement, but we’re guessing that’s only a matter of time.

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