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Koenigsegg preparing its cars for crash tests is an ugly affair

Christian von Koenigsegg has opened up his Angelholm shop again to show us another facet of producing hypercars for worldwide export. This time the subject is crash testing, and the resulting video looks like a mashup of a YouTube supercar fail compilation and “Mythbusters.” This is because in between the footage of a Regera being run over a curb or through a trench, Koenigsegg employees slamming the doors and beating on raw carbon parts with mallets.

As company homologation manager David Tugas explains, Koenigsegg can’t simply pull a dozen cars off a production line for crash testing. The carbon monocoque that forms the passenger cell is the crucial structure; everything else is expendable. A supercomputer in the company basement runs simulations on how carbon fiber structures behave in crashes, helping the company design a monocoque that can withstand the necessary impacts. So unless the monocoque breaks, the same passenger cell gets used in all the crash tests. After that, it’s cheaper for Koenigsegg to simply rebuild the body panels and mechanical parts attached to the monocoque that break during in-house testing. It’s all rather Formula 1.

It takes three months to prepare a crash test car for testing at a facility in Barcelona. That will cover everything from getting the smart airbags to blow in just the right way with just the right force, to getting them not to blow when someone hits the undercarriage with a sledgehammer. The knowledge and the carnage help explain where the $2 or $3 million goes in ever Koenigsegg.

Could the Koenigsegg Agera Successor Appear in Geneva This Year?

A New Koenigsegg Sooner Than You Think

Supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg made a very public announcement in June of 2018 that a successor to the Agera was coming. Since then, we heard nothing. The name Ragnarok made the rumor rounds, but then that seemed unlikely. Now, a new rumor suggests the car will appear at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, according to CarScoops

Koenigsegg has yet to say a word about whether or not the car will appear in Geneva. I doubt the company will respond. Instead of saying anything, it will just slowly let out a stream of teaser images. They will be a lot like the one back in June of last year to get people’s blood pumping. 

What Will the New Car Be?

According to information from CarScoops and the Swedish publication Dagens Industri, the Agera successor will be a super-limited edition car with only 125 units made in the entire world. Of those 125 cars, 72 are said to be already purchased. 

What the car will actually have and look like is still a bit of a mystery. However, I’ll tell you what’s known or at least believed to be the case.

The car should get an updated version of the twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8 that’s in the Agera. It should have 1,440 hp or more. While your guess is as good as mine as to the top speed, you can bet that Koenigsegg will try to beat its previous record of 277.9 mph. 

Other than that, there isn’t much to report, so you’ll have to gaze at the image above and dream of what the Agera successor will look like.

Koenigsegg sees new Tesla Roadster as the ‘gauntlet’ thrown down

Christian von Koenigsegg, the man behind the company that holds the current record for world’s fastest car, does not like to be outdone. So he did not particularly enjoy hearing the numbers regarding the forthcoming next-generation Tesla Roadster and its vaunted 1.9-second 0-60 mph time.

“We kind of had our future mapped out, and then we heard about the new Tesla Roadster and its insane acceleration numbers, and we thought ‘Damn, that’s put the gauntlet down,'” the Koenigsegg founder and CEO told Top Gear.

As he told the site, he enlisted his engineers to start running numbers, and within a couple of days, they’d figured out a solution. “The simplest way of putting it is like this: It’s combining direct drive with the hybridization we have in a different format with free-valve engine technology, in a peculiar layout,” von Koenigsegg said. He said the powertrain could take a car from 0-250 mph in 14 seconds “or something like this,” and said he wants to make a combustion engine with a higher power density than an electric powertrain “for as long as possible.”

His talk about hybrids brings to mind the Koenigsegg Regera plug-in hybrid, which weighs just 3,505 pounds and puts out more than 1,500 horsepower. It does 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds — impressive, but a full 0.9 seconds less than the Roadster’s purported time. And not surprising for a company that is all about maximizing ponies, Koenigsegg likes to geek out over the details of things like the design of the 1,160-hp Agera RS engine. Could he be talking about the same vehicle as the successor to the Agera RS, rumored to be called Ragnarok?

Tesla, meanwhile, unveiled said Roadster at Grand Basel in Switzerland — or rather, it showed off what appeared to be a white, empty design shell that had been shown last year at Tesla’s shareholder meeting.

And don’t forget that the mad scientists over at Hennessey are tinkering with the 7.6-liter V8 for the Venom F5, the key to its quest to hit 300 mph. So buckle your seat belts, boys and girls: Things are about to get very fast.

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Koenigsegg Agera successor could be named … Ragnarok?

Koenigsegg has already given the very Nordic names Thor and Väder to its final two examples of its outgoing Agera RS supercar, so why not double down on that lineage and name the successor Ragnarok, after the violent Norse armageddon?

That’s the name The Supercar Blog, citing an unnamed source “close to Koenigsegg,” reports is likely to be used for the car replacing the Agera, which will be revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. We saw this mythical supercar teased in a silhouette sketch that shows a large rear wing and diffuser, and founder Christian von Koenigsegg said the car will be “more capable than the Agera RS,” which produces 1,160 horsepower from its twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8.

Separately, a rumor from the McLaren Life forum suggests the upcoming speed demon will offer 1,440 horsepower, some hybridization, a higher engine redline of 9,000 rpm and a target weight of less than 1,200 kg (about 2,645 pounds). By comparison, the all-carbon-fiber Agera RS Gryphon does 1,360 hp and weighs 3,075 pounds. The name Ragnarok has also floated around on that forum for a couple months as a possible name.

Should we take these rumors seriously? Who knows. But it’s fun to speculate. Last fall, you’ll recall, the Agera RS set a record for highest average top speed of 277.87 mph in the Nevada desert, and the chase is on for the holy grail of a 300-mph hypercar.

For reference’s sake, the opening events of Ragnarok from “The Norse Myths” reads like so: “First of all Midgard” — that’s the world inhabited by man — “will be wrenched and racked by wars for three winters. Fathers will slaughter sons; brothers will be drenched in one another’s blood. Mothers will desert their menfolk and seduce their own sons; brothers will bed with sisters.” You get the idea.

Those unpleasantries aside, it’s certainly fun to imagine a “Mad Max”-style dystopian movie called “War of the Supercars” starring a Koenigsegg Ragnarok.

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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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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.

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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SSC — remember them? — releases new teaser image for Tuatara supercar

Remember the SSC Tuatara? The supercar from the company formerly known as Shelby SuperCars that aimed to reclaim the record of fastest production car for its parent company, which once held that title with the Ultimate Aero?

Well, it’s back from the dead, maybe. At least, the company released a new teaser image for the Tuatara along with the tagline, “The evolution is coming.” The car dates back to 2011 as a concept and has never been unveiled in the traditional sense. And there’s no other new information to go from.

SSC announced the Tuatara, named for a lizard native to New Zealand that possesses the fastest-evolving DNA on the planet, back in 2011. And we heard rumblings over the years, most recently in 2013, that the car was on track to be built at a plant in southeastern Washington and offered for sale for a cool $1.3 million. That plant reportedly has been delayed as the company founder, Jerod Shelby, sought financing. The Tri-City Herald newspaper in late 2016 reported that SSC broke ground on the facility in 2013, but that little else had happened at the site.

The Tuatara’s most recently known specs were 1,350 horsepower and 1,280 pound-feet of torque from its 6.8-liter V8. The company is perhaps best known for the Ultimate Aero, which held the record for fastest production car, having been clocked at 257 mph in 2007, before ceding the mark to Bugatti and the Veyron SS in 2010. Of course, last fall a Koenigsegg Agera RS hit 277.9 mph in Nevada in a still-unverified new record, and Hennessey is gunning for speed-demon Nirvana with its Venom F5, which claims a top speed of 301 mph. So the competition has only intensified in the years since SSC has gone quiet.

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