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Building the 300 mph Koenigsegg Jesko

I was fortunate enough the be present at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show when Christian von Koenigsegg unveiled the then brand new Jesko to the gathered press during his conference, the bright white hypercar with the massive rear wing attracted a lot of attention, and we found out it wouldn’t even be the fastest version, back in 2019 they mentioned a Jesko 300, which we now know is called the Jesko Absolut, but back to 2019, and just two days before the car had to be sent to Switzerland, it wasn’t even finished, they were still working hard on putting this beauty together, but no worries, they made it.

Top Gear actually did a video during their visit to Koenigsegg Automotive AB in Ängelholm, Skåne County, Sweden, just a few days ahead of the public unveiling of the Koenigsegg Jesko in Geneva, and it is a very interesting behind the scenes look at how these cars are usually finished just in time for such a major event, or in some case, almost, but not quite finished, and while we now know the Jesko was indeed ready to be shown to the public just a few days after this video was made, it still impressive to see what is going on inside the factory inside a former airforce hangar where 400 artisans are building these impressive Koenigsegg hypercars.

You might have noticed that there is always ghost somewhere on the Koenigsegg car to be found, and that goes back to the fact these hypercars are built inside the former hangar of Swedish oldest air force squadron, the Ghosts, we learn that the Koenigsegg Jesko had been in development for three years prior to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, under the internal name ‘Ragnarok’, but the name Jesko was chosen for the production car in honor to Christian’s father, Jesko von Koenigsegg.

At the time the Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut wasn’t built yet, and the car shown in Geneva was the track-focused Jesko, with the massive rear wing, that can be angled as an air brake mind you, a deep front splitter, and a total of 880 kgs of downforce, which is too much to reach speeds in excess of 300 mph, but their simulations at the time, with a different aero package, would theoretically show the Jesko 300 to go even faster than 300 mph.

The problem with actually testing these kinds of speed in real life is that it takes a massive amount of preparation, not only finding a stretch of road long enough to do in two directions, but it also has to be safe, for the driver, for the car itself, and for the surrounding wildlife … imagine striking a bird that decides to fly over the road when you are approaching at 300 mph …

The Koenigsegg Jesko has a starting price of $2,800,000 before taxes, and before options, and with a hand-built car like a Koenigsegg, the sky is the limit, as they say, you can spec your very own Jesko to your liking, taking a look at the Geneva Show car you might notice those stunning carbon-fiber wheels … those are not included in that $2.8 million pricetag, they are a $65,000 option! But what’s even more interesting, the tire is two times heavier than the wheel itself.

The Koenigsegg Jesko is not a hybrid, she comes with a 5-Liter V8 engine that delivers a massive 1,600 hp on E85 fuel, coupled to the in-house developed gearbox, this is the fastest revving engine in any production car, and while these days people are asking more and more for a clear carbon fiber body, it usually takes between 600 and 800 hours to paint a Koenigsegg, they actually clear coat and sand down the carbon fiber panels three times in a row before they even add a splash of color on top.

And then you still have all the smaller carbon fiber parts and aluminum parts that need to be polished before they are fitted onto the Koenigsegg, which takes another 200 hours of skilled work, even the wiring loom is hand made at the factory, adding wires to a vertical panel with a map fixed on it, very impressive indeed.

Top Gear Magazine’s Jack Rixwill take you on a tour of the Koenigsegg factory, right at the time they are finishing up the Jesko prototype to be taken to Geneva in March 2019 … enjoy the video below:

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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.

Discover the secrets of the Koenigsegg Jesko and Regera

TopGear sent Jack Rix to Angelholm, Sweden to see what goes into building a Koenigsegg, namely the $2-million Regera and $2.8-million Jesko. It was like a trip to Willy Wonka’s factory, but replace the chocolate with carbon fiber and aluminum. Rix started by chatting Jesko details with Christian von Koenigsegg, finding out at one point that a set of the optional carbon fiber wheels costs $65,000, and those rims are so light that they’re half the weight of the tires. Later on in the video we find out where the money goes: Each wheel takes 50 hours to lay up by hand using 650 individual pieces.

When discussing the engine and transmission, Rix asks if the Jesko will be the car to reach 300 miles per hour. Koenigsegg says the standard model won’t, because its track-focused aero package produces too much drag. The 880 kilograms of downforce at speed is great for cornering, not Bonneville. A special trim called the Jesko “Ambition 300” will go for the record. On a side note, Engineering Explained put out a video diving into the numerous wild features of the 5.0-liter twin turbo V8 that makes 1,500 horsepower on 91 octane gas, and Road & Track dived into the nine-speed Lightspeed transmission that Koenigsegg says “works like a bicycle derailleur.” That’s some bicycle…

There was once a trend of high-end car detailers repairing mediocre factory paint jobs on brand new supecars. We doubt such videos will ever feature a Koenigsegg, since painting a single one of the Swedish coupes takes from 600 to 800 hours to apply at least nine coats of clearcoat, color, and metallic.

Rix also takes a ride in the Regera, and if Beelzebub ever made a hybrid, this is what it would sound like. We recommend taking the ride through Wonderland in the video above. It’s free.

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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Koenigsegg creates a lighter, special Regera with hand-polished bare carbon fiber

Though Koenigsegg sold its last Regera last year, that doesn’t mean all the cars it has sold have been built yet. And Koenigsegg clearly still has some surprises up its sleeves for the cars yet to come. Take this latest Regera, for example. It may look at first like a normal Regera with carbon fiber under a clear epoxy, but in reality, you’re looking at truly bare carbon fiber panels. Koenigsegg calls it “Koenigsegg Naked Carbon” or KNC for short.

The process for creating these panels is laborious. After making the panels in the normal fashion with epoxy and an autoclave, each panel has to have the exterior side sanded and polished down by hand right up to the carbon fiber weave. The company notes that employees have to be especially careful toward the end of the process so as not to damage the carbon fibers in the weave, and thus ruin the whole panel.

The result of all that work is a very unique finish. You can see and feel the texture of the carbon weave. Koenigsegg says that it even feels much colder to the touch without the epoxy covering it up. The company also claims it’s less likely to scratch and chip, since the carbon fiber is stronger than the epoxy. That may be the case, but we would still be worried about some sort of object hitting the weave and fraying some of the fibers at some point. Temperature and weather shouldn’t be a problem, though, since Koenigsegg left panels outside for a few years before deciding to do a whole car exterior in the finish.

The KNC material has benefits beyond aesthetics, though. Koenigsegg says that the completed car weighs 44 pounds less than one that was given a full paint job. It’s remarkable that all the epoxy and paint could add that much.

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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 at the Geneva Motor Show 2018

Koenigsegg have a long history of presenting at the Geneva Motor Show. For the Geneva Motor Show 2018, the Swedish manufacturer brought a three-car display, comprising of two heavily customised Regera models and a further refitted Koenigsegg CCX. Alongside this, Christian von Koenigsegg confirmed that an Agera RS replacement would be presented at next year’s show. We took a closer look at the latest Koenigseeg had to offer.

Crystal White Koenigsegg Regera

Koenigsegg can’t be far off releasing the new Regera. With all the production slots accounted for and the engineering aspects of the car seemingly sorter, these two Regera’s provide an insight into the unique level of customisation that Koenigsegg offers for it’s customers.

The Crystal White Koenigsegg Regera gets a namesake body colour with a clear carbon central strip and cone orange highlights which match the tan leather interior. This car features Koenigseeg’s aerodynamic package named “Ghost” which adds the rear wings and front flics. It accounts for a 20% increase in downforce.

Koenigsegg Regera d’Elegance

The Regera d’Elegance gets a Swedish Blue finish with blue tinted carbon fibre and Ocean Green accents. It gets a unique interior in matching colours and constructed using Scandinavian material.

Of course, the highlight of both cars is the powertrain. It combines a twin-turbo V8 engine (1,100hp) with a battery pack producing 670 hp. The electrical component of the powertrain is channeled via the world’s first 800-volt automotive electrical architecture. Koenigsegg have also created the Koenigsegg Direct Drive system which does away with conventional gearing. From 0 to 400 km/h takes place in less than 20 seconds.

Koenigsegg CCX

Koenigsegg’s final display piece is the refitted Koenigsegg CCX. The 12 year old CCX features Koenigsegg’s 4.7 litre twin-supercharged V8, producing 806hp and driven by a 6-speed manual gearbox. It’s a right hand drive car which has been fully refitted through Koenigsegg’s Certified Legends program.

Koenigsegg is fresh out of Regeras, brings restored CCX to Geneva

The Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg is making an appearance at the Geneva Motor Show. On the Koenigsegg stand will be two slightly different versions of Regeras and a refurbished 2006 CCX.

The presence of the “Certified Legends” CCX is partially due to the fact that every single Regera from the 80-unit production run has been sold, as we reported last summer. There simply are no more current Koenigsegg models available, so inspecting, refurbishing and re-selling certified used Koenigseggs seems like a sensible thing to do.

For the buyer, a “Certified Legend” car is as close to a new one as possible — or even further. They will have “the latest parts, equipment and technology,” meaning such a CCX might be better than it was in 2006. They are also backed with a two-year factory warranty. The two Regeras at the show are both customer cars, one in Crystal White and the other in Swedish Blue.

The former has more aero parts on it, as it has been specified with the “Ghost” package, which increases downforce by 20 percent. Both have the hybrid twin-turbo powertrain capable of 1,500 horsepower; the V8 itself accounts for 1,100 of those.

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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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Watch a Koenigsegg Regera go through some brutal crash testing

Every modern car must go through some form of crash testing. For vehicles like the Ford F-150 or Toyota Camry, sparing a car or 20 is a drop in the bucket compared to the total output. For small automakers, though, destroying a single vehicle for testing purposes can be costly. Koenigsegg seems to have taken it to heart and made a special video to celebrate a million followers on the automaker’s Instagram page.

The short clip shows a naked Regera going through some fairly brutal testing. In addition to side, front and rear impacts, the Regera gets beaten with mallets, jumps curbs and has the doors slammed with some pretty brute force. Watch how the carbon fiber flexes during some of the impacts. Honestly, it looks like a ton of fun to beat the hell out of a multi-million-dollar Swedish hypercar.

More automakers need to make a show about crash testing. When I was in Korea, Hyundai was kind enough to ram a Kona into a cement wall at about 100 km/h for a large group of journalists. I never want to see any harm come to my own vehicles, but if you’re going to crash a car, do it with style.

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