Koenigsegg Automotive AB
Sweden is a small country with less than 10 million people. Still we manage to produce world famous artists such as ABBA and Roxette and more recently Avicii and Swedish House Mafia. Sweden also have created big companies such as IKEA and H&M. Almost all the people in the world know of at least of of these. But few people have ever heard about Koenigsegg Automotive AB, and that’s a shame…
Christian Von Koenigsegg was born in Stockholm in 1972. He quickly became very interested in cars and read everything he could about cars. As a child he watched a norwegian movie called ”Flåkrypa Grand Prix”. The movie was about a bicycle repair and his friends who decided to build their own supercar and race against the big companies. Christian decided to do the same and at the age of 22 he started working on his ultimate car. Koenigsegg is the name of his family and like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Pagani he named the car after his own last name. To survive he knew that the car had to be unique in some way. At the time there were no cars with detacheble roof like the Koenigsegg. Sure convertible existed but the genius behind the Koenigsegg was that it is almost exactly as stiff with the roof on as it is without the roof on. A Koenigsegg has unique doors called dihedral synchro-helix. These unique features made the cars stand out. One of the things Christian understood early was that the task to build his own car was almost impossible to pull off. In a segment where many try and fail you have to be very skilled to survive. Another unique think Koenigsegg have created or invented if you will is their suspension which they call Triplex. This gives the car better handling. It also gives the car very good traction so that you can accelerate fast out of corners and off the line. At the same time the comfort is very high when you want to use the car like a normal car.
Koenigsegg was first considered as a joke that soon will die by the competitors. But after breaking the world record for fastest speed achieved by a production car. The record was set at Nardo in Italy and the speed they reached was 388 km/h. This showed the competition that Koenigsegg was something to take seriously. Sure, Bugatti took the record away from Koenigsegg pretty soon after, but still it got everyone thinking.
Speaking of records, Koenigsegg have a actually a few including o-300 km/h and 0-300-0 km/h. Some of these records were lost to an american company called Hennessey, but I believe Koenigsegg still have a few. Koenigsegg also made the first environmental friendly supercar, the CCX-R which can run both on petrol and ethanol. The ethanol has the positive effect that it increases the power output and keeps the CO2 down. The downside is that the fuel consumption gets worse, but on the other hand, a Koenigsegg owner has money to pay for the extra fuel.
At Geneva 2012 Koenigsegg presented the first carbon fiber wheel. The wheel saves much weight and according to Koenigsegg the best place to put carbon fiber on a car is on the wheel. The wheel is hollow which means inside the spokes there is air.
The combination between extreme knowledge and passion has made Koenigsegg a huge success. Everything could have been lost early in the companies life when the former factory which was in a small barn burned down. But dedicated workers managed to save the cars from the flames. Together with financial help from a norwegian businessman named Bård Eker, Koenigsegg moved to an abandoned airfield in Ängelholm in the south parts of Sweden. Since then Koenigsegg have grown and put out new models. In 2013 Koenigsegg built their 100th car. The Koenigsegg Agera S Hundra is the name and the actual car raced the Bugatti Veyron at Koenigseggs own airfield and beat it by a pretty wide margin. Remember the Bugatti Veyron is the fastest car ever made officially. This made everyone wonder if perhaps the swede could beat this. Shortly after, Bugatti was back with a tuned version called Vitesse. Koenigsegg brought their faster version called Agera R and the result was the same. Koenigsegg beat the Veyron once again. The problem is that Koenigsegg does not have a track long enough to test its top speed. But one Koenigsegg once reached 402 km/h at Nürburgring which isn’t the ideal place to test the top speed.
Geneva Motor Show 2013 was a big show for Koenigsegg. They brought their new One:1. A car with 1360 hp and 1360 kg which gives it 1 hp per kg of weight. That is why the car has its name. A fun fact is that 1360 hp is equal to 1 megawatt of power. So Koenigsegg could brag about making the first and only ”mega car”.
When Christian is asked about trying to beat the world record for highest speed he often talks about that Koenigsegg do not think about this. This performance is unnecessary since you will never use it. But a high top speed is something you get when the car is this powerful and is this light. Koenigsegg One:1 is a car focused on being the best drivers car and still usable in daily situations. The One:1 is very similar looking to the Agera-models but actually it is very different. The carbon is laid up in a different way which makes it stronger and the engine is tuned a lot. It actually has the highest tuned production engine of any car. When the exclusive group who managed to pay the hefty price want to take the car to a track, Koenigsegg will have been there in advance and the car will recognize the track and will adjust everything faster than you could react in order to be set up to any corner in the right way. The cars therefore has a SIM-card inside of it. The driver can via an app adjust the cars rear wing and stiffen up the suspension just by using this app.
The engine in all the new Koenigsegg is a 5.0 liter twin-turbo V8 which puts out between just under 1000 hp to 1360 depending on model and what fuel you use. In the beginning Koenigsegg did not build their own engines but they now do and it is the way to go.
Every year since 2011 I have gone to the Geneva Motor Show and I always love visiting Koenigsegg. They always have time to talk and even let me inside their stand to talk and look at their products. This for me is a big part of the success of a company. You can not ignore people who are enthusiastic about cars just because they do not look like potential buyers. Koenigsegg treat me with respect and are happy to answer all the questions I have. This makes the company feel very good I think. When asking their competitors if I could come in and check out their cars I alway get the same look and answer: No. And this is really sad and makes the company look and feel snobby. Koenigsegg treat their customers the same as they treat their fans. Last year I got to talk to Halldora Von Koenigsegg, Christians wife and we had a long chat about the cars. I felt very welcome and I really hope to see the people at Koenigsegg next year and I can not wait to see what they have in store for us for the next couple of years!
I am very proud to be Swedish because of Koenigsegg. Christian has shown the world that anything is possible if you have the passion and knowledge. He made the impossible possible. And that is what Koenigsegg do. No task is to hard for them. They have come to stay and not only challenge to leaders and big players but to beat them.