Inside the Mind of Christian von Koenigsegg
How much do you know about the man behind the hypercar manufacturer?
Known for their wild doors and world-record-beating speed, Koenigsegg is more than just a supercar manufacturer. They’re pushing the performance envelope while developing more efficient, green engines. All this comes from the passion of one man – CEO Christian von Koenigsegg.
The company that currently boasts some of the fastest cars in the world was founded in Sweden in 1994, when von Koenigsegg was only 22. The odds were certainly stacked against him, with his home country being known less for performance vehicles and more for safe, bland family cars. So, what drives a guy like Koenigsegg to build the ultimate driving experience?
Maybe it doesn’t take much beyond having a dream and going for it. Koenigsegg claims he had been interested in making cars since the age of 6, which might account for his remarkably young age when the future Koenigsegg Automotive AB began making its earliest prototype. Although it would still be some time before their cars hit the market, the 1996 Koenigsegg CC prototype showed promise, with a 4.2-liter Audi V-8 and a six-speed manual transmission. Koenigsegg had trouble raising the necessary funds for the vehicle, but he benefitted from a natural talent for salesmanship, even once selling old plastic bags to former Soviet bloc nations in need of amenities. But the cost of building a hypercar is obviously a lot more than the cost of a few empty bags, so hard work and perseverance were equally important to this period in Koenigsegg’s career.
These days, Koenigsegg is arguably the brightest star in the high-performance game, beating out the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in 2017 to become the world’s fastest production car. The Koenigsegg Agera RS reached an astounding top speed of 277.9 mph during a test in Nevada, (a record that many still attribute to the Agera despite the fact that it has technically been broken by the SSC Tuatara). And don’t forget that power is just as important to these cars as speed: Koenigsegg has also stunned the automotive world with the One:1, named for its nearly impossible 1:1 power-to-metric-weight ratio.
So, what’s next on the horizon for Christian von Koenigsegg? Expanding the business, of course. On the new Gemera model, they’ve added a twist to the “megacar” concept that began with the One:1 (named for the car’s massive one-megawatt power output). You probably thought that a car with such insane capabilities would have to be a two-seater, but with the Gemera, that’s not the case – it’s a four-seater for the family, and a very stylish family at that. The car also still includes Koenigsegg’s signature design feature, synchro-helix doors that sweep up and out.
What’s even more exciting is Koenigsegg’s claim that the Gemera, which has three electric motors and can be also fueled with ethanol, will be carbon neutral. It’s an ambitious vision with an eye towards the future, and a touch of practicality that we rarely see in cars of this pedigree.
The company also develops technology that they hope to license and share with other manufacturers. Their new Freevalve technology allows a car’s engine to optimize its combustion timing, on the fly, depending on the conditions the car is currently operating under. That means improved performance and efficiency, and the possibility of running on non-petroleum-based fuels.
So, from insane power and top speed to groundbreaking tech, you can bet that Christian von Koenigsegg will be at the forefront of the auto industry for years to come. We can’t wait to see what this mad genius comes up with next.
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