Why is a small Swedish automaker a decade ahead of the rest of the industry?

A bald man stands to the right of a silver Koenigsegg supercar
in great shape , Making the supercar game a success isn’t easy, but Christian von Koenigsegg’s company has survived two decades and continues to develop innovative new technology many years ahead of the competition. Ars spoke to her to find out what she was most proud of.

Frank Gutierrez

It would be mixing advertising campaigns if it were to say that Swedes think differently about design, but I think there is something to it: Saab was famously abandoned, even down to where This ignition switch was located; Volvo carefully goes its way with safety in mind but with a modern design. And then there’s Koenigsegg.

Based in a former Swedish combat base, the company is plowing its own pool through automotive superlatives: supercars, hypercars, now megacars. But always in your own way – how to explain a three-cylinder engine with pneumatic actuators instead of camshafts, a V8 with no flywheel, or a seven-clutch transmission that’s both a nine-speed automatic but a six-speed manual, with clutch Pedal no less?

At this year’s Monterey Car Week, few are as close to automotive royalty as the company’s founder, Christian von Koenigsegg. The company’s stand at one end of The Quail was one of the most crowded of the day, as young TikTokers competed for their attention in their best suits, or perhaps another look at their latest creation, the CC850. Part 50th birthday presents itself, part celebration of the company’s entry into its thirties, a fresh take on Koenigsegg’s first offering, the CC8S.

it started with a door

“We started trying something new from the get-go, because I didn’t believe we could do what everyone else was doing, because I always felt the need to bring something new to the table so that it was meaningful.” And be viable and interesting. . And we kept doing that for years. And we got away with it all the time. So we just kind of became a wilderness and a wilderness to pursue our ideas or wildest dreams,” von Koenigsegg said told me.

For example, specific doors. A dramatic door opening is almost mandatory unless your name is Ferrari or Porsche, and the CCS8’s doors open really dramatically, splayed out, then rotated 90 degrees. “The hinge we figured out a long time ago and then we robotized it, and it’s very practical; it clears the whole place and doesn’t go too far. So compared to other solutions, I think it A great way to do it,” he said.

I wonder how many other automakers will go back and revamp their first car, incorporating all the lessons they learned along the way?
in great shape , I wonder how many other automakers will go back and revamp their first car, incorporating all the lessons they learned along the way?

Frank Gutierrez

Koenigsegg also pointed to a convertible roof on the CC8S. “I think our integration of the roof was very unique at the time, when the roof is on, it’s a coupe—no cheap, no extra dividing lines, nothing. And when you take it off , so it’s an ultra roadster and looks absolutely natural. So I think the way we integrated the roof was beyond anything I had seen at the time. And we’ve been through all the years and in different models ,” he continued.

Heavy power, but in line with emissions

However, the innovative design extends far beyond the styling of the cars. For one thing they all have to be street legal. “On the early cars, the CC8S, we had patented catalytic converter solutions. Twin-compressor solutions with feed valves and things to make better response and less noise. And really, we needed a special solution to make such a powerful car .

“A few years ago we patented a new catalytic converter solution that connects to the Westgate so we don’t have a lot of back pressure. I mean, these are kind of hidden gems that we’ve got to see on other cars like this. allow to obtain a higher power than in nature,” von Koenigsegg explained. Brutal power output is a Koenigsegg thing – back in 2002, the CC8S produced a claimed 655 hp (488 kW), twice as much as today’s CC850 if you feed it E85 gasoline.

“But then you have more visible things like LST transmission either direct drive of regera Three electric motors without gears and integrated with the combustion engine,” he continued.

When you want to row your own, the CC850 is a six-speed manual.  But pop the lever to the right and into D, and it'll shift itself through nine gears.
in great shape , When you want to row your own, the CC850 is a six-speed manual. But pop the lever to the right and into D, and it’ll shift itself through nine gears.

koenigsegg

Earlier this year it revealed a new in-house electric motor that it says “focuses on the fundamentals of magnetism, materials, cooling and packaging, rather than following the norm,” axial flow and radial electric motors. Combining aspects of both. And that was just weeks after introducing a new in-house 750 kW silicon carbide inverter. And then there’s the CC850 with a six-speed manual/nine-speed automatic transmission, complete with a gated shifter and clutch pedal. and seven clutches. (For an excellent and in-depth explanation of how this works, I highly recommend this engineering explained video,

“And the reason we can do these kind of wild mechanical things and high voltage things is we control our electronic platforms from the ground up. We design circuit boards, we design full stack software, we have We have our OTA, and we do it across the car. So that means we come up with an idea that sounds interesting. We are not blocked by outside vendors who have different strategies or different interests or other preferences We can control the whole universe ourselves. So, and then I can control Koenigsegg and I can be as stupid with him as I want,” he said with a grin.

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