October 4, 2022

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

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

Zoom / Supercar success isn’t easy, but Christian von Koenigsegg has survived two decades and continues to develop innovative new technology that is years ahead of the competition. Ars spoke to him to find out what he was most proud of.

Franco Gutierrez

It would be a mix of ad campaigns if not metaphors to say that the Swedes think differently about design, but I think there’s something to this: Saab was popular in the field, even for where the ignition switch is; Volvo carefully treads its own course with safety first but with a crisp, modern design. Then there is Koenigsegg.

Located on a former Swedish fighter base, this company has carved its own furrow with the hallmarks of cars: supercars, supercars, and now mega cars. But always in its own way – how to explain a three-cylinder engine with pneumatic actuators instead of camshafts, a V8 without a flywheel, or a seven-clutch automatic but six-speed manual transmission with clutch pedal no less?

At this year’s Monterey Car Week, few are as close to car ownership as company founder Christian von Koenigsegg. The company’s stand at one end of The Quail was among the most crowded of the day, as young TikTokkers competed in their best suits to get his attention, or perhaps just another look at his latest innovation, the CC850. A part 50th birthday present to itself, and partly a celebration of the company entering its third decade, it’s a fresh take on Koenigsegg’s debut show, the CC8S.

I started with a door

“We started trying to innovate from the start, because I didn’t think we could survive just by doing what others are doing, because I always felt the need to bring something new to the table to be valuable, workable and interesting. And we’ve continued to do that over the years. We got away all the time.So we have a kind of savagery and savagery in the realization of our ideas or our wildest dreams, von Koenigsegg told me.

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For example, characteristic doors. Opening the door dramatically is almost mandatory unless your name is Ferrari or Porsche, and the CCS8 doors have already opened massively, pop, and rotate 90 degrees. “The hinge that we discovered very early on and then made automated, and it’s very practical; it removes the entire space and doesn’t move away. So compared to other solutions, I think it’s a great way to do that,” he said.

I wonder how many other automakers will go back and recreate their first car, incorporating all the lessons they learned along the way?
Zoom / I wonder how many other automakers will go back and recreate their first car, incorporating all the lessons they learned along the way?

Franco Gutierrez

Koenigsegg also noted the convertible roof in the CC8S. “I think our integration with the roof was very unique back then, when the roof is on, it’s a coupe – no giveaway, no extra separate stripes, nothing. And when you take it off, it’s the Ultra Roadster and it looks just as natural as that. So I guess The way we combined the roof was beyond anything I’ve seen at the time. We’ve maintained that throughout the years and on different models.”

Huge power, yet compatible with emissions

Innovative design extends far beyond automobile design. They all had to be road legal, for one reason. “In the early cars, the CC8S, we patented solutions for the catalytic converter. Also twin compressor solutions with feed valves and stuff to achieve better response and lower noise. Indeed, our ability to homogenize such a powerful vehicle required special solutions.”

“A couple of years ago, we patented a new catalytic converter solution that integrates with the wastegate, so we don’t have a lot of back pressure. I mean, this is a kind of hidden gem that allows us to get higher power than other cars of a similar nature,” Vaughn explained. Koenigsegg. Ferocious power outputs are something of a Koenigsegg thing – in 2002 the CC8S boasted 655 hp (488 kW), today the CC850 generates twice that if you fuel it with E85 gasoline.

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“But then you have more obvious things like LST . transmission or Direct drive Regera With no gears and three electric motors combined with the combustion engine.”

When you want to line yourself up, the CC850 is a six-speed manual.  But move the lever to the right and to D, and it will move through nine gears.
Zoom / When you want to line yourself up, the CC850 is a six-speed manual. But move the lever to the right and to D, and it will move through nine gears.

Koenigsegg

Earlier this year, it unveiled a new inboard electric motor that it says “revisits the fundamentals of magnetism, materials, cooling and packaging rather than following the rule,” blending aspects of both axial flow and radial electric motors. And that was just weeks after the introduction of a new 750kW indoor silicon carbide reflector. Then there’s the six-speed manual/nine-speed automatic transmission in the CC850, with a gated transmission and clutch pedal. And seven clutches. (For an excellent, in-depth explanation of how this works, I highly recommend this engineering demonstration video.)

“And the reason we can do this kind of wild mechanical stuff and high-voltage stuff is because we control our electronic platform from the ground up. We design circuit boards, we design full stack software, we have our OTA, and we do it all over the car. And that’s It means we’ve come up with an idea that sounds interesting. And outside sellers with different strategies, different interests, or other priorities don’t block us; we can control the whole universe ourselves. So, then I can control Koenigsegg and I can be as stupid as I want with it,” he said with a smile. .