A brand-new Koenigsegg*.
*In no way a brand-new Koenigsegg.
OK, so what is it really?
A design study, but before you run off into the night in disbelief, this one’s got proper provenance. It’s been designed by a chap called Esa Mustonen, a 23-year old student who did an actual internship at Koenigsegg.
This - Esa’s thesis - is his idea of a “futuristic, entry-level hypercar under an imagined ‘RAW by Koenigsegg’ sub-brand”.
So it’s a flight of fancy?
But what flight. And what fancy. And, this project was overseen by the actual boss – Christian von Koenigsegg – and his head of design Sasha Selipanov (read TG’s interview with Sasha here).
You will now sit back and admire Esa’s really delectable handiwork. Do it. Do it now.
It does look stunning.
I love it when we agree. Esa tells TopGear.com that inspiration for the RAW came from Seventies concept cars, while the active diffuser/venturi tunnel was inspired by – wait for it – jetfighter afterburner nozzles. Jetfighter afterburner nozzles are Top Gear’s very favourite kind of nozzles, with the ones they fit on bottles of olive oil right behind.
Bet it wasn’t all Seventies concept car glamour and fighter planes, though?
Correct. Esa told TG he also incorporated a lot of “modern product design”, which he wanted to use to “challenge some of the automotive design standards that we have when we think of car design”. That, friends, is what they call ‘outside the box’ thinking. Or something.
It’s not real of course, but if it were, does it run on space dust and magic moon beans?
Sorta. It uses the same kind of fantasy powertrain that – thanks to Christian von Koenigsegg’s enormous brain – is a reality. Specifically, Koenigsegg’s recently unveiled three-cylinder camless ‘Freevalve’ engine from the Gemera. If you remember, that’s a 2.0-litre kicking out 600 of Sweden’s most efficient horses.
Esa designed the RAW with the goal of 700bhp pushing along a total weight of just 700kg. The fabled 1:1 power to weight ratio. Now, where have we heard that before…
It’s got three seats, just like a McLaren F1!
Yes. Though no mention is made of the McLaren F1, it does have three seats fitted inside the carbon fibre occupant cell. Three, as De La Soul once opined, is indeed the magic number. Unless your name’s ‘Gemera’, in which case it’s actually four. Anyhoo.
Esa must have enjoyed working at Koenigsegg, one suspects?
Your suspicions are correct. Upon seeing the renders for the first time, Esa tells TG that Koenigsegg head of design Sasha was happy that he “managed to challenge the conventional shapes with something new and interesting”, and that there was “more than just stylistic thinking behind the car concept”.
Must have taken him a while to render these out?
Setting up the scenes for the stills and animations took ‘several weeks’, while the animation itself took a few days just to calculate. Not the work of a bored afternoon, then.
Tell me one final thing.
Esa tells us the RAW “can be used both in the real and the virtual world”, the car allowing users to “experience its performance and influence its setup in either real life or digital states using already existing highly correlative racing simulators”. That’s cool.