Koenigsegg wants to grow. Very soon, it will reveal a brand new – like, totally brand new – supercar that’ll sit below the company’s traditional ultra-exotic offerings in a bid to attract a new branch of customers.
We’re not talking about the successor to the Agera RS, because that’s Koenigsegg ‘proper’, nor about any other variant of that or the Regera. This is a supercar with an estimated price tag of around €1m (RM4.6 million), to help give Christian von Koenigsegg the capacity to grow the company’s sales volumes from currently 20 cars per year, into the hundreds.
“We’ve been looking to expand our offering because basically, our brand has outgrown our production volumes by quite a big margin,” he tells TopGear.com. “We have several years of delivery time on the super-exclusive hypercars we’re building today.
“But we do think if we make a super-exclusive, custom built supercar at a slightly lower price (that’s the €1m mark) we could get the volumes into the hundreds.” Step forward NEVS – short for National Electric Vehicle Sweden – who have signed a joint venture with Koenigsegg to help deliver this. NEVS are specialists in green technology, which brings us onto how this new supercar will be powered.
“Our ambition is that this car will be completely CO2 neutral,” Christian tells TG. How? Koenigsegg’s ‘freevalve’ camless combustion engine technology, combined with electrification. So it’ll be a hybrid supercar using tech the company’s been working on for the last couple of years.
“Given the freevalve technology, we can actually cold-start the car on pure alcohol, down to -30 degrees Celsius, so there’s no need for any fossil fuel mix then. The idea is to prove to the world that even a combustion engine can be completely CO2 neutral,” he adds.
It’s a theme Christian has expressed before – wringing every last ounce of efficiency out of the internal combustion engine; putting it ‘through the wall’.
Why? “If you imagine that Tesla today is producing around half of all the battery cells in the world, and that’s just about enough for 300,000 cars. Then you hear Volkswagen is going full electric, BMW too, and that’s millions of cars. It’s quite easy to realise that there will be a cell shortage coming up very quickly.
“I think having a smaller battery pack and combining it with a CO2 neutral combustion engine is a very enticing, exciting, lightweight, sporty solution for a sports car,” he adds.
Christian assures us that this new supercar will look “very obviously” like a Koenigsegg, “but at the same time a slightly different format than what we’re doing with the hypercars”. There’ll be no cannibalisation therefore, of Koenigsegg’s traditional, multi-euro offerings of the Agera RS replacement and Regera. “It’s a different volume, a different segment of car, where we’re seeing a gap which exists in the market.” He wouldn’t explain exactly what this gap is – ‘that’d give away too much’ – but whatever, it’ll be “an extremely sporty car”.
A hand-made, brand new, ‘affordable’ Koenigsegg supercar using next-generation combustion engine technology and electrification, that sits in a new segment. One that looks like a Koenigsegg. Roll on 2020.
Pictured: the hybrid Koenigsegg Regera