You know you’re dealing with a different kind of car company when they skip the 0-100 time in favour of a 0-300 time!!!
You’ve probably seen Koenigsegg’s products in pictures or on TV, but how much do you actually know about them?
The following is a quick primer from Koenigsegg’s own website, about the company that is in the box seat to become Saab’s new owners in the very near future.
BRIEF COMPANY INFO
Christian von Koenigsegg grew up with the dream of creating the perfect sportscar. After several years of planning he launched the Koenigsegg project in 1994. A tight-knit group of competent people was gathered and a prototype was assembled, the success of which enabled the foundation of Koenigsegg Automotive AB.
In the year 2000 Koenigsegg started the series-production of the CC 8S model. It proved to the world that it was indeed possible for a small and dedicated group of enthusiasts to rival the old established supercar brands.
In the spring of 2004 Koenigsegg launched the CCR, a vehicle that leaves all others behind. The Koenigsegg headquarters is now in a large Fighter Jet facility, which houses 45 full time staff plus several extras.
They include 7 engineers, 4 R&D staff, 4 composite technicians, 5 pre- assembly staff, 3 engine assembly staff, 14 final assembly staff, 3 storage staff and 5 at PR, sales, administration and leadership. Extra personnel are called in when needed, usually for development purposes. Presently 7 vehicles can be assembled simultaneously, with 4 stations in the pre-assembly hall and 3 in the final assembly hall.
A large network of suppliers and partners is tied to Koenigsegg, most of which are based in Sweden. Many are small companies and craftsmen that produce low volumes of high quality components. Both the assembly and the manufacture of the components is very labor intensive (e.g. all 300+ carbonfibre parts that make up each car), and the materials are without exception very costly. This is the reason for the high price of a Koenigsegg.
The Koenigsegg project was launched. With a long tradition of building high quality cars and a large number of suppliers to the racing car industry, Sweden offered a suitable breeding ground for the development of a world-class supercar. The concept for this supercar was set from the start, a two-seater, mid-engined construction with a hardtop; all based on state of the art Formula One technology. A network of competent designers and engineers, with connections both to the Swedish car industry and the universities, was tied together.
Koenigsegg moved into new premises in Olofström in southern Sweden. Development started and the production of the first prototype was initiated. The newly assembled Koenigsegg team makes an extraordinary effort; in only one and a half years a fully operational prototype was finished, ready for media promotion and evaluation.
This was a year of heavy testing on racetracks, roads and in the Volvo wind tunnel. Among the world renowned race-car drivers to test the prototype were Picko Troberg, Calle Rosenblad and Rickard Rydell. They were all amazed by its outstanding performance. The concept worked. It was time to introduce the concept to the prospective buyers.
The Koenigsegg CC prototype is shown at the Cannes film festival and it’s success was immediate. The satisfactory test results and the great media coverage at the Cannes film festival enabled the company to go forward and engage in the creation of finished product. An entirely new car was being brought into the world. Sticking to the basic concept of the prototype, the chassis now included a carbonfibre monocoque, and a unique module system was developed, so that the car can easily be configured to every desired set-up.
The Koenigsegg team worked full speed ahead on the specified product model. The car went through 57 different tests in order to comply with international certification regulations. Maintaining a low profile towards the media, all concentration was focused on perfecting the final product. An ideal new facility near Ängelholm in southern Sweden was purchased, and the building of a production infrastructure was started.
Since nearly every key part of the Koenigsegg CC is specially designed and unique, highly qualified composite engineers and CAD/CAM engineers were employed. Modellers with experience from SAAB, Bentley and Bugatti created the final body. A three dimensional measuring system with full CAD/CAM capabilities was set up in the modelling workshop.
The first production prototype vehicle was assembled and tested during the spring and summer. The deadline was set to September 28th, when the finished product met the jury of the world; the Premiere at the Paris Motor Show. Meanwhile, at the Koenigsegg facility a full scale production line for the manufacturing of the cars was being organized.
The silver production prototype CC received great attention at it’s presentation at the Paris Motor Show. Articles about it were published in most of the world’s car magazines. It also received several design awards, among them the prestigious German Red Dot award and a prize for excellent Swedish design. The Swedes voted the Koenigsegg CC the Car of the Year in the Swedish magazine Automobil. The Magazine Car and Driver performed a series of tests to the car and found it beating the competition on most accounts such as acceleration, lateral G and braking.
The first customer Koenigsegg CC, named CC 8S, was assembled and it was handed over to its proud owner at the Geneva Motor Show in March. This red car was also tested by Koenigsegg test drivers on racetracks and roads, to further refine performance and drivability. While the build-up of the assembly line at the Koenigsegg plant was still under way, the team nonetheless managed to build five stunning cars during the year. In September Koenigsegg was launched in Asia, with two cars featuring in a spectacular premiere at the Seoul Car Show.
Several improvements to both design and performance ware implemented on the 2003 model CC 8S. Modifications to the suspension system were made in cooperation with Mr. Loris Biccochi, a world renowned testdriver with experience from Lamborghini, Ferrari and Bugatti. Production was halted due to an accidental fire, which forced Koenigsegg to move into new premises at the F10 Air Force Base at the outskirts of Ängelholm. BBC Top Gear names the CC 8S the fastest car they have ever tested. Koenigsegg held the Guinness World Record for the most powerful streetcar.
All development effort was concentrated on the CCR, the new 806 hp model that was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The exhibited vibrant orange car was hailed as one of the true gems of the show. The Koenigsegg CCR features several new components which interact to bring its performance up far beyond that of any other supercar. The CCR will attempt to break the high speed record by travelling faster than 395 km/h, later this year.
Koenigsegg takes the Crown from the legendary McLaren F1 road car regarding top speed. The McLaren F1 Guinness Record held for 7 years until the mighty CCR, with a small margin managed to outrun the former and ageing champion. CCR also proves itself on the famous and challenging Nürburgring by taking several speed records around the track and almost beating the outright lap record for production cars even considering the bad conditions, as the temperature was only 3 degrees Celsius.
Koenigsegg presents the new CCX the first world car by Koenigsegg. The CCX is the third generation Koenigsegg that complies with global safety and environmental regulation and thereby make it eligible for sale anywhere in the world. The performance of the car is also staggering as shown on the famous BBC Top Gear program where the CCX takes the lap record in front of all famous supercar competitors, such as the Ferrai Enzo, Maserati MC12, Porsche Carrera GT, Pagani Zonda F etc.
Koenigsegg presents the CCXR. The worlds first “green” supercar. The CCXR runs on E85 Biofuel and pumps out an unparalleled 1018 hp, again a world first. Koenigsegg also presents is patented and very unique Chrono instrument cluster, which enhances esthetics and high speed safety.
THE CCX brakes the 0-300-0 km/h record by doing it in 29 seconds. The first US spec CCX is delivered to the USA, another great milestone for Koenigsegg. The Limited Edition program is launched really showing of the Carbon engineering work of the Company.
Koenigsegg introduces a new technology paddleshift system, which enables a shift time of only 30 milliseconds. Koenigsegg unveils the Quant, a four seater electric car developed for a customer.
The Koenigsegg headquarters lie in southern Sweden, near the city Ängelholm. Formerly this cluster of buildings was occupied by the Swedish Air Force, and Koenigsegg’s new assembly hall used to be a hangar for JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets. Adapted to the needs of Koenigsegg, these facilities provide the perfect infrastructure for building high-tech supercars, with a modern office block adjacent to the assembly halls. There is ample room for a composite workshop, pre- and final assembly halls, an R&D department, storage and a racing department.
There is also a private test track both for fun and serious driving, and the proximity of the local airport is convenient for visitors and staff alike. A helipad is available in the vicinity, and the local train station is only minutes away.
Fighter Jet Squadron nr. 1 of the Swedish Air Force was based at the present Koenigsegg HQ before being closed down by the government in 2003. Their symbol, a ghost within a circle, now adorns the CCR and all future extreme versions of the Koenigsegg CC. This is both to honour the predecessors and to show that the Koenigsegg crew feels they continue the legacy of Squadron nr 1. Several of Koenigsegg’s employees previously worked with the maintenance and repairs of the fighter jets.
I thought it was pretty important to include this as well.
Safety is a cornerstone of Saab’s company philosophy, but you could forgive a low-volume supercar producer for skimping on safety a little. I mean, crash tests are expensive, right? Moreso when you only make 20 cars a year.
Not so, with these guys, which is a good thing for Saab.
A Koenigsegg offers excellent better driver protection and crash evasion. It is the very extremeness that makes the car safe; it is made of very light and super strong composites and is equipped for the best possible driver control; it is vastly superior both in terms of road holding and braking.
The safety of the Koenigsegg cars has been confirmed through extensive crash testing, performed at the Autoliv crash test facility in Sweden and IDIADA in Spain. The car has been through side, front, rear and ofset impact tests plus the European pedestrian Impact tests, in order to comply with the strictest international certification requirements. The CCX has proven to be very safe and exceed all test norms. In fact, the same vehicle could be used for several different impacts, due to the strength of the construction.
The basic concept of the Koenigsegg is simple: A road car body that incorporates a Formula One racing car chassis. The Koenigsegg chassis is built on a semi-monocoque cockpit module that encloses the driver, protecting him from impacts from all sides. This monocoque was designed by engineers with experience from Formula One. It is a virtually indestructible unit made of carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb. The angular front end is shaped to redirect impact force into the sides, which are made up of tubular beams capable of absorbing extreme levels of impact force. The back end is topped by a beam to absorb rear impact force, and it also supports the roll-over bars, which are of reinforced carbon fibre laminate and serve to effectively protect the driver and passenger in the event of a roll-over accident. An autoclave oven is used to fuse the individual components together, forming an unbreakable bond.
Among other passive safety measures on the Koenigsegg are the collision impact absorption zones on the body, which are engineered to soften the impact force before it reaches the monocoque. For this reason the carbon fibre bumpers along with the front hood. The front subframe is designed to bend and fold to further soften the impact. Inside the cockpit all surfaces have been measured and tested to be harmless in all crash situations and airbags are standard. Active safety measures include superb handling, exceptionally strong brakes and flawless traction control combined with good visibility from the driving seat. The CCX also features dual airbags.