Like many young men, Christian von Koenigsegg was fascinated by machinery as a boy. He even went so far as to dream about creating his perfect sports car. In stark contrast to the rest of us, however, Christian actually went ahead and turned that dream into reality – at just 22 years of age.
With extraordinary determination and vision, Christian explored the limits of both technology and innovation to create the Supercar of his dreams – the Koenigsegg CC. The Koenigsegg CC was the manifestation of a dream and its successful completion gave Christian the courage to continue, and to share his quest for perfection with others. Thus, the car company that bears his name was born.
The story of Koenigsegg is as fascinating and unique as the cars themselves. Christian was only 5 years old when he first saw a stop-motion film from Norway about a bicycle repairman who builds his own racing car. The film must have made an impression, as a young Christian grew up dreaming of creating the perfect sports car. Some 17 years later, and against all odds, he did just that.
Christian showed an early interest in design and enjoyed the challenges posed by discovering new technical solutions. As a young boy, he dismantled video recorders and toasters, just to see how they worked and whether they could be improved. As a teenager, he was known as the best moped tuner in town and in the early 1990’s, around his 18th birthday, Christian began to work more seriously with technical innovation and came up with some interesting ideas. One of the innovations was called the Chip Player. He believed that one day, computer memory chips would be able to store an entire CD’s worth of data and that it would probably be a cheaper way to buy and store music. He conducted some patent searches for a musical device that would play chips instead of discs. In the end, however, no one seemed interested in the idea, so Christian moved on, not realizing that a few years later his idea would become the norm.
In 1991, he invented a new solution for joining floor planks together without adhesive or nails. He called it Click, as the profile enabled the planks to simply click together. Christian presented this technology to his father-in-law in Belgium, who ran a flooring factory. He rejected the idea, saying that if it was viable, someone would have come up with it a long time ago. Christian then showed the concept to a few other floor manufacturers who also dismissed it. In 1995, a Belgian and a Swedish company patented the exact same solution as Christian’s Click floor – they even called it Click! This innovation has now turned into a multi-billion dollar industry…
Ever since Christian started building cars, most of his innovations has been in the Automotive field. The first innovation Christian came up with was the Dihedral Synchrohelix Door Actuation System, that drastically improves egress and ingress in a parallel parked wide car. Previous versions of similar door systems, required a two-step motion that most persons found counterintuitive to operate. What Christian managed to come up with was a solution that enabled the complex motion to be made in one smooth step, instead of two, thereby getting an intuitive and highly practical solution. In the latest Regera model, the door system is also fully automated with soft close function, making it truly spectacular.
Christian has a keen interest for combustion engines and therefore has created several innovations and patents within this field. The first innovation for Koenigsegg was the patented rocket catalytic converter. Compared to existing technology the Rocket Catalytic Converter had the following advantages: smaller, lighter, faster light off, substantially less back pressure, built in muffling effect, enabling smaller and lighter muffler. The Rocket Catalytic Converter worked according to a dynamic overflow principle that Christian figured out. It was a key enabler to the CC8S to becoming the most powerful homologated production car in the world, according to Guinness Book of Records.
The second innovation was the supercharger response system, that replaced the blow-off valve in a centrifugal supercharger installation. Instead of blowing out pressurized air at off throttle situations, Christian’s solution was to close the inlet, more or less with a throttle body before the supercharger. This was an improvement compared to previous technologies in the following ways: Less parasitic loss at part cruise. Better engine response at fast throttle movements. Less audible supercharger whine. Less risk for leaks. No blow off sounds/puffs. This system was standard on all CCR, CCX and CCXR´s.
Christians third innovation was the under pressure drysump tank, that enabled Koenigsegg to have the most efficient closed circuit evaporative system. This system was needed as Koenigsegg already with the CC8S had the highest cylinder pressure of any production car and therefore also the largest amount of piston blow by that needed to be controlled.
Christian has kept on innovating over the years and below are just a few of Christians solutions that enable Koenigsegg´s cars to perform the way they do:
Benefits: superior safety, chassis balance, weight distribution and packaging.
Benefits: Seats are self-molding to different body shapes. Also shore value goes up at bumps and sudden impacts, increasing chassis feedback and passive safety.
Benefits: Counteract squat during heavy acceleration without disturbing suspension geometry. Weakens anti roll bar harshness during straight line driving on bumpy road. Increases bump shock absorbers stiffness during cornering. Decreases shock absorber stiffness during bumps on straight line driving when one wheel hits a bump.
Benefits: Has higher heat tolerances and less complexity compared to traditional variable geometry turbos.
Benefits: Reduces back pressure in homologated catalytic converter exhaust systems, thereby giving the effect of more power and cleaner exhausts as denser cat elements can be used compared to otherwise.
Benefits: less weight, less friction and progressive motion.
Benefits: Active wing motion without heavy hydraulics and electronics. To have the wing wind speed sensitive versus road speed sensitive benefits aero.
Benefits: lowers rotational unsprung mass of the car. Christian came up with the solution to make the wheels hollow and a novel production method to simplify and enhance the hollow core procedure.
For the last 13 years, Christian has worked with the development of Freevalves, that removes the camshafts from the combustion engine and gives total freedom to valve operation. Christian has been involved in the internal development of the valve actuator, the control strategies and actuator layout and packaging on top of developing the business end.