Sasha Selipanov, Head of design

Beauty as a consequence of technical innovation

Creating the first design for a completely new vehicle category is a daunting task. There could be no individual more suited for the job than Koenigsegg’s own Head of Design, Sasha Selipanov. Even while boasting an extensive portfolio of leading designs for sport and megacars, Sasha and the design team still had the work cut out for them when styling the Gemera.

We take the opportunity to talk with Sasha about the design of the Gemera and what was considered to make it a Koenigsegg from visual and emotional aspects.

 

Sasha, what makes the Gemera a Koenigsegg?

As with any design, the proportions are most important. They are best appreciated when looking at the silhouette of the car – its side view. The Gemera’s cabin volume is pushed forwards like all predecessor Koenigsegg models, creating an agile and forward-leaping stance. The overhangs are short. The wheels are dominant.

The design team and I used the simplicity of the surfaces, the musculature to emphasize and support the iconic Koenigsegg megacar silhouette.

 

What’s the design guiding principle for the Gemera?

It was vital to capture the essence of the megacar such as its stance, drama and athleticism, and to leave out the fact that it’s a four-seater. That aspect should be experienced as a complete surprise.

So, when you see the Gemera driving down a road, the first thought that comes to mind is, ah – that’s an extreme mid-engine performance car – with two seats.

Then as the Gemera pulls up, its massive B-pillar-less doors fly open – just then and not before it becomes apparent that it’s actually a true four-seater for four fully grown individuals. That’s the surprise factor. It’s a have-your-cake-and-eat-it kind of car.

 

The interior is really something extra! Tell us!

The Gemera’s interior is much sportier than any full-sized sport-luxury vehicle. We didn’t want this car to look anything like a conventional four-seater luxury car. The Gemera is first and foremost a thoroughbred megacar. However, every time its doors open, you get this wow effect, realizing that there is much more to it. It’s a packaging marvel!

The Gemera’s interior gives you an uncompromised megacar feel and not a decadent old-world luxury sensation.

Rest assured, as far as creature comforts are concerned, no shortcuts were taken. You get perfectly padded memory foam seats, eight heated and cooled cupholders, entertainment screens with Apple CarPlay for both the front and rear passengers, as well as the ever-necessary induction and USB charging ports. The 11-speaker sound system is out of this world.

 

It’s really an impressive step-in with the unique doors. There are no B-pillars – and still, it is a four-seater – how?

Koenigsegg’s patented dihedral synchro-helix doors are even more dramatic in this car, as they now provide access to an interior for four persons rather than two and the door is much longer. That said the door still opens with the same tiny footprint as the added length of the door only makes it stand taller in its open position. That is the beauty of Christian’s door solution – it kind of magically disappears and is unobtrusive.

The lack of a B-pillar helps to get in and out of the car. The Gemera’s cabin is essentially unobstructed for both front and rear passengers to enter or exit. There is no need to move the front seats to get in and out of the rear.

The roof of the car is partially cut out by the doors, further assisting in easing access to the interior. Unlike two-plus-two grand tourers, there is no need to lean the front seat forward followed by awkward crouching when moving in and out of the rear row. The Gemera is a true four-seater. It doesn’t compromise anybody’s comfort and treats all four passengers with an equal amount of respect.

 

Does it also fit any luggage?

Yes, amazingly the Gemera can fit four pieces of cabin luggage. Three in the back and one (laid down) in the front. A compact glass panel in the back rises and is hinged so you can place three cabin bags vertically into a deep luggage compartment.

Sure, there are the engine and technical components behind the monocoque, but remember the engine is small by industry standards. This was key when creating the luggage space.

 

Stylistically, how did you work around the technical components?

In true Koenigsegg fashion, there is functionality at the root of every design decision we make. The Gemera’s exterior design is shrink-wrapped around the internals. The body has many purposes, most of them are about efficiency – aerodynamics and cooling the drive train.

We believe a certain natural beauty is born as a result of this efficiency. We did not design shapes without purpose – it’s an overused term but here, form really does follow function and beauty is the consequence of that.

Aerodynamically functional vented taillights are a unique Koenigsegg idea first used on the CC8S model, back in 2000. On the Gemera, we took the concept a step further – both the headlights and taillights serve aerodynamic functions. Air vents below the lamps help reduce drag and clean up surround airflow, plus they look great.

Within the internals of the lamps, the unique reflectors and LED light signatures were developed in-house by us at Koenigsegg. That’s why it is possible to have such a homogenous appearance on both the front and rear lights. We take great pride in this.

It is also the first time a Koenigsegg has rearview cameras in place of mirrors. The information from those cameras is fed to two corner displays in the interior. Where wing mirrors usually reside, we placed our compact cameras, improve drag while enhancing usability. Plus they also incorporate our ADAS and bird’s eye view cameras.

 

The top-mounted titanium Akrapovič exhausts leave a massive impression from the rear. Are they only there to look cool?

In addition to a unique look and a great sound, the top-mounted placement offers actual performance benefits – less pipping, less weight, less back pressure and thus a more efficient powertrain. The exhaust design is consequent of designing the best packaging positioning for the Gemera’s engine and ends up looking great on the car.

The sound is quite an experience, with a unique signature from those three powerful big-bore cylinders!

 

And the rims are new?

For the Gemera, we have designed a nine-spoke AirCore carbon fiber wheel, with the thinnest and most lightweight hollow spokes we could possibly make. It lends more visibility to the new in-house brake calipers and has a very simple, understated look that takes inspiration from Koenigsegg’s Swedish design roots.

 

What can you tell us about the front of the car?

The car appears purposeful and strong from the front, it has a confident character that suits its caliber. As social animals, we are evolutionarily programmed to recognize human features, for example relating the front of the car to a person’s face. In light of this, we were careful in using overt aggressiveness in styling: confidence and strength without aggression was our goal. From the front to the side profiling of the car, you see solid lines that graduate into a strong shoulder driven design. Its architecture boasts a robust and monolithic characteristic that takes inspiration from very early designs of the brand.

 

This was the first Koenigsegg car you have designed. How was it like?

Sure, form follows function. In the Gemera’s case, the function is very innovative, so the form conforms to that and the resulting design looks really cool. I believe the Gemera, with its unprecedented packaging and technical innovation, is a milestone for the automotive industry. As a consequence, designing a shape for it was both tremendously difficult and at the same time hugely fulfilling. Finding a form for something so genuinely new is every designer’s dream.

All data is provisional.