22-year old Christian von Koenigsegg starts Koenigsegg Automotive on August 12, 1994. A classic David versus Goliath narrative takes shape. It begins with a young man who had no track record of car manufacturing and little funding. But he was armed with a deep passion for ultimate performance and a dream to build the world's greatest sports car.
The first drive
After nearly two years in the making, Koenigsegg's concept vehicle – ‘CC’ – was finally driven in public for the first time by Rickard Rydell at an event at Anderstorp race track in 1996. Other race-car drivers to test the prototype included Picko Troberg and Calle Rosenblad. The concept worked spectacularly, and was a great start to introducing Koenigsegg to prospective buyers.
The Koenigsegg CC prototype was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and its success was immediate. Satisfactory test results from earlier driving, combined with the great media coverage at Cannes, enabled the company to go forward and engage in the creation of a finished product.
A new Home
In 1998, Koenigsegg moved from their original workshop on the south-east coast town of Olofstrom, to a new workshop in the south-west, in a town called Margretetorp.
The first Koenigsegg production prototype made its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in September, 2000. The car on show was the first-ever Koenigsegg CC8S production prototype, which later became the test car and crash-test car that enabled Koenigsegg to homologate vehicles for sale. It featured an early version of the 655 hp Koenigsegg engine that would later feature in customer cars.
The first CC8S, short for Competition Coup V8 Supercharged, was built in 2002 and delivered at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 2003. Its minimalistic, clean, styling set it apart from its peers and it laid the foundation for every future Koenigsegg in terms of aesthetics, philosophy, and functionality. Six examples of the CC8S were produced in total, making it one of the rarest Koenigsegg models ever. Two of those six cars were right-hand drive.
The Koenigsegg factory at Margretetorp was a heritage building with a thatched roof. While the roof was a charming element, it was also very susceptible to fire. A fire occurred in February 2003 when the company was only two weeks away from showing the CC8S at the Geneva Motor Show. Thankfully, even though it was a Saturday, there were members of staff on site who managed to save vehicles and tooling from the flames. Many other company records were unfortunately lost.
The Koenigsegg CCR was an evolution of the CC8S, produced between 2004 and 2006 in 14 examples. The CCR featured an upgraded body design with a larger front splitter, a rear wing, larger brakes, larger wheels and tires plus an upgraded chassis and suspension setup. The CCR also had a more powerful, twin-supercharged engine, producing an astonishing 806 hp.
The Koenigsegg CCR outdid the record set by the Koenigsegg CC8S in 2002. The CCR was equipped with an uprated engine, which added more than 150 hp for a total output of 806 hp. Guinness World Records verified this output and this record in 2004.
The world’s fastest car at the beginning of 2005 was the legendary McLaren F1, with a speed of 386.4 km/h set in 1998. Koenigsegg took the new CCR to Nardo, Italy, in February 2005 to attempt a new record. The car had been at Nardo for a week without breaking the record but the new mark was finally set on the last day, with a new top speed of 387.86 km/h recorded. The car was packed up and shipped directly from Nardo to Geneva for the 2005 Geneva Motor Show that afternoon.
The Koenigsegg CCX looks like its predecessor, the CCR, but it was no mere evolution. While it retained the traditional Koenigsegg layout – mid-engined V8, carbon fiber tub with a removable and stowable roof – the CCX was a completely new car. It was slightly larger, designed from the ground up with worldwide homologation in mind and meeting all world standards for safety and emissions. The CCX was the first Koenigsegg to be sold into the United States market.
The dominance of the CCX was best demonstrated on the popular BBC motoring show, Top Gear. The CCX took the record at Top Gear’s test track in 2006 and this record remained unbeaten by any global series production cars for the next 7 years. The CCX also set a Top Gear top speed record in 2006, reaching 196 mph.
The world’s first ‘green’ supercar was launched in 2007 with the worldwide debut of the Koenigsegg CCXR. The CCXR took Koenigsegg’s potent twin-supercharged V8 to a whole new level thanks to a flex-fuel sensor and hardware allowing the car to run on either regular gasoline, E85 (85% ethanol) or any mix in between. The higher octane rating of E85 fuel lifted the total output of the CCXR to 1,018 hp, a record at the time. The CCXR also debuted Koenigsegg’s new Chrono instrument cluster, providing advanced safety and aesthetics. One CCXR model was specially built to allow it to run on E100 fuel. It features a blue ‘R’ badge on the side flank instead of the traditional green.
The 2007 Geneva Motor Show also saw the public debut of the Koenigsegg CCGT race car. The CCGT was developed as a side project with the ambition of racing in the GT1 class at Le Mans. Weighing just under 1,000 kg and with a naturally aspirated V8 engine making 600 hp, the CCGT was very impressive in testing and looked to be very competitive. Sadly, Koenigsegg’s racing ambitions were quashed when the FIA changed the regulations for the GT1 class, imposing higher minimum production numbers that Koenigsegg was unable to meet.
CCX AND CCXR
Koenigsegg launched the CCX ‘Edition’ and CCXR ‘Edition’ models at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 2008. The Edition models were shod with a beautiful clear-carbon body, Edition 11-spoke wheels, bespoke aerodynamics and specially tuned suspension to further improve the CCX and CCXR’s already legendary handling. The CCX Edition received a slight horsepower bump up to 888 hp, whereas the CCXR Edition’s output remained at 1,018 hp. There were 4 CCXR Editions made, and just 2 CCX Editions.
The Koenigsegg CCX set several new speed records in 2008 with Horst von Saurma, editor of Sport Auto magazine, behind the wheel. The Koenigsegg CCX set a new performance benchmark for 0-300-0 km/h, completing the run in just 29.2 seconds. Even today, many high performance cars only reach the 300 km/h mark in such a time, let alone the braking segment. The CCX also accelerated from 0-200 km/h in 9.3 seconds.
Koenigsegg announced a limited edition in September 2009 – the CCXR ‘Trevita’. The Trevita featured a special proprietary white carbon fiber weave, developed by Koenigsegg especially for this model. Trevita means ‘three whites’ in Swedish and the original intention was to build an edition of three cars. Only two were built, however, tying the Trevita with the CCX Edition as the most exclusive limited run in Koenigsegg’s history.
The CCXR Special Edition was specifically commissioned to see off the CCX-range in style before the arrival of the Agera. The Special Edition featured a special double F1 wing, all-clear-carbon body work, Agera-style rear wheel venting, revised aerodynamics, Koenigsegg’s first ever paddle-shift transmission and a new touchscreen infotainment system for the interior. It was a true bridge between the CCX and Agera models and with just two examples made, it remains one of the rarest Koenigsegg models ever.
Agera means “to take action” and there has never been a more appropriate name for a car. The Koenigsegg Agera, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2010, was Koenigsegg taking action – moving the brand forward into bold, new territory. The Agera featured a new interior highlighted by Koenigsegg’s new ‘ghost’ lighting system. It had Koenigsegg’s new VGR wheels, designed like turbines to extract heat from the car’s brakes. It also marked the change from twin-supercharging to twin-turbocharging. Koenigsegg completely redesigned its exhaust system to virtually eliminate turbo-lag, opening up a world of power-potential while still retaining a light, compact engine package. This allowed the first Ageras to complete with a full 960 hp and over 1,100 Nm of torque – more than enough to ‘take action’ whenever you need. The Agera won the Top Gear Hypercar of the Year award in 2010.
By 2011, Koenigsegg had already been working with ethanol fuels for four years and it was only natural that the Agera would receive an engine capable of working with this power-boosting jungle juice. Thus, the Koenigsegg Agera R was born. The Agera R could run on any fuel from 95 octane pump gas to E100 biofuel. It produced 960 hp on regular 95 octane but this output jumped to a massive 1,140 hp on either E85 or E100, with 1,200 Nm of torque.
In 2008, the Koenigsegg CCX set a time of 29.2 seconds for the 0-300-0 km/h run. That’s amazingly fast, even by today’s standards. The Koenigsegg Agera R showed just how far the company had progressed in three short years, with a 0-300-0 time of just 21.19 seconds. Margins should be small at the sharp end of the performance segment, but this was a massive 8 second improvement, and far ahead of any competitor times.
The Koenigsegg Agera S was configured in 2012 for markets where the biofuels needed for maximising output in the Agera R were not available. Thanks to new engine mapping and hardware, the Agera S was the first Koenigsegg to make over 1,000 hp on regular, 95 octane pump gasoline, with maximum output of 1,040 hp. The Agera S also saw the debut of Koenigsegg’s AirCore hollow carbonfibre wheels. These revolutionary new wheels weighed 40% less than regular alloy wheels – a massive saving in un-sprung weight that provides both acceleration and handling benefits. Koenigsegg was the first manufacturer to offer carbonfibre wheels on factory built cars and is still the only OEM making its own carbonfibre wheels in-house.
The Koenigsegg One:1 was the first production car in history to feature a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. Truly revolutionary. Around 100 kg was shaved from the already-light Agera R to bring it down to 1,360 kg. Koenigsegg matched this with a 1,360 hp twin-turbo V8 engine when run on E85 biofuel. The One:1 was the most extreme Koenigsegg ever made, offering blistering acceleration along with an amazing 2 g of lateral grip. Examples of features that were especially developed for the One:1: unique track-optimized aero winglets, extended venturi tunnels and side splitters, Le-Mans inspired and top-mounted active wing configuration and optimized active under trim air management. Large air vents for improved cooling, roof air scoop to support the 1 megawatt of power, 8250 RPM rev limit, complemented with custom-made Michelin Cup Tires, upgraded rear Triplex suspension with carbon bevel springs and active shock absorbers and ride height management. The One:1 claimed lap records at Spa-Francorchamps and Suzuka Circuit in 2015. Six customer cars were built, along with one factory development car.
Koenigsegg announced a new revolution at Geneva 2015, with the launch of the all-new Koenigsegg Regera. The Regera features three electric motors combined with a powerful twin-turbo V8 and a high-performance, ultra-light battery pack to produce over 1,500 hp. Even more amazing is that all of this power is sent directly to the rear wheels as the Regera has no gearbox. The Regera uses a system called Koenigsegg Direct Drive, which uses the electric motors to propel the car at takeoff with the combustion engine contributing drive from around 30 km/h and beyond. The transition from electric to combustion drive is progressive and seamless, providing both blistering performance and the ultimate in comfort. Koenigsegg will build 80 Regeras in total over a period of five years.
Koenigsegg used the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015 to show the new Koenigsegg Agera RS. The Agera RS took everything that Koenigsegg learned in the development of the extreme One:1 and dialled it back – just a notch – to make a more comfortable version of Koenigsegg’s extreme road and track monster. The Agera RS features Koenigsegg’s highest ever output running only on regular 95-octane gasoline – 1160 hp. It is also a technology powerhouse with advanced aerodynamics, stability management, software updates and active suspension settings stored in the Koenigsegg cloud. All of this is developed and managed in-house at Koenigsegg. The Koenigsegg RS is fully homologated for sale in all countries and 25 units will be produced.
In 2008, the Koenigsegg CCX did the 0-300-0 km/h run in 29.2 seconds. In 2011, the Koenigsegg Agera R did the same run in 21.19 seconds. In July 2015, the Koenigsegg One:1 shaved more than three seconds from the Agera R’s time, recording an amazing 17.95 seconds. That’s from zero to 300 km/h and then back to zero – a pure test of both acceleration and braking.
Koenigsegg announced a grand finale for the Agera model line with a limited edition of three Agera Final models. The Agera Final edition is based on the Koenigsegg Agera RS but offers unparalleled levels of customization. Owners will be able to specify any equipment from the Koenigsegg options list – free of charge – and Koenigsegg will also work with owners to develop bespoke aerodynamics that will only ever be used on their car. It is the ultimate expression of the Agera philosophy. The first Agera Final edition was built in time for the 2016 Geneva Motor Show and is called the One of One. The two remaining Agera Final editions will be built at the end of the Agera RS production run.
Highest top speed
For the Agera RS
In 2017, the Koenigsegg Agera RS achieved five new world records for a production vehicle on November 4th, 2017, in Pahrump, Nevada, America. Driven by factory driver, Niklas Lilja, the Agera RS attained the highest top speed for a production vehicle. Calculated using an average of two runs, one in either direction. The record speed achieved is 447.19 km/h (277.87 mph). In the same attempt, it clocked 33.29 seconds, going from 0-400-0, beating the previous time of 36.44 seconds set by the same car in Denmark in October 2017. The highest average speed for a flying kilometer on a public road was recorded, calculated after running the car in two directions, at 445.63 km/h. Lastly, it also saw the highest speed achieved on a public road (single direction), measured at 457.94 km/h (284.55 mph)
The Koenigsegg Jesko made its debut in the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. Named after Jesko von Koenigsegg, the father of company Founder and CEO, Christian von Koenigsegg, it inherits the mantle left by the Agera RS as the leading track-focused, road-legal car for those looking for the ultimate in vehicle performance. The Jesko comes with a redesigned 5.0 liter twin-turbo V8 engine with a power output of 1280 bhp (on normal gasoline) or 1600 bhp (on E85 biofuel) and is equipped with a revolutionary 9-speed Koenigsegg Light Speed Transmission. Advanced aerodynamics offer up to 1400 kg of downforce and alongside its active rear-wheel steering, resulting in faster cornering, better maneuverability, improved steering feel, more grip and increased confidence.
At Råda military airfield deep in the forests of Sweden, Koenigsegg set a new 0-400-0 km/h world record when a Koenigsegg Regera completed the run in 31.49 seconds on 23rd September 2019. This was 1.8 seconds faster than Koenigsegg’s previously unbeaten record, set by the Agera RS in 2017. The car was driven by Koenigsegg factory driver Sonny Persson.
The Jesko Absolut was unveiled in 2020 as the fastest Koenigsegg that will ever be made. Its shockingly low drag coefficient of 0.278 Cd, combined with its high-speed stability optimized aero features, daily drive friendly characteristics and luggage space, make the Jesko Absolut a land-based rocket-ship determined to reach unheard-of speeds in record-setting times.
Launched in 2020, the Gemera is the world’s first Mega-GT and Koenigsegg’s first four-seater. Limited to an edition of 300 cars, it is an extreme megacar that meets spacious interior and ultimate environmental consciousness. Equipped with the Tiny Friendly Giant engine (or TFG for short) and the proven Koenigsegg Direct Drive, the Gemera has 1.27 megawatts of power and 3500 Nm of torque. It can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 1.9 seconds and to 400 km/h in record-matching pace.