Sweden is a country blessed, and built, with world-class engineering. The country’s fighter jets have always been at the forefront of technological development. Sweden’s transport industry has long been synonymous with exceptional quality and safety, whether it be trucks, busses, passenger vehicles or even the many small, specialist engineering companies working with the tuning and building of world-class rally cars.
It was against this backdrop that a young Christian von Koenigsegg followed a dream and launched his own car company in 1994. His sole mission: to create the perfect Supercar.
Of course, this was at a time where the Supercar was considered to be somewhat of a dinosaur, a temperamental relic from a bygone era. The world was at the end of a recession that had hit the sports car industry hard.
To Christian, however, it was a calling. He cared little about the state of the global economy or the obstacle that it might represent in the minds of others. He was busy fulfilling a dream.
After the Chip Player and Click disappointments, and amidst the general boredom of running his import/export company,
More on this in the story of Christian von Koenigsegg
Christian decided that instead of chasing after the perfect business idea, he would follow his heart. He would build his dream car. Christian understood that it was virtually impossible and that many had failed before him. But to him, it was a mission – to create the perfect car with no compromises, no limits, and no fear of failure.
In 1994, at the age of just 22, Christian launched the Koenigsegg car company and set about creating what he believed to be the ultimate car, one for which no technical solution was deemed too difficult.
Today, Koenigsegg has a full R&D department with state-of-the-art equipment to call upon. In those early days, however, Christian had to make do with self-belief, imagination and determination in order to create the first working prototype. Christian sketched the initial technical layout of the car himself and together with a small team working for meager wages, hand-modeled all components for the vehicle. The prototype was completed in 1996 – just two years after the project began.
The Koenigsegg CC prototype boasted a unique carbon body with a detachable roof. Despite very limited resources, the chassis, suspension, brakes, wishbones uprights and many other items were all custom designed for the car by Christian and his small team. The car was completely original and received a lot of attention as a result. Today, 18 years after it was first built, the car still drives perfectly!
Christian took the Koenigsegg CC prototype to the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 in order to assess interest in the vehicle concept. The reaction to the car was overwhelming and the first international contacts were established. Christian felt reassured as he pushed towards commercial production.
Thanks to Christian’s unique drive and vision, both his cars and company continue to move at record speed. In a relatively short period of time, Christian and his team have become experts in their field, challenging a decades-old supercar establishment.
Rather like his cars, Christian’s company moved at a record pace. In 2002, Koenigsegg began series production of the CC8S model, a car that was fully homologated and crash tested for the European market. Amazingly for a startup company, Guinness gave the CC8S the title – The world’s most powerful production car ever, and Jeremy Clarkson – Mr. Top Gear – named the CC8S his favorite supercar in fierce competition. It proved to the world, that, indeed, it is possible for a passionate, dedicated young man to rival the old, established supercar brands.
In 2005, the Koenigsegg CCR became the fastest production car in the world, beating the nine-year-old Guinness World Record set by the McLaren F1. In 2006, the Koenigsegg CCX took the Top Gear lap record with a time that wasn’t beaten for over two years.
The Koenigsegg CCXR was the first ‘green’ Hypercar in the world, designed and calibrated to run on E85 and E100 biofuel, as well as normal gasoline. This was truly ground breaking at the time as the sportscar industry did not at all focus on the “green” aspect.
Today, Koenigsegg keeps on setting new records – see records – and employs around 300 full-time staff, plus consultants. Everyone works under Christian’s direct guidance. Each and every Koenigsegg is created and meticulously assembled by a tight-knit group of automotive artisans to the highest possible standards, under Christian’s watchful eye.
The philosophy at Koenigsegg is one focused solely on performance.
Every single detail of a Koenigsegg car is measured against our continuing goal: to enhance vehicle performance. This is reflected in everything we do. Nothing is insignificant. The way we choose our raw materials, our staff, the setup of our facilities, our software, tools, systems and maintenance. Everything. Every aspect of the development process is focused on performance, not only in terms of power and speed, but in every deliverable. From powertrain to safety – every part must enable the car to deliver the best possible performance.
Our six-layer paint procedure makes the car’s finish more durable in the harsh conditions that cars are subject to at 400 km/h. Even the beautiful form of a Koenigsegg has a purpose. Our cars are wind tunnel tested during development and whilst a Koenigsegg is beautiful to the eye, the exterior design also serves a higher purpose, being the most streamlined design available that will accommodate the powertrain, comfort and performance requirements that customers demand of a Koenigsegg car.
We like to think that a Koenigsegg is sculpted by aerodynamic efficiency.
When you build a car as powerful as a Koenigsegg, you must remain mindful of the safety of your customers and their surroundings. Given this, we take every measure possible to ensure that customers feel confident in their vehicle whenever they take the wheel. A Koenigsegg is lightweight and balanced, making it both agile and predictable.
Of course, the cars are also equipped with all the modern passive and active safety features that one would expect. Furthermore, we subject all Koenigsegg models to rigorous crash testing to ensure they meet or exceed world standards. In fact, our cars have been subjected to 18 different crash tests during their development and still counting. Yes, it hurts us to crash test our cars, but as per our philosophy at Koenigsegg, there are no shortcuts.
Everything from the careful lay up of pre-preg carbon fiber to the interior of a Koenigsegg is meticulously hand crafted. Given our customers’ ability to influence the creative process during the specification of their car, every car eventually becomes a unique work of art built to the highest standards and to our customers wishes.
Only the finest materials are selected and hand-finished by skilled artisans. Our highly trained staff scrutinize every detail to ensure that we continue to meet the most extreme quality standards, again keeping the Koenigsegg philosophy intact.
The fruit of this philosophy, this painstaking attention to detail, is a meticulously crafted and prepared car with extreme performance. At Koenigsegg, we always strive for the best performance and the highest standards in the world. We strive for this because we know our customers expect only the best from a Koenigsegg and we truly stand by our product.
This is our tradition and commitment, that has made the company we are today. The Koenigsegg way. The Spirit of Performance.
Koenigsegg moved to its present location and headquarters in Ängelholm, Sweden, in 2003. The building had previously been home to the Swedish Air Force and once housed JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets.
Now refurbished to suit Koenigsegg’s requirements, these facilities provide the perfect infrastructure for building high-tech Hypercars. There is ample room for the composite workshop, engine development and testing, a pre- and final assembly hall, a paint shop, research and development facilities, as well as vehicle and parts storage.
It is here, in this state-of-the-art facility in southern Sweden, that Koenigsegg creates a handful of bespoken Hypercars every year.
Koenigsegg relocated to its present location and headquarters after a fire in the company’s original premises in 2003. The 4000sqm facility was once home to the Swedish Air Force’s Fighter Jet Squadron No. 1 before the squadron was retired from service. The squadron’s insignia, a flying ghost, now adorns the engine bay of all Koenigsegg cars built here as a tribute to the Squadron.
Along with the buildings came a 1.7km runway, which has turned out to be perfect for high-speed testing of the cars. As the runway is 50 meters wide it can also easily be converted into a “race track” formation. Many Koenigsegg customers have enjoyed the possibility of landing their private jet on the runway just outside the doors of the factory. There is also a helipad in front of the main entrance for those who wish to travel by helicopter.
Each and every Koenigsegg has a premium price, but then each and every Koenigsegg has been painstakingly built by a select group of automotive artisans to the highest possible standards.
At Koenigsegg, we are able to fabricate intricate, hand-made metal and carbon fiber components in our own hi-tech production facilities. We also source specialist components from a network of dedicated suppliers and partners – most of which are based in Sweden.
Many of these suppliers are small companies and craftsmen that produce low volumes of incredibly high quality components. The manufacture and assembly of components used in a Koenigsegg are both incredibly labor intensive processes – there are more than 300 hand-formed carbonfibre parts alone in each car, for example – and the materials are extremely costly, without exception.
Christian and Koenigsegg Automotive AB have introduced and patented several new technologies over the years. Among them are the ”rocket” catalytic converter, the supercharger response system and a variable geometry turbo system, to name but a few. Furthermore, several unique ways of using carbon fiber have been developed in-house, methods that make the car lighter, stronger and safer.
The Koenigsegg philosophy does not tolerate compromise. Rather, we work with innovation in order to avoid compromise completely. Nothing is impossible. This open-mindedness and dedication are what define Koenigsegg and its cars.