Koenigsegg’s New Speed Record Doesn’t Mean Squat
Hurray for outstanding specs we can’t enjoy!by Pops, on
I wasn’t planning to blab about cars again anytime soon, but something amazing happened this weekend: someone actually smashed Bugatti’s world speed record for production cars after a whopping seven years. If you’ve been living under a rock, a Koenigsegg Agera RS averaged 277.9 mph on a two-way run on a highway in Nevada, beating the record set by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in 2010 by 10 mph. An impressive display by the Swedish automaker, achieved with a production model that was actually borrowed from a customer. The record has yet to be confirmed by Guinness World Records as of this writing, but whether it qualifies or not, the Agera RS’s run will remain an important page in high-performance automotive history. However, I still think that all this ludicrous speed stuff for production cars is absolute nonsense.
Before I move any further, I want to make it clear that I’m not questioning Koenigsegg’s big achievement. I’ve already seen all sorts of comments questioning whether the record was set using a stock car with stock parts and a production setup. Those are made by morons. First, Koenigsegg isn’t the type of company that would risk damaging its relationship with its customers by lying to the extent that most automakers do when setting records, especially track records at the Nurburgring. Second, I don’t think it’s a record that the Swedish firm was actually dying to own. It just happened, and it didn’t make a big fuss about it. And, it was very entitled to make a big fuss given that the Agera RS hit a top speed of 284 mph. That’s just a hair away from the magic 300-mph mark. But I digress...
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The Top Speed You’ll Never get to Experience
It's cool to have it on a piece of paper or as a YouTube video to wank to, but it's not something a customer will achieve
So why do I think this record means squat? Well, it’s simply not a feature that defines a production car. It’s cool to have it on a piece of paper or as a YouTube video to wank to, but it’s not something a customer will achieve. There’s no way you can hit that top speed on a public road, and even if you find a traffic-free road, it’s illegal. Not to mention dangerous, because every little bump may cause you to lose control at high speeds. Other hazards, including wild animals, could put your life at risk too.
Now I know what you’re thinking, you could take the Agera RS to ludicrous high speeds on a race track. Well, you can’t actually. There aren’t any race tracks with a long enough strip to allow you to go well past the 200-mph mark. If you watch Koenigsegg’s video, you’ll notice that it took the driver around seven miles to hit maximum speed. It can probably be done faster since he wasn’t in a hurry to accelerate to 150 mph, but it would still need almost six miles to get there.
Much like the Bugatti Veyron and the Chiron, the Agera RS comes with a top speed that's useless in the real world
And, once you get there, you also need to brake, so it’s safe to assume you need a couple more miles to get to a safe speed. This basically means that you need a track with a straight run of around eight miles, which is impossible to find on any permanent race track nowadays. The Nardo Ring, where Koenigsegg set a record with the CCR many years back would be an option, but the oval track isn’t opened for public days.
So, much like the Bugatti Veyron and the Chiron, the Agera RS comes with a top speed that’s useless in the real world. Much like all those cars that set fast laps at the Nurburgring. You’ll never get to lap the Nordschleife as quick as Lamborghini did with the Huracan Performante. You don’t have the skill, and you’ll never have the track to yourself. And, assuming that a carmaker used some tricks to score its awesome lap, like Nissan did with the GT-R Nismo, you won’t be able to do it as quick no matter how good you are. Sure, you can brag in front of your friends and at the local sports car meeting, but this is where it ends.
You might as well buy a Jaguar XF and argue that that the British firm had the fastest car in the world back in 1949. Because it did, and it’s worth as much as having a spec sheet with a top speed you’ll never be able to experience.
Read our full review on the 2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS.
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