Koenigsegg Says Top Speed Is Not Top Priority
Despite habitually building cars that produce well over 1,300 horsepower and can theoretically smash past 250 mph with the ease of a Saturn 5 rocket, Koenigsegg CEO Christian von Koenigsegg says top speed isn’t necessarily a priority for the company. He recently explained that customers are far more interested in excitement, drivability and overall performance. Yes, Koenigseggs are brutally fast in a straight line, but von Koenigsegg wants his company to be known for more than largely irrelevant top-speed figures.
“We would like to do such a test, but I have to say it’s not a super-high priority for us,” explained von Koenigsegg in a recent AMA on the company’s website. “It’s nice to be able to say you’ve got the fastest driven road car in the world and we believe that the One:1 could take the current record but for us, it’s a matter of priorities.”
He went on to elaborate on the challenges and logistics of top speed runs. Hypercars like the 2015 Koenigsegg One:1 are now so fast that it’s become a real challenge to find a strip of tarmac long enough to accommodate such a run. Von Koenigsegg estimates that a closed straight at least 10 kilometers long would be needed.
“VW’s Ehra-Lessien test track would be ideal, but they are not likely to allow a Bugatti competitor to use it,” said von Koenigsegg. “So far we have not found any airfield in the world long enough, the longest we found was around 5 km and this is about half the distance needed.”
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It’s also a question of resource allocation. Koenigsegg is a very small company with only a handful of very passionate employees, and von Koenigsegg would rather see them apply their expertise toward improving handling, everyday usability and new technology development, rather than aiming for a top speed that can’t even be attained in the real world. Top speeds grab headlines (even theoretical ones), but for Koenigsegg, they’re a byproduct of the company’s extreme approach to engineering.
“We recently ran the One:1 from 0-300-0 kph in just 17.95 seconds, which is an incredible time,” said von Koenigsegg. “It’s a 0-300 kph time far quicker than any other car. We believe the One:1 can go on to reach in excess of the current 435 kph record, but we think a ‘usable’ record is much more important.”
Why it matters
The recent AMA is more proof that von Koenigsegg is one of the friendliest, most affable CEOs in the industry. While most CEOs delegate such duties to P.R. lackies, it’s not uncommon to see him at auto shows speaking passionately and pantomiming wildly to anyone willing to lend an ear. He’s also a brilliant engineer, who often develops new technology based on his own epiphanies, one of which was the single-speed Direct Drive system being used in the 2016 Koenigsegg Regera.
Anyway, you can read the full AMA on Koenigsegg’s website, in which he discusses, the One:1’s recent lap records, the Nürburging, expanding the company’s model portfolio, nearly purchasing Saab, Koenigseggs in video games and even sharing plane rides with car enthusiasts. This was the first of several AMAs with Christian, so stay tuned for more.
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Source: Koenigsegg AMA