The 2020 Tesla Roadster is a Real Kick in the Ass for Koenigsegg
The Gauntlet has be thrown down, and it’s on!by Kirby, on
Koenigsegg has admitted to being bowled over by Tesla’s performance claims for its new Roadster to the point that company engineers went straight to work after realizing that the Roadster’s performance times were indeed possible. Speaking with Top Gear, Koenigsegg chief Christian von Koenigsegg admitted that Tesla had thrown the gauntlet, and it was up to his company to respond. In typical bravado fashion, Koenigsegg is embracing the challenge with plans that could set up an industry-altering showdown with Tesla.
As the creator of the fastest production car in the world, it’s hard to fathom Koenigsegg getting rattled over anything to do with speed and acceleration. And yet, Tesla did it. Actually, Tesla did it to the point of humbling Koenigsegg and forcing the automaker to get back to work. That’s a serious gauntlet thrown in the direction of the Swedish automaker, something that Christian von Koenigsegg readily admitted to Top Gear.
“We kind of had our future mapped out, and then we heard about the new Tesla Roadster and its insane acceleration numbers, and we thought ‘damn that’s put the gauntlet down,’” von Koenigsegg said.
“We thought, ‘this is not OK.’ We wondered whether it was possible, and yeah, it’s possible. Then we thought, ‘OK how do we deal with it? This is embarrassing.’”
The threat of getting shamed on a drag strip forced von Koenigsegg to wrangle his engineers with a clear mandate: respond. It didn’t take long — two days, according to the Koenigsegg CEO — for the automaker to think of a few possibilities that would answer Tesla’s claims. “The simplest way of putting it is like this: it’s combining direct drive, with the hybridization we have in a different format with free-valve engine technology, in a peculiar layout,” von Koenigsegg said.
He didn’t dive into the nitty-gritty details, but he did throw out numbers that are seemingly incomprehensible in their own right. “We’re talking 0-250mph in 14 seconds, or something like this. It’s like, black marks all the way up to 250mph (400kmh).”
Given the stakes involved, it’s not surprising that von Koenigsegg is keeping details close to his chest at the moment. The only thing he divulged, beyond the number estimates, was the potential for the company’s engines to do more than what it’s been used for. “What we see with our engines, we’ve noticed that we’re just scratching the surface of what we can achieve,” he said.
“Here’s an example: if we ignore fuel consumption for a moment… we have a fairly high compression ratio for our turbo V8 – 9.5 to 1 with 1.6 bar of boost. If we drop that to 8.8 to 1, we could boost to 2.2 bar, which is another 600bhp just like that, without putting more stress on your engine because your peak pressure doesn’t go up. And it would only consume about five percent more fuel.”
You don’t need to be a genius to figure out that Tesla sent a haymaker straight to the temple of Koenigsegg.
It may have knocked the Swedish automaker down, but it has since gotten up and is preparing to respond in kind.
Perhaps a one-two-three-straight-left hook-uppercut combo? Whatever it is, one thing’s for sure. This fight is far from over.
Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.
Read more Tesla news.