Christian von Koenigsegg chased the dream of designing and building his own car, and after just a couple years of work with a small team, the Koenigsegg CC prototype showed up at a track meet. The car was received immediate attention, despite some minor flaws from an excessively quick built. That car was eventually modified to sport the first set of Koenigsegg’s dihedral doors and was even driven on a regular basis. What’s more important, however, is rolling start that prototype gave Koenigsegg in the supercar world – eventually leading to the brand’s first ever production car, the Koenigsegg CC8S.

The CC8S pre-production model made its debut at the Paris Auto Show in 2000, where Koenigsegg took its very first orders for the new supercar. The car went into production in 2002 and was produced in just six examples, with two of them being right-hand drive. It was based on the CC prototype, only this time, production wasn’t rushed, and the car was perfect in comparison. Naturally, it sported the dihedral doors that were integrated into the CC prototype, and also had the detachable, carbon roof that could fit inside the car’s luggage area.

Despite being produced in just six examples, the CC8S won multiple awards, including the Guinness World Record for most powerful production engine as well as awards for its overall design from publications in Germany and Sweden. Jeremy Clarkston, whom you should remember from years of co-hosting BBC’s Top Gear, even named called the CC8S his “favorite supercar of 2004” when comparing it to competitive models from brands like Pagani and Ferrari – now that says a lot about a car produced by a small company that was on a legendary come up.

By this time, it was clear that Koenigsegg had made its mark on the supercar market, and that mark has only gotten bigger over the years. As much as we love to talk about cars like the Koenigsegg One:1 or the Koenigsegg Agera, let’s do something different at look back at Koenigsegg’s first production model.

  • 2002 Koenigsegg CC8S
  • Year:
    2002
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    240 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2002 Koenigsegg CC8S High Resolution Exterior
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2002 Koenigsegg CC8S High Resolution Exterior
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2002 Koenigsegg CC8S High Resolution Exterior
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In comparison to the CC Prototype, the CC8S was more refined in some areas, more aggressive in others, but ultimately perfected. Up front, the headlights were teardrop shaped and integrated into the fenders to provide better aerodynamics. The front hood was quite similar to the prototype, with a smooth finished that was recessed compared to the fenders. Down below the fascia featured a small, rectangular air dam and two rectangular air vents to each side below the headlights. There was also a new vent installed on either side of the fascia, just in front of the wheel wells.

To the sides, the body of the CC8S is quite similar to the CC prototype, with a few mild differences.

To the sides, the body of the CC8S is quite similar to the CC prototype, with a few mild differences. First, the wheels were more aggressive in their design. The original wheels had eight small holes, while the wheels on the CC8S feature five large holes that gives the car a much better look and helps with heat distribution from the braking system. Moving farther back, the waistline gets high as you move toward the back as it slightly rakes upward. Down below, the lower, rear corner of the door and the sides skirts are recessed into the body and eventually lead into the massive air intakes in the rear quarters. This is the same general design we saw on the CC prototype, but on the CC8S, the intake area in the body is a little bit larger, and the hole for the intake is much larger than on the prototype. This is to accommodate for additional air flow needed from that modular V-8 that is hidden under the rear hood (more about that later.)

Moving to the rear, we see more significant changes that made the CC8S so great. Even though the rear quarters rake upward on the sides, the top of the rear quarters rake downward at the very rear, leading to a tri-cluster of taillights on either corner. The rear pods that back the seats and cover the engine extend further toward the rear with a Koenigsegg badge right in the middle – this was a huge aerodynamic change compared to the CC prototype.

A small spoiler hovers between the rear quarters.

A small spoiler hovers between the rear quarters. Below the spoiler is a huge carbon fiber insert with a mounting place for a license plate right in the middle. Looking at the fascia, it is relatively smooth compared to current day standards, with a reflector on each corner that includes an integrated reverse light. A large exhaust outlet is positioned in the middle of the fascia with a large cutout on either side. These cutouts provide for better air flow and heat distribution from the exhaust and engine.

All told, the CC8S was more aerodynamic and aesthetically pleasing compared to the CC Prototype. It paved the way for the Koenigsegg models we enjoy today. Some might even argue that the CC8S set the bar for a what a supercar was supposed to be and, with only six examples built, it is also one of the rarest vehicles from Koenigsegg.

Interior

2002 Koenigsegg CC8S Interior
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On the inside, the CC8S was much more stylish than the CC prototype. The cockpit featured a wraparound dash with a circular instrument cluster that seemed to protrude from the dash. It featured a long digital readout below the tachometer and had backlit numbers that lit up depending on which gear the car was in. 1,2, and 3 was displayed on the left side of the instrument cluster, and 4, 5, and 6 was displayed on the right side of the instrument cluster. The steering column separated the two sets of numbers. A large center stack was integrated into the dash, and sat about an inch higher on top, protruding more and more as it makes its connection to the center console.

It was an exceptionally nice design for the time and was also quite comfortable to drive as well.

A retractable display screen was integrated into the center stack, and could be operated in open or closed mode. The center console itself wasn’t wide at all and featured nothing but the chrome gear shifter and a recessed hand brake.

The carbon fiber body carried over into the inside with the sides of the interior sitting parallel with the driver and passenger seat. The seats were also made from carbon fiber. As seen in the image here, the seats were finished in gloss black with gray, perforated inserts in the center for comfort and support during extreme maneuvers. The dash, center console, and door inserts were finished in the same gray color, while the center stack, outer edges of the dash, steering wheel, and upper portions of the door panels were finished in black. It was an exceptionally nice design for the time and was also quite comfortable to drive as well.

Drivetrain

2002 Koenigsegg CC8S High Resolution Drivetrain
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2002 Koenigsegg CC8S High Resolution Drivetrain
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2002 Koenigsegg CC8S High Resolution Drivetrain
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The Koenigsegg CC8S was powered by an engine that was based on Ford’s Modular V-8, but the engine was essentially built in-house, because almost the entire thing had to be reengineered. To help bring the engine up to Koenigsegg standards, dry sump lubrication was integrated, as well as forged connecting rods and pistons. Due to the addition of a centrifugal supercharger, larger injectors, ram air intake, a large intercooler and merged exhaust headers rounded out the package.

The engine itself was built out of cast aluminum and featured a double overhead camshaft layout with four valves per cylinder.

The engine itself was built out of cast aluminum and featured a double overhead camshaft layout with four valves per cylinder. The camshaft covers were made of carbon fiber. The engine what on a compression ratio of 8.6:1 and tipped the scale at almost 463 pounds. The engine had sequential, multipoint fuel injection and the supercharger ran on 1.2 bar of boost pressure. Also, there was no ignition distributor here – the ignition system was a transistorized coil-over-plug system. All told, the engine ran on 98 octane fuel and produced 655 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. Maximum engine speed came in at 7,250 rpm.

All that power was supported by the semi-monocoque chassis that was made of preimpregnated carbon fiber that had honeycomb reinforcement for additional stiffness. The front and rear suspension system were of the double wishbone design with adjustable Öhlins Racing shock absorbers. There were front and rear anti-roll bars, and the ride high was electronically adjustable. Up front, six-piston calipers squeeze brake pads against 13.38-inch rotors that were 32 mm wide. In the rear, there were four-piston calipers that pushed pads against 12.40-inch rotors. Koenigsegg’s advanced brake control system controlled brakes in the front and rear.

The engine ran on 98 octane fuel and produced 655 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque.

When new, the car rode on Koenigsegg’s magnesium alloy wheels that were center locking. There were 18-inch rollers up front and 20-inch rollers in the rear. Also, the front wheels were 9-inches wide, while the rears were 12.5-inches wide for better traction. The wheels were wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires that measured 255/40ZR in the front and 335/30ZR in the rear.

All told, Koenigsegg claimed the CC8S could hit the 60 mph sprint in 3.3 seconds and hit the quarter mile in 10 seconds flat. The car managed to achieve just 12.9 mpg combined with a top speed of 242 mph. Not too bad for a supercar in 2002, right?

Pricing

2002 Koenigsegg CC8S High Resolution Exterior
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Trying to put a current price on the CC8S right now is nearly impossible as there aren’t exactly any of the six for sale at the moment. When new, the car started out at £366,596 which computed to about $586,553 back in 2002. If a CC8S were to go up for auction in today’s market, I would expect it to fetch at least a cool million, depending on the venue and condition of the car.

Competition

Ferrari Enzo

2003 - 2004 Ferrari Enzo High Resolution Exterior
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Naturally, we couldn’t talk about the CC8S without comparing it to something from Ferrari at the time. In 2003, there was the Ferrari Enzo, and it was a prime competitor of the CC8S. The car was priced at nearly $660,000 and featured a 6.0-liter V-12 that produced 660 horsepower and 485 pound-feet of torque. That was enough power to push the Enzo to 60 mph in just 3.14 seconds. That was a little bit faster than the CC8s, but the CC8S won the quarter-mile run every time, as the Enzo took 11 seconds to make the pass. Furthermore, the CC8S could outrun the Enzo in top speed as well, with the Enzo maxing out at 217 mph. For what it is worth, 400 Enzo’s were built, and the last one was recently auctioned in 2015 in Monterey for a record $6.05 million.

Read our full review of the 2003 - 2004 Ferrari Enzo here.

B Engineering Edonis

Edonis-true supercar
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2006edonis

The B Engineering Edonis debuted in 2001 and was based on the Bugatti EB110 Super Sport. Despite being based on the EB110, the car was completely reengineered, with the 3.5-liter Bugatti engine also being upgraded in the process. The 3.5-liter engine was reworked to 3.7-liters bringing the output up to 670 horsepower and 542 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, to save weight, the four-wheel-drive, triple differential drivetrain was actually replaced by a rear-wheel-drive transmission. B Engineering originally planned to build just 21 examples, but it is unknown whether that goal was ever reached. According to the brand, the Edonis could hit the 62 mph sprint in 3.9 seconds on the way to a top speed of 227 mph. Despite the fact that it was slower than the CC8S, sources indicate it was priced at €760.000, which would equal about $860,517 at Euro-to-USD exchange rates in 2002.

Read our full review of the B Engineering Edonis here.

Conclusion

2002 Koenigsegg CC8S High Resolution Exterior
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Every now and then it is fun to look back at great cars from the past, but looking back at the CC8S, we are reminded of how a single person with passion and drive can quite literally change the world. In this case, Christian von Koenigsegg changed the supercar market forever when he built the CC Prototype, and when the perfected CC8S came to life in 2002, the bar was officially raised. Who knows if brands like Ferrari or Lamborghini will ever admit it, but the CC8S probably made all supercar manufacturers push themselves to produce better and faster cars. Even if they don’t admit it, the CC8S won enough awards and had enough good reviews to permanently mark its place in history – not to mention it helped pave the way for models like the Koenigsegg CCR, Koenigsegg CCGT, and every other model Koenigsegg has brought us in the last 14 years. That’s something that you can’t not appreciate, regardless of where your loyalty lies.

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