The Koenigsegg Agera R is hand built by craftsmen in Sweden. Every example appears to be a work of art, and reviews tend to say that too. But one former owner says it's the opposite. In fact, he says the Agera R he was buying was "a hunk of shit." Koenigsegg doesn't see it that way.
A bit of controversy erupted in the last 24 hours on the Luxury4Play forums. It started out innocently enough: One user just posted a picture and said he liked the way the Koenigsegg Agera looked.
(UPDATE: That thread is now closed. Koenigsegg shot me an email about it: "we haven't closed the thread, someone else has. People seem to think that we can control the forum since we are sponsor, but that is not the case." Interesting)
I saw the Agera at the top of this post at Pebble Beach last year. It was a customer car sold to BC (real name Ben), a forum member on Luxury4Cars and a guy with a huge stable of cars. "I take my cars everywhere," BC told me. "It's a benefit to them for me to have one." From a publicity standpoint, that makes perfect sense.
When one poster went on to note that five of the very limited collection of cars were for sale, BC jumped in with an interesting post:
By all appearances, BC is a respected and active member of the Luxury4Play community. And as you can see in his signature, he has a ton of pretty amazing supercars. When pushed for details, he refuses to comment. But then Koenigsegg's PR team joins in:
The post, if you might notice, was edited by BC, who is a moderator at Luxury4Play. It appears to just be the bold faced red type that has been added. He told me those were "corrections and his real thoughts." I asked if he thought that hurt his credibility, and he said no.
This is what the post originally said:
BC repeatedly says he won't comment, but then something changes, because he unleashes a tirade on Koenigsegg's promises to him and the build quality of the products. According to BC, they had agreed together to keep the problems quiet and to keep him out of it, but it seems that Koenigsegg's "putting words in [BC's] mouth" was the last straw.
And this is when he drops the biggest (or most quotable) bomb of it all:
That's right. BC says that the Koenigsegg Agera, one of the fastest cars in the world, something handbuilt in a workshop in Sweden, and one of the rarest cars in the world, is a 'hunk of shit.' Quite the opinion of a car most people have been raving about for years. BC did tell me that he's "driven everything" and is "a bit jaded."
BC also forgets his earlier modesty in the thread, because he keeps railing on Christian von Koenigsegg and his company. As he gets into details, BC says he would be the youngest Agera owner and that he ordered the car at Pebble Beach in 2011 with delivery scheduled for the next spring. Like a lot of bespoke supercar deliveries, it got delayed a number of times.
BC isn't totally derogatory towards the car. He does think it looks awesome, but a lot of the details needed work. In my conversation with BC, he said that CvK made promises he couldn't keep and didn't follow up, which left CvK with little credibility to him. "I don't think Christian is a bad guy," BC told me. "He just doesn't know what to do."
In the end, BC never took delivery of the car and Koenigsegg bought it back from him.
I sent an email to Koenigsegg for a statement on the matter. This is their detailed response to BC's experience:
It is a bit unorthodox doing this in public. But given the customers internet presence, regarding the situation, we feel we have to respond openly.
When we accepted this order we had to invest in US homologation and implement ESP and new engine management systems etc. Making the car build more time consuming than normal.
The car had one specification at the beginning of the build. Items and specialization kept on being added throughout the build, pretty much to the last day on the production line. This caused delays and we really tried to please every input and whim from the customer. In the end, hardly charging him anything for all the extras, as we were becoming late with the car…
I guess we should have been clearer, that adding customization adds time to the build of the car.
However, to put it into perspective, it was almost exactly one year from when we received the order to build the car, to when we agreed to return the customers’ deposits with interest, after already having built the car and certified its ESP system etc. Meaning almost all costs taken and the payments returned in one year time period, due to that the customer was not willing to wait any longer
Please consider that usually it take even longer than this to order most standard, run of the mill, supersports cars. Unfortunately, this customers patience, ran out, much sooner than that.
When the car arrived to the Pebble Beach weekend there was paint blemishes on the corner of the front right side of the bonnet.
The paint issue was not there before the car was flown over from Sweden to the US. It would not pass our PDI in that state.
The damage was rectified locally directly after the show at our expense. We also offered the customer to take the car back to Sweden to our paint shop if he wanted us to.
At the show the roof panel got a very small scratch. Possibly from handling it. Fortunately the small scratch was located on a clear lacquered carbon area on the inner edge of the removable hard top. Given this it was hardly visible and simple to correct, directly after the show.
There was nothing else wrong with the paint finish. There are countless of picture of the car on the internet, in detail from the show to testify this.
As correctly stated by the customer, the car was only setup for show and not for driving.
Even though the car was not ready for delivery and the car was not paid in full, we wanted the customer to see and get close to the car, partially due to the delays. This, and because, both we, as the manufacturer and the customer, wanted to show this wonderful car to the public.
Understandably the customer wanted to drive the car and therefore arranged dealer plates. We were not so keen on this happening as the car was not fully ready. This was explained to the customer. This was the only time the customer ever drove a Koenigsegg car.
Given all the new systems for the US, we still needed time implement the correct software, in order to set up the car properly. The software setup was later finalized in Sweden with a Koenigsegg test car and implemented into the US production car when it was ready.
Around three months after the Pebble Beach event we accepted the customers wish to walk away from the purchase. Given that we had other customers waiting for deliveries, this car became a possible option to sell to them. The delays was partially caused by all custom options, but also due to delays in the US homologation procedures.
It is unfortunate, in this case, we have had an unhappy customer. We will for sure do our outmost to avoid it happening again.
We will continue to strive to build the most exciting cars on the planet for our esteemed customers.
Thank you for your interest in this matter.
Koenigsegg Automotive AB