The Hennessey Venom GT just hit 270 MPH on a runway. The Koenigsegg One:1 thinks that's cute. And that's because it should be able to hit 280 MPH. Oh, and it can go around corners like mad. Welcome to the new king. This is our behind the scenes look at the world's new mega car.
(Full Disclosure: Part of the invitation to visit Koenigsegg's factory included witnessing the final part of the build process of the One:1, their newest challenger to be the fastest car in the world. Christian gave us full access to the car and his staff to learn all about the creation of this beast. And none of this would be possible without GF Williams, who stayed an extra two days at the factory to get more photos of the car as the Koenigsegg team hustled to get it out the door to the Geneva show. The man is a photo genius.)
Koenigsegg's current offerings, the Agera R and Agera S, are not what you'd call tame, boring, cars. They make upwards of 1,000 horsepower and are light weight. In other words, they are a handful. But a few years ago, Christian heard rumors of what was coming from Porsche, Ferrari, and McLaren. He wanted to be prepared with something that could take them on.
He went overboard. The One:1 is one of the most obscene and amazing supercars that will ever exist. This is our exclusive look at everything you need to know.
That was unacceptable. It also uses a new variable geometry turbocharger with something you don't hear everyday: The internals are 3D printed. That helped them achieve the shape they wanted as well as kept the weight down.
While it looks exactly like the monocoque that is in the Agera, the One:1 uses an entirely new weave of carbon fiber that could be up to 40 percent lighter than the weave used in the Agera. In fact, this new generation of carbon fiber is the same that you see on new F1 cars. It's amazing how little everything weighs.
Here's where Koenigsegg is entering uncharted waters. For the first time, the small company out of Angelholm is using active aerodynamics. And, like Koenigsegg is wont to do, it's nothing like the active aero you've seen elsewhere.
On the underside of the front end, cut outs are added to the carbon fiber to weaken it. Then there are hydraulic actuators which are actually used to bend the carbon fiber and direct the air through the body and out through the hood. It is one trick set up. When the car is in top speed mode, the flaps are closed to reduce downforce and make it as slippery as possible.
You might also notice the obscene front splitter and flicks to help produce downforce. The One:1 maintains a lift system to help get over speed bumps, and Christian is adamant that since it has such short overhangs, the clearance isn't impacted.
Along the side, all the panels have been sculpted to help direct airflow. In the doors, the flow to the engine has been improved 40 percent, and they were already gulping down massive doses of oxygen.
Out back is the world's first top mounted movable wing on a road car. The inspiration is taken from Le Mans racers and the goal is to increase the efficiency of the underside of the wing.
Under braking, instead of stalling the wing and removing downforce, the wing folds to increase downforce to the rear which then also increases the ability of the rear brakes. It's a win/win/win.
This is also Koenigsegg's first ever car with a fixed roof. Well, what I mean is that it's bolted in and has a scoop over it, but it can be removed with a little work.
The Weight Savings
Here's where Koenigsegg went batshit nuts. Everything is carbon fiber. I mean everything. The seats, the wheels, the body, the monocoque safety cell, even the sun visors are carbon fiber, which Christian says saved them about 100 grams each. The point is, that might not sound like much, but every little bit counts here.
That's how the One:1 weighs 1,360 kilograms. And that's not dry weight. It's with a half tank of gas and all other fluids full. An amazing achievement.
Here's a great example: When I saw the car, it was running conventional springs in the suspension. But then Christian showed us something: A mold for carbon fiber springs that they had just gotten. The plan is to use those to lose another 3 kg off the weight. We're talking a fanatical, Colin Chapman level of dedication to weight loss.
Koenigsegg has equipped the One:1 with an active suspension with variable ride height. There is a paddle shift seven speed transmission that is ludicrously fast. But the part that amazed me the most was the way this car is being developed for tracks.
See, the One:1 was designed based on customer requests for an insane track car that could also be run on the road. Koenigsegg is doing this by having the suspension, GPS, and a cell phone app all work together. This is a connected car, but in a very different way from a Google car.
See, Koenigsegg will be traveling with the development car to a number of race tracks and setting it up to conquer them. But how they'll be doing it precisely is with GPS. In order to have an optimal setup for each corner, engineers will adjust the car for sections of a track which they will then log into the GPS. When the car reaches those coordinates again, it'll automatically adjust. One:1 also uses the cell phone as kind of a data logger. So instead of staring at a G-meter on track and crashing, it logs the data and sends it to the One:1 app on your phone. That way you have everything after your run.
The One:1 will debut in the flesh on March 3rd at the Geneva Motor Show. Just six cars (plus the development prototype) will be built, and all are sold. The price difference to the Agera is about a 30 percent delta, which makes this one of the most expensive cars in the world.
Before I went to see Koenigsegg myself, I was a skeptic. I thought of them as a kit car company that wouldn't really be able to build something that competes with the big guys. I was more wrong than I've ever been. This is a real automaker, and if the One:1 is as powerful and fast as they say, then it'll also be one of the most disruptive the hyper competitive super car market has ever seen.
Bravo Koenigsegg, I can't wait to see what else is up your Swedish sleeves.
Photo Credits: GF Williams