What’s the best way to get your neck muscles in shape? Jump inside one of the six Koenigsegg One:1s with factory test driver Robert Serwanski at the wheel. That will count as exercise, and possibly stimulate colon health too, as it may evacuate your bowels faster than downing six gallons of Metamucil.
[Full disclosure: Goodwood Road & Racing’s always brilliant Andy Craig was supposed to get this ride, but he got too busy making the Festival of Speed even more awesome. So, he let me take his place. Cheers!]
Bugatti Veyron Super Sports and Hennessey Venoms aside, the Koenigsegg One:1 is the fastest road car in the world. It’s capable of accelerating from zero to 186mph and braking to a full stop again in just under 18 seconds. It’s an Agera R on acid and something else yet unknown to science.
It comes with an extremely light all-carbon body, active aero, titanium parts and a 1,360 horsepower twin-turbo V8 sending everything it’s got to the rear wheels, which sounds like a disaster but works nevertheless because Christian von Koenigsegg is the nicest magician this side of Gandalf the White.
This blue example - one of six made - was already sold to a group of British customers for about $3 million plus change, who were also nice enough to let Koenigsegg use it as a demo car up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Robert Serwanski has been Koenigsegg’s test driver for almost five years now. That means most of the things the One:1 is capable of were perfected on his watch during the countless hours spent developing the car that has 1 megawatt of power hidden behind its license plate. He knows exactly how far it can be pushed on a narrow hill climb course, even with cold tires up front.
I was in for a good ride, sure, but I expected to get maybe 70 percent of the performance in a customer car on a demo run following a Noble M600. Serwanski even said he’s not going to push it, “but that doesn’t mean we are going slowly or anything”. Right.
Ninety percent is what I got, or somewhere in that region. Hard to tell, really, but we were crossing the finish line at the top before I could start to think about it.
Sure, the touchscreen revealed that the washer fluid level is low, so we had a weight advantage on our side, but still. Cars shouldn’t be able to kill distance this effectively.
The One:1’s engine an even more powerful version of the original Koenigsegg V8, and it doesn’t make the best noise inside the cabin. At low speeds, all you really hear is the chain. But then the turbos kick in very soon, and nothing matters anymore.
The One:1 is faster than most cars even when its engine is not at full boost. But in race mode, it usually is, in which case you get unreal acceleration all the way to the limits. It’s very linear, and just keeps going like an honest-to-goodness rocket should. But unlike a rocket, this thing can decelerate just as quickly.
A McLaren 650S can slow down effortlessly from very high speeds indeed all day long. It will also reach said high speeds in what feels like no time at all. But the One:1 is faster than a P1. Way faster in fact.
It’s very much an on-off experience. Once it hooks up those fat Michelins, it’s light speed or an endurance test for the seat belts and your ribs depending on what you want at that given moment.
One can’t overthink driving this, because unless you end up on a tree, you’re very far from that question mark already.
It even comes with a proper handbrake. Now that’s a car!
Photo credit: Máté Petrány/Jalopnik and Robert Stokes for the video thumb.
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