Hypercars are the highest echelon of motoring. What you don't realize is that this is also one of the most competitive arenas not only in cars, but in the entire world. And the team behind /DRIVE wants you to experience the competition in the first 4K big screen documentary: Apex: The Story Of The Hypercar.
(Full Disclosure: Remember that trip to Koenigsegg? Well, this is the real reason. JF and the team from /DRIVE are making a movie. An honest to goodness movie. I went along to check out what they're filming. JF even got me a hotel room. What a nice chap.)
There aren't many mysteries left in the automotive world, but the top tier supercars are one of those mysteries. Who buys them? What inspires them? How do the brands differentiate themselves and gain marketshare in what has to be the most competitive business in the world?
Can you think of another ultra premium segment that is stacked with as many players as this? Especially players that come from such different backgrounds as those in the hypercar game? You have Ferrari and Porsche, two of the most legendary brands in or out of the automotive space. You have McLaren, a company that's only built a handful of roadcars in the last 50 years, and all of which have been spectacular.
Then, and this is unique to the hypercar space, you have two companies in Koenigsegg and Pagani that are plucky startups that are transformational in how the industry acts and behaves.
That's especially true for the Koenigsegg One:1, and it's part of why the movie uses them as the backdrop for the hypercar. "In Koenigsegg's case, the cars they build are a perfect excuse, an enabler, for spending big bucks in research and development for things like freevalve and carbon fiber process engineering," JF Musial told us.
But why make this movie?
"Everyone knows where this industry is going; finding the balance of performance and energy conservation," JF said. "These hypercars presented by the top tier manufacturers and boutique outfits are presenting radically different solutions; it'd be a crime not to document it all."
"The sad reality is, these manufacturers have their heads down, working double duty, defining the cars of the future. Yet, at the same time, sometimes failing at communicating their stories; that's why we're doing this."
And Koenigsegg is the perfect backdrop to convey this story of just how a hypercar goes from idea to concept to reality. Just like on /INSIDE KOENIGSEGG, the video team was given all access and more to the development process of the One:1 and everything else within the factory.
Our arrival at Koenigsegg is greeted by an ebullient Christian von Koenigsegg. You'd think that he'd be stern and too busy to spend time with us, but the opposite is true. He showed me a seat of the One:1, and then for the next hour and a half took me through every single detail on his new baby, as well as the entire factory.
It's a natural conversation, it's not a planned interview. He doesn't give off an air of superiority or condescension. He wants to share his passion and excitement. And unbeknownst to me for much of it, this enthusiasm and verve was caught on film. The best way to learn about the nuances of the hypercar is to have the man behind it explain every minute detail to you.
He hands me wheels to hold, seats to examine, explains every nuance of the active aero, shows how the doors are built, tells us how he got interested in cars and even shows us Koenigsegg's "skunkworks." His enthusiasm is infectious and his excitement is obviously genuine. It's great to see him in his element like this, showing off his pride and joy.
It's the sort of access that other manufacturers wouldn't dare give anybody. But Koenigsegg wants people to see the amazing work that goes on behind the scenes in their bustling factory. It's an amazing achievement.
But this film isn't only about Koenigsegg. It's the way the hypercar milieu is interpreted across multiple manufacturers. That means the team has access to not just Koenigsegg, but will also be inside factories and telling the stories behind McLaren, Porsche, Pagani, and maybe even more.
The idea of what makes the ideal hypercar is so different depending on who has the vision. For some, the seamless interaction of technologies are what distinguish it. Others go for lightweight and big power. And others feel that artful craftsmanship and detail are what define the hypercar.
In reality, the hypercar is whatever you want it to be. There is no strict definition. And the aim of this film, the first documentary to be shot entirely in the new ultra high resolution 4K standard, is to present those differences and show just how much competition there is in such a small marketplace. This is a market that normally sells a few hundred, if not fewer, cars each year.
And in 2014, the marketplace is flooded with choice for ultra rich consumers. Each have a different ethos and style. It's an unbelievably exciting time to be in the hypercar business, and the guys from /DRIVE are taking us behind the scenes like only they can.
Get ready to see them on the big screen in Apex: The Story Of The Hypercar at the beginning of 2015. We. Can't. Wait.