It’s hard to believe, but the very first Koenigsegg, the CC8S, is now 20 years old. Launched in 2002, the CC8S became a darling of Top Gear, and put Christian von Koenigsegg’s rigorously unconventional supercar company on the map. This year, Christian von Koenigsegg turns 50, and to celebrate, he’s launched a new version of the CC8S, packing modern power and a ridiculously complex transmission that can work as a three-pedal manual or a full automatic.
This is the CC850, a modernized version of the car that put Koenigsegg on the map. Beneath that familiar-but-modernized bodywork lies the heart of a Koenigsegg Jesko: a twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8 cranking out 1,185 HP (or 1,385 on E85) and 1,020 lb-ft of torque. When it’s running on E85, the CC850 achieves the same 1:1 power-to-weight ratio as the Koenigsegg One:1, as long as you believe in the metric system: The CC850 weighs 1,385 kg, or just over 3,050 pounds.
Like the Jesko, this Koenigsegg doesn’t have a flywheel, allowing for extremely quick throttle response. Also like the Jesko, the CC850 has a completely unprecedented, hilariously complex, obsessively engineered transmission. Koenigsegg started with its Light Speed Transmission nine-speed, seven-clutch gearbox and added a newly-designed open-gate manual shifter called Engage Shifter System.
The result is a Koenigsegg with a clutch pedal and shifter, that can also shift itself automatically. In manual mode, you drive it like a conventional stick-shift car, rowing the gorgeous Swedish flag-topped shifter through six forward gears. And since it’s a nine-speed transmission, the driver can choose different combinations of gear ratios to shift through manually. In automatic mode, it shifts just like a conventional automatic transmission.
No, I’m not quite sure how von Koenigsegg achieved this, but I’m speaking to the man himself at Monterey Car Week, so hopefully I’ll have more to tell you soon.
The engineering and effort Koenigsegg put into creating a traditional stick-shift experience should tell you something about the goal of the CC850. Simply put, this isn’t a pure numbers car, it’s a pure experience machine. “The CC850 was not created to break Jesko track records or top speeds, but to be up there performance-wise and offer the highest level of driver satisfaction and enjoyment,” Koenigsegg said in a press release. “The CC850's main goal is to be the ultimate driver’s car.”
As part of the celebration of von Koenigsegg’s 50th birthday, only 50 examples of the CC850 will be built. Pricing was not revealed, but if we had to guess, it’ll be mighty expensive.