The Man Behind Koenigsegg Explains Why The Handbrake Is Dying

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Traditional handbrakes are disappearing from cars even faster than manual transmissions, and since all upcoming Koenigseggs will come with electronic parking brakes as well, I asked Christian von Koeningsegg why we won’t be doing handbrake turns in the future.

This question dates back to the time when we were hooning an Audi Q5 Hybrid in the world’s best winter test track in Lapland. With its unbeatable traction control, it wasn’t the best car for the job, and both ace handling driver Petri Paananen and I agreed that the E-brake is plain unsafe in case you have a master brake failure on the road. Because loud beeping isn’t always enough to save the day.


A few month later, after learning that Koenigsegg is ditching the cable as well, ace test driver Robert Serwanski told me in the One:1 that it isn’t really a safety matter because people wouldn’t remember to use that stick as a backup slowing device anyway. Those days are just gone.


We here at Jalopnik love a good Q&A session, and Koenigsegg went down the same route by letting anybody ask a question from Christian himself on their own website. It’s well worth scrolling through! Part 1 is about the past with Saab and the future in terms on numbers. Part 2 reveals how one becomes Christian von Koenigsegg. Part 3 explains why Koenigsegg isn’t Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. You can read my question in Part 4. Or here:

The One:1 has a traditional handbrake but for the Regera – and I’m guessing all future Koenigseggs – you’re switching to an E-brake like most major manufacturers. What’s the benefit of that in your opinion? I’m asking because the functionality is hardly the same, and I’m trying to figure out why are we losing proper handbrakes almost as quickly as manual transmissions.

CvK: The main reason for getting rid of the manual handbrake is packaging in the interior. We have limited space inside the car and the E-brake gives us more flexibility, which is important when you have a battery pack to consider and you want to offer a more luxurious interior. With a mechanical handbrake you have cables going from the interior, they have to be routed around the engine and to the wheels. It’s a very hot area so you have to make space, have appropriate insulation, etc. It’s cumbersome and it’s in the way.

We’re going to do what Tesla has done, which I haven’t seen anyone else do as yet: we won’t even have a handbrake switch in the car. When you stop the car and put it in park, the handbrake will be on. You won’t forget it and you won’t forget to release it when you drive off again. It’s a better, safer way that works for our vehicle packaging and it’s not annoying the way other e-brakes with fiddly switches can be.

OK, you can’t do handbrake turns anymore but that’s not going to be much of an issue. The owner can just floor it instead and powerslide through the corner :). Or maybe we could develop a button for handbrake turns?


Ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. Just start sending those emails. It’s!


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