Thor’s Hammer, an Aristocrat in a World of Supercars, I’ve heard numerous names given to the Koenigsegg. While some may stumble over the pronunciation, none have doubts that this is one of the great legends of Supercars. It was all started by a man with the name of Christian Von Koenigsegg. Koenigsegg was born in Sweden to a family of German ancestry. He had a vision of creating the perfect Supercar and at the age of 22, Christian launched the Koenigsegg car company.
Koenigsegg Automotive AB have been selling cars for nearly 11 years now and yet many car enthusiasts aren’t familiar with the car. It’s amazing how many people know what a Bugatti Veyron is, but it’s rare that I come across someone who knows what a Koenigsegg is. If you’re one of the few that happens to know what a Koenigsegg is, chances are you’re either watching BBC Top Gear or you play video games such as Forza and Need for Speed. Until last month, I hadn’t met anyone who had even seen a Koenigsegg in person!
When I heard that the first Koenigsegg was coming to Southern California, I knew I absolutely had to see it with my own eyes. The CCX made an appearance at a local Cars & Coffee event and I can say that photos and videos just don’t do this car justice.
In 2002, Koenigsegg began production of their first model, CC8S, which was fully tested for the European market. Koenigsegg only produced six CC8S, which makes it one of the rarest Koenigsegg models to date.
In 2004, the CCR was created, which only met regional safety and emissions tests. 14 examples of the CCR were produced. The CCR made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest production car, the first to beat an 8-year-old record set by the McLaren F1. It also reportedly holds the record for the fastest speeding ticket in the US, as reported by Top Gear. Flashing through a 75 mph zone at a whooping 242 mph during the San Francisco to Miami Gumball 3000 Rally in May 2003, or so the story goes (whether or not this is true is up for debate).
In 2006, the third generation CCX was designed and engineered to meet global safety regulations. The “X” represented the Roman numeral and commemorated the 10th anniversary of the first test drive of the CC in 1996. Many changes were made between the CCR and CCX in order for it to be sold in the United States. Only 14 CCX’s were ever produced.
Ford engines powered previous Koenigsegg models. The CCX was the first to be powered by a twin supercharged V8 developed by Koenigsegg. This new motor was designed to run on 91 octane in order to meet California emission standards. Even with the strict emissions standards, the motor still manages to output 806 Bhp at 7000 rpm! While staring at the engine compartment, one can’t help but notice the incredible amount of carbon-fiber everywhere! Everything from the intake manifold to valve covers are made of carbon-fiber.
The Koenigsegg badge was designed in 1994, based on the shield of the Koenigsegg family. In the 12th Century, a family member was knighted by the German-based Holy Roman Empire and the shield had remained in the family coat-of-arms since then.
The badge can be found on numerous places throughout the vehicle, even on the clutch, brake and gas pedal.
With attention to the smallest detail, even the ignition key is a work of art in and of itself.
Made of heavy metal and designed after the Koenigsegg badge, the key is placed in a recessed area in the center console once inside the car.
The chassis of the CCX is made from carbon-fiber reinforced with Kevlar. The entire underbody is flat with venturi tunnels. It’s hard not to notice the large carbon-fiber front air splitter and rear diffusers. This particular CCX features an optional carbon-fiber wing to provide additional downforce at high speeds. Even the seats are made from carbon-fiber, specially designed by Sparco. The carbon-fiber roof is removable and can easily store in the front luggage compartment. If you look carefully between the roll over bars, you will notice 10 tiny fins, more commonly known as vortex generators. These fins help direct airflow down into the engine.
Many Supercars today use butterfly doors, scissor doors or gull-wing doors. A signature of the Koenigsegg is the “Dihedral Synchrohelix” actuation doors. This design allows for access without the need for extra side room.
In 2007, BBC Top Gear had The Stig attempt to set a lap record in the CCX. However, the CCX proved to be too much to handle and was the first car to send The Stig off track! He was able to redeem himself by having a “Top Gear Wing” installed and set a lap record of 1 min 17.6 seconds, nearly a full second faster than the Pagani Zonda F. On the show, the CCX make was intentionally spelled, “Koenigseggisseggggnignigsegigisegggg” as the three hosts claimed they couldn’t spell Koenigsegg correctly.
With its phenomenal speeds and carbon-fiber design, you may not have let the thought of it shooting flames enter your mind. There are plenty of videos of Aventadors, Twin Turbo Gallardos, GTR’s and supercharged NSX’s shooting flames which I thought were cool. The greatest video of flames being thrown from a car was the Ferrari F50, until now. After bearing witness to the Koenigsegg shoot flames, all the rest seem so elementary. Most sightings of flames happen in the blink of an eye. To see the CCX throw a humongous fireball for nearly 10 seconds straight, left me speechless.
So many features set the Koenigsegg apart from the rest, taking it beyond a mere Supercar and to Hypercar status. There isn’t a clear line drawn to distinguish Supercars versus the Hypercar. Some elements of debate are price, acceleration, top speed, appearance, handling and rarity. There are some cars which are clearly Supercars but fall into a gray area of whether or not they meet the qualification to be called a Hypercar. Fortunately, I don’t think there is any debate over the fact that the Koenigsegg CCX, is indeed, a Hypercar.