Christian von Koenigsegg explains the wild CC850 hypercar

Dan Smith

At The Quail, an event during Monterey Car Week in August, Koenigsegg surprised us when it revealed a retro homage to the CC8S, the first production car offered to customers 20 years ago. rice field. This new his £3.3million CC850 is the same sparse design but larger and on a foundation shared with the latest hypercar Jesko and with some pretty magic, the 9-speed The automatic turns into a "simulated" 6-speed manual. I too wore a yellow hat and an orange vest to tour his very attractive CC850. The only person who knows all the nuts and bolts...
Photo: Mark Fagelson Top gear: Christian, we need to stop buying clothes at the same place.

Christian von Koenigsegg: Unfortunately, it's still a construction site and Sweden has pretty strict rules, so you won't be able to roam freely until you've been given the keys to the new factory. TG: What is the elevator pitch for CC850? CvK: This is a tribute to our beginnings. It's a very bare and simplistic, original idea for a Scandinavian supercar. It felt like the perfect opportunity to once again imprint Koenigsegg's origins, carrying it into the future with modern technology and improved ergonomics...and the response has been phenomenal. TG: Name is? CvK: The first car built and offered to customers in 2002 was the CC8S, an eight-cylinder supercharged competition coupe. It has been certified by Guinness World Records as the world's most powerful official production car with 655bhp. This is bread and butter. We celebrated the car and said let's make 50 of him. This car does not have a supercharger, it has a twin-turbo V8 and we call it CC850. I also turned 50 this year, so it makes sense. But the interest was so high that it bothered some loyal Koenigsegg customers. We had a twist within 2 days. For my 50th birthday he's making 50 and 20 more for 20 years of production, actually 70. There was still a long line of people who couldn't get in.

Customers tend to get hung up on specs, which slows things down
TG: It's a bigger car than the CC8S, with a longer wheelbase, slightly taller wheels, bigger wheels, Jesko underpinnings, but very similar surfaces and proportions. Did it cause aerodynamic problems? The CC8S was notorious for having less downforce. Just ask The Stig... CvK: There is a proper front splitter here, which exhausts the air through the lower front arch. The bonnet, which wraps around the loadspace, has vents that allow the installation of a roof. The top is fully actively mounted. The rear wing, which was heralded on the Regera, has a much larger diffuser, adding more tweaks and details all around.

TG: Is the engine exactly the same 5.1-liter twin-turbo V8 as Jesko? CvK: The turbo is a little smaller, so you get a little less boost, a little less inertia, but it's more responsive...not that the Jesko has any noticeable lag, but with the manual, you don't need it. We want it to feel like an aspirated car. The result is less power than the Jesko, 1 megawatt, 1,366bhp running on an E85, and about the same vehicle weight, so the power to weight ratio is 1:1. On regular gasoline, it's just over 1,200bhp. TG: It looks more like a streetcar than Jesko. Was that your intention? CvK: It has active suspension for ride height, bumps and rebounds, so when set up for the track it's still pretty stiff, but on public roads it makes for a very comfortable ride. I think the Jesko Attack's suspension is three times stiffer for him with that downforce. But the CC850 is still a lot of fun on the track. Of course, with less aggressive tires and more body movement, it's very driftable, no jagged edges and very friendly. TG: Tell me you keep one of these for yourself... CvK: Well this is mine. This is the first show car, the first car we built, and it has to be upgraded through our development program. But this I will keep. TG: Birthday gifts are better than socks. Let's sit in it and talk about this analog twist on your Lightspeed transmission... CvK: This is the gearbox we introduced with Jesko, and it perfectly replicates the rapid paddle shift box where the gears could be combined to take the load off the components. It's like the derailleur mechanism on a bicycle, putting one gear over another gives you a total. So in fact he is not 9 gears, but 3 times his 3 gears makes him 9 gear ratios. That is the weight and size of the 6-speed gearbox. TG: Go on, my head hasn't exploded yet. CvK: There are seven clutches, one for each gearset and another for reverse, which means the engine doesn't need a clutch. Also, if your engine doesn't have a clutch, you don't need a flywheel on your engine. So you get the fastest engine revs or rpm buildup ever seen on a production car. TG: How do you come up with something like this? Have you started thinking "how do I get rid of the flywheel"? CvK: It started with, "How can I get more gear with less parts and weight?" Flywheel was no small experiment. We started the simulation and found the engine to be fine from a harmonics point of view and drivability very exciting as the throttle response is electric. You actually have to use software to electronically "catch" it so it doesn't run away.

This is a tribute to our beginnings.It's the original idea for a Scandinavian supercar
TG: Sounds very angry. Coming back to the gearbox, how do you turn it into a…simulated manual? CvK: Well, that's not unfair, but a lot is done to make it work like a direct connected clutch and shifter. You can't, there are detents. Or if the gear is too high, you can't push it in until the rev match is near. When in gear, it can only be pulled out without a clutch if there is no load. If you push the clutch very quickly, you'll get a lot of resistance, just like you would with a hydraulic line. Yes, it's expanded, but expanded so that all aspects of manual gearboxes are considered. Think about throttle. Older cars usually had wires or cables, but the last 20 years have gone electronic. Also, the clutch pedal usually has a mechanical rod or hydraulic line on modern cars. The same thing that happened with the throttle was done with the clutch. You can stall, you can slide, there is no difference in feeling. Another advantage is the availability of different gear ratios depending on the current mode. It has 6 manual slots but 9 gear ratio options. For example, in track mode, first gear is taller than the road, so it cooks clutch driving out of the pits. When he's on the highway or stuck in traffic, he pulls the lever in and he's in a 9-speed automatic. TG: Is there a safety net built in to prevent someone new to driving a 'stick' from completely destroying the gearbox? CvK: All of our cars are OTA upgradeable, so we're starting with this very analog no-intervention manual system. But over time, they've introduced a "beginner's" manual mode to smooth it out if things go wrong, or to rotate the blip on downshifts. Just add functionality over the air. TG: Is it actually working already? CvK: Completion rate is about 80%. We are still doing some tweaks, some sensor improvements. We've been driving around with it already, and it's already fun, but we're not going to take delivery of these cars for another year or so, so we have time to finish them. TG: How many cars can this new factory produce each year? CvK: This is primarily the Jemera production plant, the highest production car ever undertaken. This facility will allow him to produce one car per day, but for several years he will not be one car per day. We need to speed up our supplier network.We need to make all the carbon fiber parts.Customers tend to get hung up on specs and things slow down.But we get there. I think it is possible to have about 100 units in the first year. TG: And you are used to building 30 to 40 per year... CvK: correct. This is like a normal car company producing 100,000 of his cars and suddenly increasing it to 300,000. It's a challenge because everything we do is handmade and made to order. The building also houses a purpose built lounge, museum, event space and a new design studio. TG: You started this company 28 years ago, built the CC8S 20 years ago, and it's all yours. Have you ever thought that you could do your best?

CvK: Of course, we couldn't predict this exactly, but we didn't limit ourselves to the only possibilities. I knew I was fighting giants. I knew it wouldn't be easy. I hope someone likes it. i build another one. Hopefully someone likes it. That was the plan then and still is. I will just keep going and see where it takes me.