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Saturday, 7 April 2012

Koenigsegg Asserts Its Awesomeness With 250mph Nürburgring Run

2012 Koenigsegg Agera R on the Nordschleife
At a recent supercar owner's event at the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife, Koenigsegg owner (and partial Koenigsegg owner) Bård Eker waited for a clear run at the 1.5-mile Döttinger-Höhe straight before unleashing his Agera R's 1140 horsepower and 885lb/ft of torque on the 'Ring, giving it green hell until the Norwegian maniac in his Swedish hypercar reached two-hundred-and-fifty-miles-per-hour. In slightly less than a mile and a half. Well OK, it was specifically 249.54mph, but that's definitely close enough to just round it up. Is Koenigsegg the most awesome car company in the world? Maybe even the most awesome company of any kind?

I'd say so, by far and away. Not only do they exclusively make preposterous hypercars, but the people they attract are clearly keen to exploit the car they've got. A few years ago, an owner of the small-time Swedish company's first road car, the CC8S, got caught speeding in Texas. This may seem normal when you consider the car had about 660bhp... until you find out that the Gumball Rally entrant was ticketed at 242mph!

The fastest ever speeding ticket isn't the only world record Koenigsegg has ever claimed, however. In 2004, the CCR (pictured left) became the one to beat the McLaren F1's long-held record for the fastest production car. The evolved form of the CC8S, now with an 806bhp version of the same 4.7-litre twin-supercharged Ford "Modular" V8, reached a top speed of - officially, taking an average - 241mph, although it's really capable of 245mph. Alas, only a year later, the Bugatti Veyron was finally finished and snatched the record from Sweden by managing 253mph. But no matter, Koenigsegg just made their own thoroughly re-engineered V8 engine (still a twin-supercharged 4.7-litre unit) and put it in an aerodynamically-refined but slightly taller body to create the CCX, the car famous for trying to kill The Stig, before Koenigsegg fitted a rear spoiler (to this day still called the 'Top Gear Wing' on their website) which allowed the new car to set a new lap record of 1:17.6, proving the Swedish missile isn't just about straight line speed. The engine officially made the same 806bhp, but that was on 91-octane American fuel (this was the first 'Segg to hit the US). If you filled the car up with 95-octane European fuel it was more like 850bhp. Later, a Biofuel version called the CCXR came out with 1018bhp, becoming the most powerful unmodified road car... In The World. Alas, while the CCX is supposedly capable of 250mph, there's nowhere for them to find out, because the only long enough straight is at Ehre-Lessien, which is owned by Volkswagen, who also owns Bugatti. Evidently they're worried about losing their record to the people that beat them to the punch when they tried to beat the McLaren F1...

After the CCX came the Agera, a car I'm shocked hasn't appeared on TopGear yet. The new name (meaning "to act" in Swedish) and new LED lights aren't the only changes; the front end has been further smoothed out, now with two smooth valleys running from the nose to the side of the car and a smoother front bumper, still with a big front splitter. Underneath, a new 5.0 V8 sees the superchargers replaced with turbochargers, but it still has plenty of low-end torque (how's 737lb/ft at 2500rpm for you? What about 811lb/ft at 3500-6000rpm?). Now making 960bhp, Koenigsegg says it can do anything up to 260mph, which, as it was pre-Veyron-SS, would've made it the fastest car in the world... but only with the right spoiler on it. If you go for a big wing for track use, the top speed is limited, because, with a massive new diffuser at the back, the car would make so much downforce at 400km/h that it would literally shred its rear tyres to pieces. Keeping this kind of fury under control is a new 7-speed DCT to replace a 6-speed manual and an "E-Diff". Boo, no left foot! Yay, faster acceleration! 0-60 in 3 seconds flat is quick.

It's not as quick as the 'R' version though, which is where we loop back round to the headline of this post. The E85 Bio-ethanol fuel pumps the engine up to 1140bhp and 885lb/ft of torque. As well as being able to exceed 400km/h in just over 2km, it holds a massive six world records for acceleration and braking. The bragging rights are as follows:

0-300 km/h: 14.53 seconds
0-200 mph: 17.68 seconds
300-0 km/h: 6.66 seconds
200-0 mph: 7.28 seconds
0-300-0 km/h: 21.19 seconds
0-200-0 mph: 24.96 seconds

300km/h is 186mph, and 200mph in 320km/h, in case you needed to know. The face-shattering stopping power comes courtesy of 396mm ventilated ceramic discs with six-piston callipers up front and 381mm vented discs with four-piston callipers in the rear. According to their website, this Agera is useable every day because it comes with a removable roof and 120 litres of storage space (although probably not at the same time). Yeah, sure. The top speed of the R version will be slightly lower due to the increased drag coefficient that big spoiler will cause, unless the extra 180bhp makes up for it and it doesn't shred its tyres, of course. 0-60 happens in 2.9 seconds.

With all this in mind, the madness involved seems almost... logical. Of course it would be a Koenigsegg owner who reaches 250mph (or near enough) on the world's most threatening race track. If they were allowed a long enough straight they would be constantly bothering Bugatti and SSC, and I think they should. When the cowboys at Shelby SuperCars went 256mph in 2007 they just used a nice long stretch of road in Texas, perhaps the same one that Mr. CC8S was caught speeding on (except SSC closed the road first).

Considering that their products were clocked at 242mph, tried to kill The Stig, set records for fun and they're fine with letting shareholders go nuts on the Nordschleife, I postulate that Koenigsegg is actually the name of a secret club. That club is otherwise called "The International League of Badasses" and every now and then they do something in public to remind us that Koenigsegg is in fact the most awesome car company in the world. Who knows what other astonishing achievements they've done away from prying eyes? Only them. Watch out for more Swedish lunacy in the future...

Here's a video of the Agera R doing its thing. I strongly recommend turning your speakers up or using your best pair of headphones:
Uploaded: 6/4/12
Running Time: 3:02
Views When Posted: 22,901

Source: Gran Turismo Events

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