Over the last few months, Christian Von Koenigsegg has taken us on a guided video tour of the Agera R’s design and construction. We’ll admit to being impressed by the company’s attention to detail in all areas, and we’re going to miss Von Koenigsegg’s behind-the-scenes narration of supercar design, construction and testing.
The final "Inside Koenigsegg" video takes us through the Agera R’s transmission, or more accurately, its transaxle. Since the Agera R is mid-engine, rear-drive, the transmission must also house the differential, and the differential is an essential component in the driveline.
In the days before electronic traction control and electronic stability control (which can mirror the actions of a limited-slip differential), “open” differentials were generally used for non-performance cars. On the plus side, such a setup was inexpensive and provided acceptable handling for low-horsepower cars under most conditions.
At the other extreme are “locked” differentials, sometimes found in vintage race cars. Since both rear wheels can only corner at the same speed, turning (especially at low speeds) can be an issue. The upside is that locked differentials provide better traction than open differentials.
In between these two extremes are “limited slip” differentials, which use various methods to provide some degree of differential lockup as needed. In the case of the Agera R, the differential uses a computer-controlled hydraulic piston to quickly and precisely control the amount of torque sent to each rear wheel.
The Agera R uses a conventional dry clutch between engine and gearbox, but a second wet clutch system enables the gearbox to instantly slow the rotation of the input shaft as another gear is selected.
The advantage is that no time is wasted waiting for synchronization, allowing very quick shifts from the automated manual gearbox. Its design is impressively light in weight, too, tipping the scales at a mere 81 kilograms (178 pounds) despite the Agera R’s 1,140 horsepower output.
Like every other component in the Agera R, the transaxle’s primary function is enable maximum performance while delivering better-than-expected reliability. While we may not be able to park an Agera R in our own garage, it’s impossible not to be impressed with Christian Von Koenigsegg’s drive to build the world’s best supercars.