Mechanical failure behind Koenigsegg One:1 Nürburgring crash

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A Koenigsegg One:1 on Monday fell victim to the Nürburgring.

The 1,341-horsepower hypercar was pretty much destroyed in the crash but fortunately the driver was unharmed.

The wreckage was sent back to Koenigsegg’s factory in Ängelholm, Sweden where engineers were able to determine what went wrong by analyzing the wreckage and onboard data.

It turns out mechanical failure was the cause.

Wrecked Koenigsegg One:1 being analyzed at factory in Ängelholm, Sweden

Wrecked Koenigsegg One:1 being analyzed at factory in Ängelholm, Sweden

Enlarge Photo

In a statement made Wednesday, Koenigsegg revealed that the front wheels had locked up, as was predicted by the long skid mark left by the car.  The cause was determined to be a faulty ABS wheel sensor signal.

The driver had exited the Fuchsröhre section of the track and slammed on the brakes as he was entering the Adenauer Forst section. While traveling at 105 mph, the front wheels locked up and the car skidded off the track and into a fence. The impact catapulted the car approximately 70 feet in the air after which it landed on a nearby embankment.

A small fire broke out in the rear section due to some of the body panels coming into contact with the exhaust system. The fire was extinguished by the driver using a fire extinguisher located inside the car.

According to Koenigsegg, a warning light was triggered as soon as the ABS malfunction occurred, well in advance of the crash. The company says the driver may not have noticed the warning because of his helmet and focus on driving.

Normally an ABS malfunction can be noticed via brake feel. However, in this case the driver never braked hard enough to trigger the ABS system prior to reaching the Fuchsröhre section so had no way of knowing there was an issue apart from the warning light.

Wrecked Koenigsegg One:1 being analyzed at factory in Ängelholm, Sweden

Wrecked Koenigsegg One:1 being analyzed at factory in Ängelholm, Sweden

Enlarge Photo

Koenigsegg’s ABS system, like most, includes a back-up feature where the rear wheels are allowed to continue rotating in the event of a fault that causes the front wheels to lock up and thus keep the car moving in a straight direction, as was the occurrence here. If all wheels locked up the car would enter a spin.

The One:1 is owned by a person with close links to Koenigsegg. The company was using the car in preparation for an attempt at the Nürburgring lap record, which for production cars stands at 6:57. The record was set by a Porsche 918 Spyder in 2013.

Fortunately for the owner, and hypercar fans all around the world, this particular One:1, one of just seven ever built, can be rebuilt.  The car’s carbon fiber tub remained intact. Koenigsegg says it plans to introduce software changes for the safety systems that will be rolled out to all applicable vehicles in the near future. One of those changes will include adding an ABS malfunction to the list of triggers that will send the car into limp mode.

Despite the setback, Koenigsegg plans to continue its Nürburgring test program, though considering it takes 6 months or more to build one of the cars there could be a long wait until the program resumes.

 
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