If the engine is the heart of any vehicle, it’s a safe assumption that the multiple control units found in modern automobiles, coupled with system-specific software, are its brains.

A few decades back, computers were used only for engine management. Today, computers are at the heart of every key automotive system, including the anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control, airbags and transmission, to name but a few.

Major automakers can benefit from economy of scale here, designing a control unit and its associated software for multiple vehicle lines, thus reducing both development cost and development time.

Small-scale manufacturers like Koenigsegg don’t have that luxury, and as the latest episode of Inside Koenigsegg reveals, up to 20-percent of a new car’s development time is spent on designing control unit hardware and associated software.

As E-Controller developer Mattias Rosengren explains, designing the circuit boards and writing the control software isn’t the most difficult part: the most difficult part is finding the time to include all the features and functions you want. As technology changes, Koenigsegg automobiles are designed to be upgradable, just like most modern computers.

In the eyes of company founder Christian von Koenigsegg, there’s no difference between the easily-seen outside of the car and its smallest electronic component. Though only one is regularly seen by owners and admirers, both carry his family’s name, and both are expected to be flawless.