Koenigsegg builds the most powerful cars in the world, with its One:1 developing as much as 1,341 horsepower and its upcoming Regera hybrid promising as much as 1,500 hp. Incredibly, the Swedish supercar marque has always stuck to rear-wheel drive but that may change in the not too distant future.
Koenigsegg CEO and founder Christian von Koenigsegg recently held a forum with fans using a similar format to Reddit's popular Ask Me Anything posts. One of the questions posited was why the company doesn’t use all-wheel drive.
In his response, von Koenigsegg said the simply reason was due to packaging, namely, the extra space required in the center of the car to house a propshaft driving the front wheels. He explained that the extra space would require the cabin to be widened, leading to issues with the aerodynamics and weight distribution. Then there’s also the issue of torque steer affecting the steering.
He concedes that his supercars, while hard to beat on a dry surface, would be outmatched by a good four-wheel-drive car in the wet. But he already has a solution: a ‘through-the-road’ hybrid-based all-wheel-drive system would eliminate most the issues mentioned. The Koenigsegg chief pointed out the Porsche 918 Spyder as an example.
But there’s still a major hurdle. Because of the tight confines of the front end of its supercars, Koenigsegg would need to use in-wheel electric motors. However, the size and weight of the motors are still too big, with von Koenigsegg explaining that there would be too much unsprung mass. Once the in-wheel motors get smaller, however, then you’ll probably be looking at your first all-wheel-drive Koenigsegg supercar.
"I don’t think we’re there just yet but I know it will happen," von Koenigsegg said. "When the right hub motors do become available then we can look at electric four-wheel drive.”
You can read the full exchange over at the Koenigsegg website.