Koenigsegg currently produces the world's fastest production car in the Agera RS, but the company isn't stopping there. Especially not after learning how quickly the 2020 Tesla Roadster will accelerate.
Speaking to Top Gear in a Friday report, founder and namesake, Christian von Koenigsegg, told his employees Tesla "put the gauntlet down" when it declared its electric sports car would do 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds. That figure took Koenigsegg back to the drawing board to outdo the electric-car maker.
After calculating whether the acceleration time was even doable—engineers agreed it is—Koenigsegg asked how the supercar maker should deal with the issue.
"In two days we’d thought of a few things,” he said. “The simplest way of putting it is like this: it’s combining direct drive, with the hybridization we have in a different format with free-valve engine technology, in a peculiar layout."
It's part of the boss's obsession with “pushing the combustion engine into the wall to try to make it more power dense than an EV for as long as possible."
The solution the company drafted up could help more than just the 0-60 mph time. Future supercars could accelerate from 0-250 mph in as little as 14 seconds, the company's head executive said. That's an astonishing drop from the current fastest car in the world, which displaced the Bugatti Chiron. The Agera RS previously did 0-250-0 mph in 37.28 seconds.
For all the talk of high horsepower figures and pushing the internal-combustion engine to its limits, an electric Koenigsegg may arrive one day. The CEO said in a February interview with AutoGuide that as battery technology evolves the company could "eventually make something that’s only EV, and I think that will come."
At present, the focus is on making the company's engines better and more powerful, though. Koenigsegg said the company is just "scratching the surface" of what it can achieve. With a lower compression ratio and more boost, he said the current turbocharged V-8 engine could add another 600 hp "just like that."