Named for its founder, Christian von Koenigsegg, the Koenigsegg marque is not well known, even among automotive enthusiasts. The Swedish-based automaker hand builds a small number of so-called supercars each year that post incredible performance numbers with equally unbelievable sticker prices. Most any-one who’s familiar with the brand knows of it through its appearances in the British TV show Top Gear, which airs in the U.S. on the BBC America cable channel. With only a miniscule dealer network in the U.S., a Koenigsegg makes Ferraris and Bentleys seem relatively common even in the most affluent circles.
Originally unveiled in a pre-production version at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show and debuting in showrooms for 2011, the two-seat Koenigsegg Agera is the successor to the former CCX and is built to celebrate the company’s 15th anniversary. With futuristically cast styling penned by Koenigsegg himself, the Agera is an astonishing amalgam of curves and creases with a chunky front end that sports elongated cat’s eye headlamps, and a forward-oriented cabin. A removable hardtop stows underneath the hood lid.
Essentially a street-legal Formula 1 racecar built with extensive use of light-weight materials, the Agera is intended to give the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 a run for being among the fastest – and most expensive – vehicle in the world. As with that model it remains a rolling testament to wretched excess for those who can afford to claim ultimate automotive exclusivity.
One of the company’s claims to fame is that Koenigsegg engines are designed and built in-house specifically for the cars into which they’re fitted. The Agera comes powered by a mid-mounted 4.7-liter twin-supercharged V8 engine that produces an overwhelming 940 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque, and is able to take the car to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds. Top speed is an incredible 242 mph. It features a dry sump lubrication system that allows the engine to remain fully lubricated even when subjected to extreme cornering g-forces and allows it to be mounted as low as possible to help the car achieve an optimal center of gravity that, in turn, helps allow those massive g-forces. A compact lithium-ion battery is used instead of the usual lead-acid power cell as a weight reduction measure.
This same engine in the higher-performance Agera R model is engineered to run on gasoline or E85 ethanol and is tweaked to produces a nearly incomprehensible 1,115 horsepower and 885 pound-feet of torque when combusting the latter (940 horses with 95-octane fuel). This version is claimed to reach 60 mph from a standing start in just 2.9 ticks on the clock. That’s about as long as it takes to read this sentence. Top speed is said to be 260 mph, which is four times as fast as is allowed on the typical stretch of open highway in the U.S.
The Agera features a seven-speed duel-clutch transmission that offers lightning fast shifts and can be operated in a fully automatic mode or manually via steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to complete the F1 racer effect.
Suffice it to say the Koenigsegg Agera’s advanced-design suspension, steering and braking systems are all engineered to manage that ungodly amount of horse-power. An electronic differential controls wheel slippage based on the car’s throttle angle, g-force, steering wheel angle, yaw angle, speed, engine rpm, selected gear and the ambient meteorological conditions. Heavy-duty ceramic antilock disc brakes are fitted at all four corners to help bring the Agera to a halt with authority.
The Koenigsegg Agera’s interior receives modern, yet functional, styling with a configurable electronic instrument cluster and supportive carbon fiber seats. The cabin is opulently trimmed in aluminum, carbon fiber, precious metals, Alcantara and aniline leather. Its solid aluminum buttons cleverly gleam with LED-powered symbols that shine through nearly invisible micro holes. A high-definition color touchscreen is used to control the audio functions, GPS navigation, Bluetooth phone interface and displays assorted performance meters and telemetric data.
As one might expect at its $2,000,000 price point, an extensive list of features comes standard. An optional Winter Package includes Michelin snow tires on specific forged wheels and a set of custom designed skis. Also part of the package is a Lightning Roof Box System that replaces the removable roof and expands the Agera’s scant cargo space to make the vehicle “practical” for use on overnight ski trips. Other options include a matching set of luggage, special leather and color treatments and a full visible (i.e. unpainted) carbon body.
Clearly the Koenigsegg Agera is of the “individuality at any price” school of auto making and is reserved for only a select few of the wealthiest sports car enthusiasts in the world who aren’t shy about informing the rest of the world of their status as such.
Koenigsegg Agera Quick Facts
Engine: 4.7-liter Supercharged V8
Horsepower: 940 @ 6,900 rpm, 1,115 @ 6,900 rpm
Torque: 811 @ 4,000, 885 @ 4,100 rpm
City/Highway: MPG 6/18-7/21
Transmission: 7-Spd Auto Manual
Wheelbase: 104.8 in
Overall Length: 169.1 in
Width: 78.7 in
Height: 44.1 in
Curb Weight: 3,216 lbs
MSRP: $2,100,000 (est.)
Did You Know?
The name Agera means “to take action” in Swedish. It is also short for the ancient Greek word Ageratos, which means”ageless.” Koenigsegg Automotive AB is head quartered in Ängelholm, Sweden in a facility that had previously been home to the Swedish Air Force and once housed the Fighter Jet Squadron No. 1 of the Swedish Air Force and its JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets. The squadron’s insignia, a flying ghost, now adorns the engine bay of Koenigsegg vehicles as a tribute to the Squadron.