Within the world of boutique supercars, Koenigsegg is pretty much sitting at the top of the heap. There are many arguments to support this, but perhaps one of the best is sitting on the company's show stand at Geneva right now. It's called the Koenigsegg Agera RS, its engine cranks out a staggering 1,160-hp and everything on it is designed and built in house.
Boutique supercars, such as the Koenigsegg, have to tread a fine line. They service a cadre of buyers who want something more exclusive than a Ferrari or a Mercedes, but at the same time, they have to avoid being seen as kit cars with pretensions and a great marketing plan. Where a lot of boutique supercars start to fail is when you literally get under the skin. Some of them, despite high tech carbon fiber bodies sculpted by famous design houses and massaged in wind tunnels, have underpinnings that are of a more, a-hem, prosaic nature. One does not have to dig too deep to find engines sourced from wherever was convenient, braking systems that were ordered from a catalog and steering racks sourced from Ford Anglias.
This is most definitely not the case with Koenigsegg in general and the Agera RS specifically. But before we get deep into the particulars of the Koenigsegg Agera RS, just consider the wheels this thing rides on: Koenigsegg Aircore! Super light hollow carbon fiber wheels with center locking fitment, 19 x 9.5 in up front and 20 x 12.5 in out back.
Besides the annoying use of that exclamation point (Christian von Koenigsegg has a flair for stuff like that), that one little specification about something as commonplace as a wheel tells us that, for one thing, they are made from carbon fiber, for another they are hollow and that they are made in house by Koenigsegg. Who does that? Who is crazy enough and so engineeringly anal retentive that they make their own wheels, which are hollow and made out of carbon fiber to be as light as possible?
Koenigsegg, that's who. And you don't have to think very long and very hard to realize that if that's how the company approaches what sort of wheels go on its cars, what must the rest of the car be like?
The Agera RS is a follow on and refinement of the first Agera, but also folded into the mix is everything Koenigsegg learned from its One:1 program and all the development done on the previous Agera S and Agera R models. Koenigsegg even goes so far as to point out that the Agera RS has "everyday usability, luggage compartment, rear window and detachable and storable hardtop." We're glad to hear about the "improved" rear window, since what counted as a rear window on the older Koenigseggs worked about as well as a mail slot.
So Christian and the rest of the crew from Angelholm pulled out all of the stops, and poured all of the company's experience into the RS. This means all sorts of goodies like advanced lightweight sound insulation and a new track-optimized front splitter for more downforce. New front winglets and side skirts help with the aerodynamic drag and also give the RS more aerodynamic grip. There's an advanced dynamic underbody flap system that works in concert with a dynamically active rear spoiler for more down force, which is now up to 450 kg at 250 km/h (990 lb at 155 mph). That is a considerable amount of downforce for a road car. The RS also features improved side air outlets behind the front wheels for less drag and less front end lift.
Add up all these improvements, and the new RS has a lower curb weight when compared to the previous R and S versions. Koenigsegg says this was accomplished by using advanced chassis and body composites and carbon fiber lay-up techniques.
That's just the goodies that come standard with the car. The lucky purchaser of a Koenigsegg Agera RS also has the option to choose Koenigsegg's in house designed active and self-leveling chassis package, 3G connected Pre-Active chassis setups, alternative aero packages and an active sound cancellation system.
Taken by itself, the engine is an astonishing piece of technology. It only displaces 5 liters (the size of a Chevy small block V8) and it cranks out a shocking 1,160 brake horsepower. Nearly 1,200 hp from a 5 liter mill works out at 232 ponies per liter. In terms of power for a given size, that is a remarkably efficient engine. And get this, the engine in the Agera RS has been optimized for regular pump gas and in certain markets can also be upgraded to run on E85 with flex fuel capabilities, for even higher power levels.
And that's just under the hood, the rest of the car is just as uncompromising. Take a look at the chassis. It's made from carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb and features integrated fuel tanks. The chassis, including the tanks, weighs only 70 kg (154 lb), which is less than your average adult. Amazing.
The transmission is a 7-speed paddle-shift unit with auto shift mode that is mated to a Koenigsegg Electronic differential (KED) and its functioning is overseen by a Koenigsegg Gearbox Control Module (KGCM).
The brakes are the size of a large pepperoni pizza and are made from ceramic. The front and rear suspensions are double wishbones with carbon fiber being used for the rear upper wishbones. The gas-hydraulic shock absorbers are two-way electronically adjustable and the rear shocks are pushrod operated, while the ride height is electronically adjustable.
With a body made from pre-impregnated carbon fiber/Kevlar and removable hardtop the whole thing tips the scales at 1,395 kg (3,075 lb) curb weight, and although that's not exactly light, it isn't heavy either. Besides, it's being motivated by over 1,100 horsepower, so we doubt anyone will call the Agera RS slow.
The Koenigsegg Agera RS will be handcrafted in only 25 examples, with 10 pre-sold prior to the Geneva show. So if you're interested, you better call up Christian von Koenigsegg real soon, or you'll miss out. After you've called him up, why don't you ring up the Gizmag offices. We'd love to talk with you about a test drive.