Koenigsegg is in its familiar place amongst Geneva’s hypercar makers, and this year is showing off a very special example of its 2014-model-year Agera S: the ‘Hundra’ at the Geneva motor show.
This is the Swedish firm’s hundredth chassis built since the company set up shop in 2002. Headed for Hong Kong, it’s been built at a cost of 1.6m US dollars – plus local taxes – and is covered in naked carbonfibre and gold leaf. Four-thousand man hours have gone in to hand-building it; Koenigsegg’s usual measure is just under three-thousand.
The Agera S is the latest of Koenigsegg’s Agera-series models. Adapted to run on 98-ron unleaded rather than E85 bioethanol, its got 1016bhp and 811lb ft of torque, and weighs 1400kg at the kerb with fluids onboard. Though not quite as quick as the firm’s Agera R, it’s capable of 0-62mph in 2.8sec, and 0-186mph-0 in a staggering 22.5sec.
Koenigsegg’s philosophy on designing and fabricating its own components runs throughout. The 5.0-litre V8 engine’s pistons are ceramic-coated, and have uniquely shaped piston domes that encourage effective flame propagation, combat irregular combustion and allow the engine to run 1.4 bar of supercharger boost pressure and a compression ratio of 9.0:1 – factors that make for the exceptionally high specific output.
It also has a new ECU, Koenigsegg’s own, with dual wideband lambda sensing. The brake callipers are new too, and of Koenigsegg’s own design; each one is asymmetrical and can therefore only be fitted to one specific corner of the car.
Speaking exclusively to Autocar, company founder Christian von Koenigsegg was unthreatened by the profusion of brand new hypercars around the Geneva motor show stands. “Our clients are collectors,” he explained. “They’ll probably order the Ferrari, the McLaren and one of our cars while they’re here. It’s true that there will be a lot million-dollar exotics coming onto the market in a short space of time, but it’s the likes of Ferrari and McLaren that will have to manage that; our business won’t be affected.”
“We service the business as it comes to us,” he went on. “When we set up in 2002, the idea was to make the Porsche 911 of hypercars: one that would go through a process of continuous improvement for many decades. I think we’re achieving that. Some years we make twelve cars; others we’ve made as many as seventeen. Right now, our order book is about a year long, and that’s normal for us.”