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Exclusive: Time is right for Koenigsegg's Oz introduction

God of thunder: Swedish hypercar-maker Koenigsegg is set to rip the covers off its latest track-orientated model at next year’s Geneva motor show, which is expected to raise the performance benchmark even higher than its Agera RS predecessor.

Koenigsegg sees promise in local market as it teases future model for Geneva reveal


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25 Jun 2018

KOENIGSEGG says it sees opportunities for growth in the Australian market as it readies its first locally delivered model with the yet-to-be-revealed Agera-replacing hypercar due to touch down around the turn of the decade.
As GoAuto has reported, Koenigsegg’s next offering will wear a circa-$5 million indicative driveaway price and is set to be revealed at next year’s Geneva motor show in concept form, with a teaser sketch image now revealed for the as-yet-unnamed new model.
During the brand’s VIP launch last week at Australasia’s only appointed dealership, Lorbek Luxury Cars in Port Melbourne, Koenigsegg Automotive communications and PR manager Steven Wade told GoAuto that the local market is ready for its introduction.
“We’re looking to expand the company, we know that there are potential customers here, we know that people love their cars here – I mean I grew up here and it’s not all just Holdens and Fords,” he said.
“There’s a lot of interest in other things, and the money is here as well, there is money here for this sort of market.
“Previously, I think it topped out at your Ferraris and Lamborghinis and things, but I think people have done well enough in the last 20 years that there is now money available for cars in that … next level up.”
However, Mr Wade ruled out expanding the Swedish hypercar brand’s retail presence in Australasia, with the single Port Melbourne dealership to handle all sales and servicing in the region.
“I don’t know that there’d be demand for a second dealer here,” he said. “I mean even in established markets, in the UK we’ve only got one dealer and they’re one of our highest volume dealers out of all that we do. 
“There’s no need for a second dealer because the volume is still quite manageable, so I wouldn’t foresee a second Australian dealership.”
Details of the new unnamed Koenigsegg model are scarce, but the single rear-end teaser sketch promises loads of downforce thanks to a massive, vehicle-spanning rear wing, as well as a prominent rear diffuser.
Expect a centre-exit exhaust, as already featured on Koenigsegg’s Agera and Regera models, while sleek, form-fitting tail-lights hug the bulbous rear haunches and massive wheels fill the arches.
Mr Wade said to expect the upcoming model to be a more hardcore “track-orientated weapon”, more in the vein of the Agera than Regera.
“Koenigsegg’s aim is to always have a two-car line-up, or two cars in the public’s mind, so one of them will be a more GT-type car and one of them will be a more track-orientated weapon,” he said.
“This car, the new one, is replacing the Agera RS, which was our track car for the road, and so this one will be a bit more of a track-orientated thing.”
The new model will likely carryover the existing mid-mounted 1000kW/1370Nm twin-turbocharged 5.0-litre V8 from the existing Agera RS – officially the world’s fastest production car with a verified top speed of 447km/h – that is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Sending power to the rear wheels, the Agera RS can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in just 2.8 seconds.
Expect to see improvements in outputs for the new model, as well as upgraded aerodynamics and packaging, which will lift its capabilities even higher.
“We’re a bit like the Porsche 911 in that our cars evolve, rather than ground up rebuild,” Mr Wade said. “I mean the Regera is probably the most revolutionary thing we’ve done, so we’re a small company, we don’t have Volkswagen’s budget or anything like that, so we’ve got to adapt and make things new incrementally, but we still find ways to do it.”
However, Mr Wade hinted that the specially developed plug-in hybrid powertrain and bespoke single-gear Direct Drive system in the GT-orientated Regera will likely not feature in Koenigsegg’s latest model.
“The Regera is incredibly quick, but it is more of a comfort-type quick,” he said. “The Regera uses sort of rubberised engine mounts and things like that which are active.
“(In Koenigsegg cars), basically the engine is bolted onto the back of the chassis … so you feel everything, it’s a very visceral experience. In the Regera, it’s a little bit more isolated, a little bit more civilised, so this new one, which will be replacing the (Agera) RS, will be nuts and you’ve seen the trajectory of our cars through the years and this will continue that trajectory.
“Extremely lightweight, extremely powerful and when it comes, it will hopefully lead to a few more records and crazy things. We like crazy things.”
Pairing the aforementioned twin-turbo 5.0-litre V8 with electric motors results in the Regera’s total system output of 1119kW/2000Nm and the same 2.8s 0-100km/h time.
With the upcoming hypercar to be shown in concept form at the 2019 Geneva motor show, Mr Wade said to expect production and deliveries to come in the following years.
“We should show the first prototype at Geneva next year … production is a few years away,” he said.
“I don’t know what the build allocation will be for the Australian buyers, so it’s a little bit of where they get on the list, I imagine it will be a few years away.
“There is a hard cap on that (production) and we do have allocated numbers we would bring to Australia that will be fully complied, so they will be able to be driven on the road here.
“It will be interesting to see how they will be received here, I don’t know what the car-spotting scene is like here … (but) this will turn heads.”
Meanwhile, the Regera will likely never be seen on Australian soil as the entire production run has been accounted for, but Mr Wade said there is a chance for a well-heeled local buyer to have one parked on their driveway.
“All 80 Regeras are sold, but it would be possible if someone really wanted one because there is another dealer who, the dealer has bought several cars, so he would sell one of those allocations – obviously at a considerable premium,” he said. 
“If someone really wanted a Regera that could be done, and they could spec the car how they want it and all that sort of thing, so that would be possible, I don’t know what the price would be, but it would be a lot.
“If you look at the base price in Europe, it’s around €2 million ($A3.13 million), and then you’ve got options and then you’ve got luxury car tax, so I would suggest you wouldn’t get much change out of $A5 million, that’s just back of the envelope maths.”
Only five examples of Koenigsegg’s latest have been allocated for the Australian and New Zealand markets out of a total production run of 125 units, with the majority already snapped up before the model’s official debut thanks to a virtual walkaround of the car.
“I can tell you that we have firm orders on around two-thirds of that (global) allocation already just based on us doing the VR presentation at Geneva,” Mr Wade said.
“When that car is seen for the first time in Geneva next year, there is a very good chance they will all be sold.”
Although the brand is currently hand-building less than 30 cars a year at its factory in Angelholm, Sweden, Mr Wade said a recent recruitment drive and facility expansion will help Koenigsegg clear its back-log of orders.
“When I started three years ago, we had 70 people, we’re now at 170,” he said. “We recruited a lot of engineers in 2016, 2017, and this year we’ve recruited a lot of production staff because we need to get that throughput.
“We’ve got a fairly long waiting list for our cars at the moment and we need to get them out quicker to people. We’re hoping to get a solid 30 cars a year by the end of next year, and then hopefully increase on that. 
“We’re about to increase our factory footprint as well. We’re at 3000 square metres at the moment, we’ve just taken on a new hangar next to the ones we’ve got, so we will increase that size by 50 per cent and we’re also putting in some second floor space.”
However, Mr Wade was not perturbed by more Koenigseggs hitting the market and diluting the uniqueness of the brand.
“I don’t know that that’s a problem we’re going to have to face,” he said. “We have very limited production space, so a lot of that throughput depends on how much space you’ve got to build cars in and our space is very limited.
“Christian (von Koenigsegg) would welcome 100 cars a year, I’m sure he would. At that pace, we’re still ultra-exclusive, but it’s more of a capacity issue then a cap-space issue.”

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