"We kind of had our future mapped out, and then we heard about the new Tesla Roadster and its insane acceleration numbers, and we thought 'Damn, that's put the gauntlet down,'" the Koenigsegg founder and CEO told Top Gear.
As he told the site, he enlisted his engineers to start running numbers, and within a couple of days, they'd figured out a solution. "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," von Koenigsegg said. He said the powertrain could take a car from 0-250 mph in 14 seconds "or something like this," and said he wants to make a combustion engine with a higher power density than an electric powertrain "for as long as possible."
His talk about hybrids brings to mind the Koenigsegg Regera plug-in hybrid, which weighs just 3,505 pounds and puts out more than 1,500 horsepower. It does 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds — impressive, but a full 0.9 seconds less than the Roadster's purported time. And not surprising for a company that is all about maximizing ponies, Koenigsegg likes to geek out over the details of things like the design of the 1,160-hp Agera RS engine. Could he be talking about the same vehicle as the successor to the Agera RS, rumored to be called Ragnarok?
Tesla, meanwhile, unveiled said Roadster at Grand Basel in Switzerland — or rather, it showed off what appeared to be a white, empty design shell that had been shown last year at Tesla's shareholder meeting.
And don't forget that the mad scientists over at Hennessey are tinkering with the 7.6-liter V8 for the Venom F5, the key to its quest to hit 300 mph. So buckle your seat belts, boys and girls: Things are about to get very fast.