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Koenigsegg

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Koenigsegg

Sweden is a country blessed, and built, with world-class engineering. The country’s fighter jets have always been at the forefront of technological development. Sweden’s transport industry has long been synonymous with exceptional quality and safety, whether it be trucks, busses, passenger vehicles or even the many small, specialist engineering companies working with the tuning and building of world-class rally cars.
It was against this backdrop that a young Christian von Koenigsegg followed a dream and launched his own car company in 1994. His sole mission: to create the perfect Supercar.
Of course, this was at a time where the Supercar was considered to be somewhat of a dinosaur, a temperamental relic from a bygone era. The world was at the end of a recession that had hit the sports car industry hard.
To Christian, however, it was a calling. He cared little about the state of the global economy or the obstacle that it might represent in the minds of others. He was busy fulfilling a dream.
The story of Koenigsegg is as fascinating and unique as the cars themselves. Christian was only 5 years old when he first saw a stop-motion film from Norway about a bicycle repairman who builds his own racing car. The film must have made an impression, as a young Christian grew up dreaming of creating the perfect sports car. Some 17 years later, and against all the odds, he did just that.
Christian showed an early interest for design and enjoyed the challenges posed by discovering new technical solutions. As a young boy he dismantled video recorders and toasters, just to see how they worked and whether they could be improved. As a teenager, he was known as the best moped tuner in town and in the early 1990’s, around his 18th birthday, Christian began to work more seriously with technical innovation and came up with two interesting ideas.
One of the innovations was called the Chip Player. He believed that one day, computer memory chips would be able to store an entire CD’s worth of data and that it would probably be a cheaper way to buy and store music. He conducted some patent searches for a musical device that would play chips instead of discs. In the end, however, no one seemed interested in the idea, so Christian moved on.
At the age of 17 he started working at a Suzuki dealership where he used to sell and clean cars. In his free time he used to tune mopeds and became well know for it in his area. By this time he realized automotive world to be his passion and started working on it on a daily basis.
In 1991 he invented a new solution for joining floor planks together without adhesive or nails. He called it Click, as the profile enabled the planks to simply click together. Christian presented this technology to his father-in-law, who ran a flooring factory at the time. He rejected the idea, saying that if it was viable, someone would have come up with it a long time ago. Christian then showed the concept to a few other floor manufacturers who also dismissed it. In 1995 a Belgian and Swedish company patented virtually exactly the same solution as Christian’s Click floor – they even called it Click! This is now a billion dollar industry.
After the Chip Player and Click disappointments, and amidst the general boredom of running his import/export company, Christian decided that instead of chasing after the perfect business idea, he would follow his heart. He would build his dream car. Christian understood that it was virtually impossible and that many had failed before him. But to him, it was a mission – to create the perfect car with no compromises, no limits, and no fear of failure.
Like many young men, Christian von Koenigsegg was fascinated by machinery as a boy. Like many young men, he even went so far as to dream about creating his perfect sports car. In stark contrast to the rest of us, Christian actually went ahead and turned that dream into reality – at just 22 years of age.
With extraordinary determination and vision, Christian explored the limits of both technology and innovation to create the Supercar of his dreams – the Koenigsegg CC. The Koenigsegg CC was the manifestation of a dream and its successful completion gave Christian the courage to continue, and to share his quest for perfection with others. Thus, the car company that bears his name was born.
In the year 1994 the Koenigsegg project was launched. The parameters for the supercar were established quickly. It had to be a two-seater, mid-engine construction with a detachable and storable hard top. A network was developed, made up of skilled designers and engineers with connections both to the Swedish car industry and associated institutions.
Christian made the first outline of the car on the 12 of August 1994, the day he decided to start his life-long venture. These drawings laid the foundation for all Koenigsegg cars - short overhangs, wrap around windscreen, large side air intakes, mid engine layout, and a detachable hard top. Today, more than 15 years after it was first built, the car still drives perfectly.
Koenigsegg moved into new premises in Olofström, southern Sweden in 1995. The development and production of the first prototype was initiated. The newly assembled Koenigsegg team made an extraordinary effort and in just eighteen months, a fully operational prototype was ready for media promotion and evaluation.
In 1996 exhaustive testing of the prototype was done on racetracks, public roads and in the Volvo wind tunnel. Among the world-renowned racecar drivers to test the prototype were Picko Troberg, Calle Rosenblad and Rickard Rydell. They were all amazed by the car’s outstanding performance. The concept had been proved to work. It was then time to introduce the concept to prospective buyers.
In 1997 the Koenigsegg CC prototype was shown at the Cannes Film Festival, to resounding acclaim. The satisfactory test results and the subsequent media coverage in Cannes enabled the company to move forward and start working on a finished, production-ready model. Maintaining the concept used in the original prototype, the chassis was modified to include a carbonfiber monocoque. Also a unique module system was also developed so the car could be configured to different setups.
The Koenigsegg team worked at full speed on the specified production model. The car was put through 57 different tests in order to comply with various international certification regulations. The Koenigsegg Company maintained a low profile with regards to the media. All efforts were focused on perfecting the final product. An ideal new facility was purchased near Angelholm, in southern Sweden, and the construction of a full production infrastructure began.
In 2000 the first production prototype vehicle wa assembled and tested during the spring and summer. The deadline was set for September 28, when the finished product will be presented to the jury of the world; the Premiere at the Paris Motor Show. Meanwhile, at the Koenigsegg facility, a full-scale production line for the manufacturing of vehicles was being finalized.
Glowing reviews appeared in specialist car magazines around the world early in 2001 following the successful debut of a silver production prototype Koenigsegg CC at the Paris Motor Show, late in 2000. The CC received several design awards; among them the prestigious German Red Dot Award and a prize for Swedish design excellence. Swedes vote the Koenigsegg CC to be Car of the Year in the Swedish magazine, Automobile Car and Driver magazine performed a series of tests with the car and found it better than the competition on acceleration, lateral G and braking.
In 2002 the first Koenigsegg CC, the CC8S, was assembled and delivered to its proud owner at the Geneva Motor Show in March. While the construction of the assembly line at Ängelholm was still incomplete, the team nonetheless managed to build five stunning cars during the year. Rather like his cars, Christian’s company moved at a record pace. It proved to the world that it is indeed possible for a passionate, dedicated young man to rival the old, established supercar brands.
In 2003 production was halted due to a fire in the company's kitchen area. All cars still under construction were saved, as well as most of the vital equipment used to build them. The office and most of the factory were destroyed. At first there were plans to rebuild the factory on the same site and in the same quaint, but high tech style that it used to be. Given the time this would take these plans were abandoned and Koenigsegg moved into new premises at the F10 Air Force Base, only 10 minutes away from the original factory. Koenigsegg was thereby able to retain use of the former military runway, which had turned out to be a very suitable proving ground. After some heavy modifications, the airforce base and its hangars became a very suitable place for Koenigsegg to build its cars and conduct business. It is here, in this state-of-the-art facility in southern Sweden, that Koenigsegg creates a handful of bespoke Hypercars every year.
Along with the buildings came a 1.7km runway, which has turned out to be perfect for high-speed testing of the cars. As the runway is 50 meters wide it can also easily be converted into a “race track” formation. Many Koenigsegg customers have enjoyed the possibility of landing their private jet on the runway just outside the doors of the factory. There is also a helipad in front of the main entrance for those who wish to travel by helicopter.
Each and every Koenigsegg has a premium price, but then each and every Koenigsegg has been painstakingly built by a select group of automotive artisans to the highest possible standards.
At Koenigsegg, the car is built with hand-made metal and carbonfibre components in its own hi-tech production facilities. They also source specialist components from a network of dedicated suppliers and partners – most of which are based in Sweden.
Many of these suppliers are small companies and craftsmen that produce low volumes of incredibly high quality components. The manufacture and assembly of components used in a Koenigsegg are both labor-intensive processes. There are more than 300 hand-formed carbonfibre parts alone in each car and the materials are extremely costly, without exception.
Thanks to Christian’s unique drive and vision, both his cars and company continue to move at record speed. In a relatively short period of time, Christian and his team have become experts in their field, challenging a decades-old supercar establishment.
Today, Koenigsegg employs 50 full-time staff, plus consultants. Everyone works under Christian’s direct guidance. Each and every Koenigsegg is created and meticulously assembled by a tight-knit group of automotive artisans to the highest possible standards, under Christian’s watchful eye.
Christian and Koenigsegg Automotive AB have introduced and patented several new technologies over the years. Among them are the ”rocket” catalytic converter, the supercharger response system and a variable geometry turbo system, to name but a few. Furthermore, several unique ways of using carbon fiber have been developed in-house, methods that make the car lighter, stronger and safer.
The Koenigsegg CCXR was the first ‘green’ Hypercar in the world, designed and calibrated to run on E85 and E100 biofuel, as well as normal gasoline.
The Koenigsegg philosophy does not tolerate compromise. Rather, they work at innovation in order to avoid compromise completely. Nothing is impossible. This open-mindedness and dedication are what define Koenigsegg and its cars.
The philosophy at Koenigsegg
Every single detail of a Koenigsegg car is measured against the company’s continuing goal: to enhance vehicle performance. This is reflected in everything the company does. Nothing is insignificant. The way they choose the raw materials, the staff, the setup of facilities, software, tools, systems and maintenance. Every aspect of the development process is focused on performance, not only in terms of power and speed, but also in every deliverable. From powertrain to safety – every part must enable the car to deliver the best possible performance.
Even the beautiful form of a Koenigsegg has a purpose. The cars are wind tunnel tested during development and whilst a Koenigsegg is beautiful to the eye, the exterior design also serves a higher purpose, being the most streamlined design available that will accommodate the powertrain, comfort and performance requirements that customers demand of a Koenigsegg car.
“When you build a car as powerful as a Koenigsegg, you must remain mindful of the safety of your customers” as stated by Koenigsegg. Every measure possible is taken to ensure that customers feel confident in their vehicle whenever they take the wheel. A Koenigsegg is lightweight and balanced, making it both more agile and more predictable.
Of course, the cars are equipped with all the modern safety features that one would expect. All Koenigsegg models are subjected to rigorous crash testing to ensure they meet or exceed world standards. The cars are subjected to 18 different crash tests during their development.
Everything from the careful lay up of pre-preg carbon fiber to the interior of a Koenigsegg is meticulously hand crafted. Given the customers’ ability to influence the creative process during the specification of their car, every car eventually becomes a unique work of art built to the highest standards.
Only the finest materials are selected and hand-finished by skilled artisans. The highly trained staff scrutinizes every detail to ensure that the car is able to meet the most extreme quality standards, again keeping the Koenigsegg philosophy intact.
The fruit of this philosophy, this painstaking attention to detail, is a flawless car with extreme performance and only the absolute highest quality. At Koenigsegg, emphasis is only on best performance, the highest standards in the world.

Records held by Koenigsegg:

* 2011: 0-300-0 km/h record. Time: 21.19sec. Guinness World Record. (Model: Agera R. Driver: Robert Serwanski. Koenigsegg proving ground) * 2011: 0-200-0 mph record. Time: 24.96 sec. (Model: Agera R. Driver: Robert Serwanski. Koenigsegg proving ground.) * 2011: 0-200 mph record, Time: 17.68 sec. (Model: Agera R. Driver: Robert Serwanski. Koenigsegg proving ground.) * 2011: 0-300 km/h record, Time: 14.53 sec. (Model: Agera R. Driver: Robert Serwanski. Koenigsegg proving ground.) * 2011: 200-0 mph record, Time: 7.28 sec. (Model: Agera R. Driver: Robert Serwanski. Koenigsegg proving ground.) * 2011: 300-0 km/h record, Time: 6.66 sec. (Model: Agera R. Driver: Robert Serwanski. Koenigsegg proving ground.) * 2008: 0-200 km/h record, Time: 9.3 sec. (Model: CCX. Driver: Horst von Saurma. Papenburg, (Sport Auto)). * 2008: 0-300-0 km/h record, Time: 29.2 sec. (Model: CCX. Driver: Horst von Saurma. Papenburg, (Sport Auto)). * 2006: Nürburgring speed record. Speed: 313 km/h. (Model: CCR. Driver: Horst von Saurma. (Sport Auto)). * 2006: Top Gear test track speed record, Speed: 196 mph. (Model: CCX. Driver: J. Clarkson. Dunsfold.) * 2005: Top Gear Lap record, Time: 1:17.60. (Model: CCX. Driver: The Stig. Dunsfold.) * 2005: Nardo speed record. Speed: 388 km/h. (Model: CCR. Driver: L. Bicocchi.) * 2005: Nürburgring, slalom record. Time: 36 m – 138 km/h 110 m – 158 km/h. (Car model: CCR. Driver: Horst von Saurma. (Sport Auto)).
Awards

* Plastovationer - New thinking and innovation in the polymer field * Guldkärnan 2012- Christian von Koenigsegg, Designer of the year. * EFR Business Week Award 2012 -"Reaching the unreachable". Awarded by The Economic Faculty Association Rotterdam (EFR). * Top 100 Brand 2012-World Luxury Association confirm the world´s most valuable luxury. * GTspirit Hypercar of the Year 2011- Koenigsegg Agera R * Top Gear Hypercar of The Year India Award, 2011- Koenigsegg Agera R * Top Gear Hypercar of The Year Award, 2010- Koenigsegg Agera * Power Car Award, 2008- Koenigsegg CCXR Edition * Idiada Certificate- Santa Olivia, 2008 * Power Car Award, 2007- Koenigsegg CCX * The Fastest Production Car- Guinness World record at Nardo Prototipo, Italy 2005 * World’s Most Powerful Production Car- Guinness World record, 2005 * Entrepreneur of The Year Award, 2005- Christian von Koenigsegg * Guldkärnan Award, 2004- By Marketing Org. of Helsingborg * Swedens Most Exiting Entrepeneur, 2004- Shortcut and the organisation Företagarna * The Red Dot Design Award- By the Design Zentrum of Nordrhein - Westfalen, 2001 * Most powerful production car- CC8S * Excellent Swedish Design Award, 2001- By the Institute Utmärkt Svensk Form

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