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    Poetry in motion at 388km/h

    Poetry in motion at 388km/h

    In February, a little-known Swedish sports car set a new speed record. Christian von Koenigsegg, the poet-sailor who built it, talks to Life!
    By Christopher Tan

    THE dream of making your own supercar is not exactly new. But most of those who have tried it have never made it to commercial success in their lifetimes. I understand Koenigsegg is your personal passion and dream, but do you care if the venture will be a profitable venture 10 to 20 years down the road?

    My other car is a Jaguar, wait, somehow that didn't come out quite the way I meant. -- PHOTO: CHRISTIAN VON KOENIGSEGG

    Yes, I do care. For me it is important to establish sustainable growth. I believe this to be possible with the right attitude and right products.

    What are your projected sales numbers?

    Right now, we are looking at a slow and steady growth from where we are (fewer than 50 cars sold since 2002). In the long term, we expect to have a few different models, but still at a very low volume. In the long run, I think Koenigsegg will never produce more than 400 cars per year.

    The supercar segment seems crowded at the moment. Ferrari with its Enzo, Bugatti with its Veyron, Porsche with the Carerra GT, Mercedes with its SLR, and so on. Tell us why we need a Koenigsegg?

    We simply believe we have a more unique and better performing product than anyone else. As far as we know, when it comes to the total performance envelope - meaning, braking, acceleration, cornering, top speed - we are in a league of our own. Even if the Veyron might prove to be faster (when it is launched later this year).

    How much have you invested so far in the venture?

    All I have. But I cannot give you an exact number since it is very difficult to say an exact number due to the fact that we have received a lot of sponsoring from suppliers and other parties.

    You started when you were 22, am I right? Tell us a bit more about the early years.

    I started when I was five years old, when I saw a puppet movie about a Norwegian bicycle repairman who built his own sportscar and raced it. Since that day, I knew I would build my own car.

    When I was 22, I decided to go about it. Before then, it was all only theory. I feel that my teenage years of constant thinking about how to build cars and analysing cars helped me a lot when I finally started. You can say that I went to an unofficial car design and construction university for 17 years.

    How did you feel when you saw the first car roll out? When and where was this?

    Tingly. It was in a small garage in the south of Sweden. This was back in 1996. We were four people building the car by hand and I was deeply hands on, and involved in every part of it.

    What did your family say when they found out you were making your own car?

    They knew my passion for cars. However, they know nothing about cars. So they probably did not understand how outrageous the idea actually was.

    What are your favourite cars (or bikes), and what do you own now?

    Tucker Torpedo, Auto Union racers from the 1930s, the streamlined Tatraplans and Duesenbergs in general for their innovative engines. And the same for the Bugatti with integrated cylinder-head engine blocks. I drive a Jaguar S-Type when I am not driving the Koenigseggs.

    How fast have you driven? Tell us about the moment.

    340kmh. Steady and stable cruising on the highway. What is shocking is how fast you get used to this kind of speeds.

    What is your professional background?

    I did not have much of a professional background before I started this company, except for the fact that I started my first trading company when I was 19 years old. I like to invent and see myself as an inventor. I have a few patents on catalytic converters and supercharger systems. And I did invent the click-on laminate floor system back in 1992.

    If you were not pursuing this dream, what would you have taken up?

    I like philosophy and poetry. I used to write poetry. But most likely, I would have created something technical as this is where my true passion lies.


    Veteran test-driver Loris Bicocchi on the Koenigsegg and his record-breaking run...

    Besides Koenigsegg, what are some of the cars you've tested?

    I have been working as development test-driver for Lamborghini, Bugatti (EB110, EB112 and Veyron), Pagani (Zonda) and BMW (M1).

    How and why is the CCR different from the rest?

    It is lighter, more aerodynamic and has a superior suspension layout compared to other supercars.

    How much faster can the CCR go?

    In dry wheather conditions and in a straight line, it should be substantially faster (than 388kmh).

    Describe the day that you set the record for Koenigsegg.

    It was on the 28th of February 2005 that I drove the Koenigsegg CCR that broke the McLaren F1 world record. It was a rainy day. There was a lot of tension in the air since we wanted to set the record before the Geneva Motor Show which started the day after. The team backing me up did a wonderful job, the car felt safe and did not let me down. It was a tremendous feeling. What more can I say?

    Re: Poetry in motion at 388km/h

    Wow thanx man

    Re: Poetry in motion at 388km/h

    very very nice article... a great read, my salutations to Christian von Koenigsegg for his innovative thinking, he has come a long way!

    Re: Poetry in motion at 388km/h

    On February the 28th 2005, at 12.08 local time, the Koenigsegg CCR broke the production road car speed record, achieving a new official top speed of 388 (387.87) km/h.

    BSR technician team who have participate in the development of the engine, have definitely been a great part of the success. Mikael Edstrand at BSR was assisting with data acquisition and analysing of the engine electronics during the record attempt.

    The Koenigsegg CCR raised McLaren's previously unofficial mark of 372 km/h set at Nardo/Prototipo in 1993 with over 15 km/h. On top of this the CCR broke the official McLaren F1 record of 386.7 km/h, which was set on the 9 km straight line VW Ehra facility in Wolfsburg Germany.

    The famous testdriver Loris Bicocchi was very impressed by the performance of the car and the capacity of the engine. This shows that BSR definately belongs to the elite world of programming and mapping engine software.

    Koenigsegg is present at the 75th Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva.

    Re: Poetry in motion at 388km/h

    Am I the only one that can visualize Christian Von Koenigsegg as the next Bond villain armed with an automobile that even Q-branch underrated?

    Re: Poetry in motion at 388km/h

    hahahaha i agree:p

    christian von koenigsegg reminds me of steve the bouncer on jerry springer

    Re: Poetry in motion at 388km/h

    Mike S said:
    christian von koenigsegg reminds me of steve the bouncer on jerry springer




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