World's fastest car? Koenigsegg Regera makes an 1,800-hp case

Justin Hyde
·Managing Editor
World's fastest car? Koenigsegg Regera makes an 1,800-hp case

Christian von Koenigsegg isn't a fan of standing still. His eponymous Swedish auto company has been turning out high quality, low-volume supercars now for just over a decade, challenging the likes of Bugatti and other artisanal builders for superlatives in speed and handling.

Yet today, Koenigsegg launched his most ambitious car yet, one meant to stand on the stage with Ferrari, Porsche and any other builder. This is the Koenigsegg Regera, an 1,800-hp, $1.9 million machine capable of hitting 248 mph — in less than 20 seconds.

While four-digit horsepower figures are rare but not unheard of in small-production cars, the method by which Koenigsegg gets its power may be as impressive as its totals. The back hatch holds a twin-turbo V-8 capable of 1,100 hp on regular high-octane fuel. That engine doesn't use a transmission; rather, Koenigsegg has fitted what he calls a hydraulic drive unit that's coupled with two electric motors on the rear axle. A third electric motor on the front of the engine provides additional energy — up to 700 hp total from all three.

The result is a hypercar that can also drive 31 miles on electricity alone, and take a recharge to its 9.7-kWh battery pack from a plug-in port from the rear. Koenigsegg claims the system only adds about 200 lbs. compared to what the Regera might weigh with a traditional 7-speed transmission, in line with the company's obsession towards light vehicles.

That hasn't kept Koenigsegg from upgrading the interior of the Regera; where its previous interiors had a hint of small-carbuilder restrictions, the new one looks as finished as any from an established company. And there are several other trick pieces of engineering deployed throughout the car, from the now-trademark swing-up doors to titanium tailpipes shaped into vertical splitters that aid in creating downforce.

There's an old saying that anyone can build a car that goes fast once; the trick is repeating it, steadily. The challenge for Koenigsegg and other small builders also comes from meeting the bevy of requirements for safety that keep most low-volume cars out of the United States. For the Regera, Koenigsegg claims to have tackled those problems: the 80 cars it will sell, starting at $1.9 million, will be street-legal everywhere including the United States.

It's probably not possible to prove the Regera is the world's fastest production car — the only track long enough to run such a test belongs to Volkswagen, which build the current record holder (the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport) — but Koenigsegg suspects given enough room, the Regera might hit 270 mph. Given how much innovation the Regera brings to the supercar world, it's hard to bet against it.