Kurt Verlin

LaFerrari, McLaren P1, or Porsche 918? I’d Rather Have the Koenigsegg Regera

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page
Koenigsegg Regera supercar front blue

The stunning, game-changing Koenigsegg Regera
Photo: Koenigsegg Automotive AB

You’ve no doubt heard of LaFerrari, the McLaren P1, and Porsche 918—that trio of hybrids that not only defy but shatter the limits we once expected of traditional supercars, and which car enthusiasts are dying to see in a head-to-head on the Top Gear Test Track.

More: Why the Dubai Police’s Supercar Squad Isn’t Just for Catching Criminals

The thing is, if you happen to get most of your auto news from Top Gear UK, there’s another contender you may not have heard much about (because it remains inexplicably unmentioned on the show): Koenigsegg.

Had I written this article two weeks ago, it would undoubtedly have been about the Koenigsegg One:1—the automaker’s stupefying “megacar” that produces exactly one Megawatt of power (that’s 1,341 ponies) while maintaining a one-to-one power-to-weight ratio, hence the name and self-proclaimed title. Christian von Koenigsegg, the CEO and mastermind behind the Swedish company, built it to show that you didn’t need hybrid technology to get the performance of the aforementioned trio. Needless to say, he made his point, as the One:1 smokes all of them in terms of power.

When I first learned of its existence, I was flabbergasted. “Who and how in the world is anyone going to top this?” I wondered. Deep down, I knew the answer was not truly a matter of who and how but rather of when, as it always is when it comes to engineering and technology. But because this article isn’t about the One:1, this means my question has already been answered, only a year after the megacar’s launch. I would never have guessed to be proven right so soon, least of all by–yep–Koenigsegg. Again.

Koenigsegg Regera supercar brown interior

Even from the inside, the Koenigsegg Regera stands out from the crowd
Photo: Koenigsegg Automotive AB

This time, the automaker’s offering is a hybrid. The plug-in kind, in fact. It’s called the Regera, and the amount of engineering innovation and prowess that has gone into the vehicle is truly spectacular. Being of rather limited technical expertise, I’ll just point you toward the official website for all the details, but stick around for the juiciest bits.

The engine is a modified version of the same twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V8 that Koenigsegg has been using in all its latest cars, amplified by three electric motors. The engine produces 1,100 hp on its own and the motors add another 700 hp, though the combined output isn’t as simple as adding the numbers together. It could crank out as much as 1,800 hp (!), but all we know for a fact is that the Regera makes at least 1,500 hp and 1,475 lb-ft of torque. Somehow, we wouldn’t be disappointed if it was “just” the latter amount. It’s funny how 300 hp can seem almost insignificant when the numbers are this high.

More: Supercar Dating Website Promotes “High Octane” Passion

All that power goes straight to the rear wheels. One electric motor for each, and the third–well, that’s where things get really interesting. The third is part of the Koenigsegg Direct Drive (KDD) system, which replaces what would normally be the transmission. Oh, did I forget to mention? The Regera doesn’t have gears.

Koenigsegg Regera supercar rear blue

Wait…a plug-in Koenigsegg? The world will never be the same!
Photo: Koenigsegg Automotive AB

The KDD is one of Christian von Koenigsegg’s engineering marvels, and I wouldn’t presume to understand half of its inner workings, but the result is easy enough to swallow: you get a lot of torque fill while still saving weight compared to having a regular transmission. The torque curve isn’t quite flat like in a pure electric car–such as the Tesla Model S–but close enough as to make no difference.

All of that brings us to some truly impressive performance numbers. The Regera does 0 to 62 mph in 2.7 seconds. If that seems a bit high for a car with that much power, that’s because it is. As a rear-wheel-drive car, it simply can’t go faster because of traction limitations from the tires. Not that it matters; at 62 mph, the Regera has barely begun to stretch its legs, which can take it from 0 to 186 mph in 12 seconds, 0 to 250 mph in 20 seconds, 93 to 155 mph in 3.2 seconds, and to a top speed of 255 mph. Try to wrap your mind around all that, and then remember it’s also an economical car that can do about 18 miles on pure electric power alone.

The Regera is full of other interesting technologies, like its world-first foldable top-mounted rear wing and robotized chassis. It’s surprising and awesome to see so much innovation in a single car, so soon after the company had already made the One:1. Though Koenigsegg is first and foremost an engineering firm after all, which just so happens to make cars.

I really hope they keep making them.

More: Long-Awaited Porsche 911 GT3 RS Debuts in Geneva

  • Kurt VerlinEditor

    Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.

  • How to tame 1500 horsepower and nearly 1500 lb-ft of torque and send it to a single axle? That is a problem neither Koenigsegg, nor any other manufacturer has solved. Hence the Regera is slower to 60 than a Tesla, which way is nearly 20 times cheaper. As impressive as the Regera is in many respects, it does not get around the fact that a state of the art drivetrain needs more than 2 wheels to get that kind of power to the ground effectively.

    • matt

      Slower to 60 than a Tesla? Check your facts again. The Tesla takes 3.1-3.2 seconds. And let’s not forget there’s the acceleration figures between certain speeds that are way more important

      • Kev

        Well, with the ludicrous mode, the Tesla will do 2.6-2.8 0-60 mph.

    • Clint Domine

      well it could put its power down with just two wheels just comes down to a compromise with the tires. If you put on drag radials then you wont have issue with traction but then its not suitable for a road car.

  • Taken on the whole, this car is an engineering and design marvel. The fact the Regera does not come from supercar “royalty” but from a tiny group in Sweden headed by a young automotive genius makes the story even more interesting. This is an unconventional, game changing car that deserves every bit of the praise heaped upon it. The fact that it is is a thing of exquisite beauty as well is the icing on the cake. I could never own one, but I deeply respect the abilities of the men who made it. Stunning.