Last week we opened up the comments section here at Koenigsegg and invited you to participate in an “Ask Me Anything” style forum with our founder and CEO, Christian von Koenigsegg.

I proposed asking Christian between 15 and 20 questions but we got more than 200 and I’ll be lucky if I can whittle it down to 50!!

Fuller answers to some deeper questions will come later this week, but we thought it’d be good to get back to you with some quick answers to common questions first.

Remember: Comments are open at the end of the story, if there’s anything you’d like to ask or contribute.

——

CARLOS MARTINEZ MARTINEZ
I’m Carlos and I live in Valencia (Spain), I will start studying Industrial Design in September and I would like to know how can I work at Koenigsegg when I finish my degree and masters.

Christian: It’s been wonderful to see so many people comment about wanting to work at Koenigsegg. We have a ‘Work’ website attached to the main Koenigsegg website and all available jobs are listed on that website. It’s at http://work.koenigsegg.com/. If there is nothing that suits your skills right now, there is also a section where you can submit your CV for us to look at. We may need someone with your skills in the future.

Note: We’ll have more on this topic when get to fuller answers later in the week, including what experience is desirable right now, what skills we expect to be in demand in the future and what attributes we look for in candidates – ed.

CJ
Hi Mr. Koenigsegg! I’m a huge fan of Koenigsegg supercars. My question is, when will you guys test the real top speed of your cars?

CvK: We would like to do such a test, but I have to say it’s not a super-high priority for us. It’s nice to be able to say you’ve got the fastest driven road car in the world and we believe that the One:1 could take the current record but for us, it’s a matter of priorities. There are several factors here:

#1 – This is not an easy thing for us to do and it’s not without risk (see below) so……. How important is it, really? Is it important enough to our customers to make us want to do it? Our customers are generally far more interested in, driving excitement, usability and overall performance than outright top speed that is impossible to reach unless one has access to a closed of 10 km straight!. They know that the car is brutally fast and they know that it will do what we say it can do. So the question becomes – is testing the extreme outer limit of the car a necessity, or just good for marketing?

#2 – You have to have the right venue to do it. VW’s Ehra-Lessien test track would be ideal, but they are not likely to allow a Bugatti competitor to use it. So far we have not found any airfield in the world long enough, the longest we found was around 5 km and this is about half the distance needed.

#3 – We are still a small company and we have to choose with what we spend our time and resources on. As we have not found an available track that is good or long enough yet we have prioritized our resources towards track, handling and everyday capability of our cars, which we feel is more important for our cars and customers.

Here’s a question for you – What is more important: an absolute top speed that customers are never likely to reach, or acceleration speed, which a customer will use every time they go to the track?

We recently ran the One:1 from 0-300-0kph in just 17.95 seconds, which is an incredible time. It’s a 0-300kph time far quicker than any other car. We believe the One:1 can go on to reach in excess of the current 435kph record, but we think a ‘usable’ record is much more important. A lot of stars would have to be in alignment for us to attempt this. You never say never. It may come about that we can do this test safely and effectively and we’ll happily make an attempt. But a lot of things have to fall into place for a test like this to be done.

NIMBOOZI
You’ve set a few official/unofficial lap records at Spa and Suzuka with the One:1, but what about all the other circuits of the world? What is your plan to cover them all?

This is more like something we’d enjoy doing, both for ourselves and for our customers. We don’t see a need to set lap records on all circuits around the globe. But for sure we plan to continue to show the performance of our cars on many tracks to come.

We have resources to cover a number of attempts at prominent tracks but we have to choose carefully. An added complication that we face right now is that our factory development One:1 will be taken by its new owner soon, so we do not have long to make another attempt. Watch this space.

DSC_4752

GABRIEL M
My question to you is will you ever get to set a lap time at the Nurburgring and are you going to make an entry-level super car?

CvK: The Nurburgring situation has not changed. They still have speed limits in place in sections of the track and that makes it impossible for manufacturers to fully test that capability of their vehicles on the track. We hope the situation changes in the future and we will do everything we can to get there if/when it does.

You can read Koenigsegg’s initial response to the Nurburgring speed limits here – ed.

JOHN CHUNG
Will you ever produce a normal road car for consumers to use? Like Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz etc?

CvK: Not likely in the near future. However, many of the technologies that we are developing for our cars will start to be seen also on more normal cars; such as down-sizing technology for combustion engines (we presently have the world’s most downsized homologated engine in production), electronic control systems and control algorithms, carbon fiber wheel technologies, Freevalve technology and so on. We work in an area where we can stretch the boundaries of what’s technologically possible. Presently that’s far more interesting to me than making mass-market cars.

CHRISTIAN WILSON
Do you remember a couple of years ago you met a 20-ish young Norwegian man on a plane from Copenhagen to Munich? We ended up talking nearly the entire flight with me sitting in the centre aisle of the plane. I asked if you could sign my boarding pass – and you did: “Från Christian Till Christian”. What I strongly regret to this day is not asking for your email address. Just hearing ‘No’, would be settling.

CvK: Nice to hear from you, Christian! I remember the flight. We had a good conversation. My email address is used directly for my work-related communication, it is not a general Koenigsegg “inbox”. Still, it does already tend to be filled to the brim on a daily basis, resulting in a lot of “catching up”. I do get a lot of requests for contact but there is only so much time available and I have too much work to do. Sorry for that!

PINGU
Koenigsegg Automotive AB was closing in on a deal to buy Saab Automobile AB in 2009, but in the end it didn’t come through. Although there was much written in the (Swedish) press about it at the time, it was almost all negativity regarding the financial details and hardly anything about what the actual idea behind the deal was. It would be interesting to know what convinced you at that time that such a deal would be worthwhile.

CvK: I’m aware that a few questions ago I said that we are not into building mass-market cars and it’s true for Koenigsegg Automotive AB. The Saab opportunity was different and involved a specific set of circumstances:

1. It was clear that SAAB needed innovation and entrepreneurial help to survive.

2. SAAB had fantastic and underutilized car development facilities that could be used to revitalize the brand relatively quickly and efficiently if we could infuse the Koenigsegg way of working with these facilities instead of the GM way.

3. We had many technologies from the Koenigsegg side that we could quickly and efficiently integrate into the then-present line up of SAAB cars to make them more desirable and exciting. Things such as suspension and handling, turbo patents, reduced back pressure systems, FreeValve engine systems (sister company to Koenigsegg), upgraded exterior design using our aero and design experience etc. Basically, it was a unique opportunity to enter that market with a good brand and a good factory at what would have been a very affordable price. I think we could have used some of our technology and design expertise to make some interesting cars.

The group was called the Koenigsegg Group because mine was a recognisable name. There were other much larger investors behind the group that saw the opportunity, which is where most of the financial resources would have come from to actually run the business. I am very happy with what Koenigsegg AB is doing now, but it would be interesting to know what life would have been like if the Saab deal had happened. Many said it was an impossible undertaking. Actually I fully agree. The fact is, I like impossible undertakings, like for example creating Koenigsegg Automotive from scratch or being instrumental in creating the worlds first fully functioning FreeValve system.

Image: Guardian.com

November-2009-Swedish-aut-020

JORDAN KWAN
Is it possible to see any other Koenigseggs in video games that isn’t the original Agera?

CvK: It’s amazing how many people mention their connection to Koenigsegg coming via video games. We don’t approach video game companies about using our cars. They approach us to use them. We’re always happy for them to do so as long as it is a licenced use. As such, it is the video game companies that decide which versions of our cars to use. Still, I have seen the CC8S, the CCR, the CCGT, CCXR and many more of our models in video games over the years. What is interesting is that many video games makes our cars handle worse, accelerate slower or increase braking distance, just so that the “competition” does not look as “bad”. We have confronted them many times regarding this and the usual answer is: it is a game and not a simulator! Also some car manufacturers “sponsor” games to make sure their cars “perform” well in the games.

KYLE
Are there plans to make new models that would fall within the group of earlier models before the Agera lineup, like the CCX and CCXR? The Agera models are my very favorite, but I do still wonder about those earlier models, and if they would be made again.

CvK: It’s unlikely. Our new-buying customers want the latest technology and because of our limited production capability, we have to build our latest vehicles only. This also has to do with homologation – emissions, consumption and safety standards – becoming tougher and tougher to comply with. The earlier cars would have to be redesigned to comply with coming regulations.

AHARON
Why are Koenigseggs not allowed to officially post times of races, top speeds, or compete against other cars I.e. Car reviewers such as Chris Harris and such?

CvK: There are no rules or conditions about Koenigsegg cars not being tested by reviewers from magazines or internet reviews. The reason why you rarely ever see it is because we do not have many test cars for the press to drive. As mentioned earlier, we are a small company and we sell everything that we make (somewhere between 10 and 15 cars per year).
We have had the One:1 factory development car since last year. We’ve been fortunate enough to set a few records and do publicity with that car. Several journalists have driven it and written about it. But even that car is sold and will go to its new owner in a few months from now. So it’s not a matter of journalists not being allowed to test our cars, it’s a matter of us not having cars for them to test because every car we make is sold before it is built. Still we will do our best to increase the rate of outside testing and reviewing of our cars.

PRASHANTH SWAMINATHAN
I know #017 a CCR crashed badly few years ago in 2013 and was the only existing yellow Koenigsegg at that time. Would we ever see a yellow Koenigsegg now? I feel like the ’13’ chassi superstition, Koenigsegg have now abandoned painting cars yellow cause of the unfortunate incident. Is my thinking correct or do I over analyze? :^)

CvK: You do over analyze, indeed. We paint the car according to the customer’s wishes. It just so happens that not many yellow cars have been ordered. But we do have an order coming up for a yellow paint finish so maybe you will see it on the street some time.

ROMAC
I have this [ innovative | hare-brained | earth-changing ] idea related to motor vehicles and / or their components. Are you interested in hearing about it and potentially commenting on it? (with due regard for privacy and non-disclosure)

CvK: We have good people working at Koenigsegg who are very good at coming up with innovative solutions to either solve problems or advance our technology. We do hear from people rather frequently, suggesting various solutions of their own. The trick is whether or not the concept has been tested and proven so that you/we know that it’s either innovative, earth-changing or hare-brained. There are big differences between those three. The reality, given the need to prioritize, we are mostly a test lab for our own ideas and therefore it’s very rare that we are a test lab for “outsiders” ideas. Still we really try to be open minded at all times.

KRISTER
Can you please explain why your cars doesn’t resemble the Il Tempo Gigante, even a little bit? How does that jive with what you said about it being your prime inspiration?

I wanted to, but I struggled to get the aerodynamics to work 🙂

Seriously, though…… the Pinchcliffe Grand Prix story was my first inspiration and of course, I love the Il Tempo Gigante as part of that story. The inspiration was more that one man can “invent” a new type of car and there I feel I have really taken inspiration from Reodor and his Il Tempo Gigante.

Thankfully someone has taken up that mantle and built the Il Tempo Gigante. And thankfully, the Agera R didn’t lose to it in this exhibition lap a few years ago.

——

That’s all for today. We will have more from Christian later in the week, including your deeper questions about the beginnings of Koenigsegg, the technology we use and, of course, the future of high performance motoring.

26 comments

  1. Comment by maanders

    maanders August 5, 2015 at 18:46

    Very interesting and entertaining read. Thanks to Christian for sharing his thoughts with us. (You know this is definitely Christian answering because I can hear his voice in my head as I read the answers!)

    It was especially interesting to hear his thoughts on “what might have been” if the Saab purchase had gone through to Koenigsegg Group back in 2009. Truly something that would have been fun to follow, had things gone differently.

  2. Comment by Brendan

    Brendan August 5, 2015 at 19:41

    SWade – I think you mean “Exciting” not “Exiting” in your answer re: Saab purchase.

    Corrected. With thanks. SW

  3. Comment by Romac

    Romac August 5, 2015 at 22:10

    Dear Christian. Thank you for answering my question about [ innovative | hare-brained | earth-changing ] ideas so seriously – a very good answer. All the answers to questions I have read have been interesting. +1 to MAANDERS (18:46) – I totally agree.

  4. Comment by Niklas Kaijanto

    Niklas Kaijanto August 6, 2015 at 02:03

    Would it be possible To me make something like the free Valve system in your saab To my 1980 Toyota Corolla.

    • Comment by Jacob Hansen

      Jacob Hansen August 6, 2015 at 11:30

      Everything is posible, it’s just a matter of how much you are wiling to pay 😉

  5. Comment by Fredrik Klingström

    Fredrik Klingström August 6, 2015 at 13:06

    I would love to hear a detailed version of the SAAB interest. You could have given that brand such an amazing journey that I’m sure still would have existed…

  6. Comment by Nimboozi

    Nimboozi August 6, 2015 at 13:26

    Thanks for answering my question Mr. Koenigsegg!
    I’m really bursting at the seams with comments and I really think you should add a separate comments box for each of your replies, don’t you?

    But anyway, I’m happy to know that you guys do have plans to cover those prominent circuits!
    Wish you all the best for setting world-class times! It’s also sad to know that the first One:1you made is going to pass into private hands and I personally think you guys should have held on to that but it would be much better to make a few more right?(Hint,hint!)😉

    Nimboozi.

  7. Comment by Robert

    Robert August 6, 2015 at 16:31

    Hello guys
    Awesome work you do
    Have you ever thought about a 4 seater GranAgera?
    Or to swap a random car, for example a hot hatch or a saloon, with your Direct-Drive?

  8. Comment by Mr.Singh

    Mr.Singh August 6, 2015 at 19:32

    Hi Christian I just wanted to ask in the future will you guys build a Lamborghini aventador competitor or something similar like a entry level super car? And BTW I’m a huge fan or your company and hope one day I will get to purchase one of your cars and get to meet you I’m only 16 but I’m working everyday to achieve that goal.

  9. Comment by Steven Wade

    Steven Wade August 6, 2015 at 20:01

    Robert, Mr Singh,

    We have three or four more instalments of the AMA with Christian coming online over the next week or so. Those topics are covered, so stay tuned…..

  10. Comment by Justin H.

    Justin H. August 6, 2015 at 22:22

    Hello from New York Mr. Koenigsegg!

    I’ve been a fan of your cars for a very long time, and haven’t ever been disappointed every time I wander through the New York Auto Show! However at a very young age before I even knew your company existed, it has been a dream of mine to make my own innovative car company and coincidentally follow a similar path to yours! Do you have any advice for someone with similar aspirations of making a prototype car from scratch as well as a company?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Comment by Steven Wade

      Steven Wade August 7, 2015 at 08:18

      That question will be addressed in coming parts of the AMA series. It’ll be published very soon.

  11. Comment by Andy N.

    Andy N. August 6, 2015 at 22:57

    Hi Mr. Koenigsegg, I am really curious what your thoughts are about Pagani. What is the relationship is between the companies and between Mr. Pagani and yourself? I feel like there is a lot of respect between the two but I would like to hear what your opinion is. Also what is your opinion of the Zonda and Huayra? Thanks! (I hope that this is still a place where I can ask questions)

    • Comment by Steven Wade

      Steven Wade August 7, 2015 at 08:20

      Andy, we can’t take any fresh questions for the AMA with Christian at this time. Suffice to say, however, that we have plenty of professional respect for all of our fellow exotic car makers.

      • Comment by Robert

        Robert August 8, 2015 at 11:54

        Hello Steven
        Could you imagine to work together?
        I mean the product would be unbeatable;)

  12. Comment by Jocke

    Jocke August 7, 2015 at 10:37

    Hi, i was wondering if you ever consider selling performance parts to the aftermarket? Your valvetechnology and carbonfiber wheel would be awesome in my bike! 😉
    keep up the good work!

  13. Comment by Travis

    Travis August 7, 2015 at 16:51

    Mr. Koenigsegg, I have a vision that would allow average guys like me to drive supercars for hobby. It is somewhat of a collective / marketing / research / and dream job all tied up in one. I understand that your busy. If your interested, email me (email removed)

  14. Comment by Karthik

    Karthik August 8, 2015 at 10:51

    Sir, I am one of the biggest fan of koenigsegg. I really am inspired by the way you started your company in 1994.I would really like to know more about you. For instance I really want to know how you changed the company from what it was in the 90’s to what it is today.

  15. Comment by Prashanth Swaminathan

    Prashanth Swaminathan August 9, 2015 at 05:12

    Hello Koenigsegg,

    Thank you for answering my question on will there be a yellow Koenigsegg in future. I can indeed say now the future of Koenigsegg is ‘bright’ 😉

    I do await the next few parts of AMA with CvK and hope at least 1 more of my questions is picked!

    Either ways keep up the great work Steven Wade and Koenigsegg.

    Regards,
    Prashanth Swaminathan.

  16. Comment by pingu

    pingu August 9, 2015 at 08:33

    Big thanks to CvK for taking his time to answering all these question!

  17. Comment by uffe

    uffe August 19, 2015 at 11:35

    Jag skulle gärna vilja veta varför som det inte blev någon affär att köpa Saab? Vad var det som gjorde att den långt komna processen avbröts?

    Med vänlig hälsning Uffe

  18. Comment by Nate

    Nate August 26, 2015 at 01:43

    If you had to buy a car under $100,000 ($835,970 Krona), what would you get? Why?

    • Comment by Steven Wade

      Steven Wade August 26, 2015 at 07:13

      I think that one will be coming up in a future instalment 😉

  19. Comment by Arron

    Arron August 26, 2015 at 06:25

    I have this [ innovative | hare-brained | earth-changing ] idea related to motor vehicles and / or their components. What actions should I take to legitimize it so that it would be worth you taking a moment to think about? Also, any information on the KED would be appreciated, as I cannot find any, so I am currently assuming that it is similar to Ferrari’s E-diff.
    Thank you.

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