We are covering the build of Koenigsegg Agera RS chassis 128 from start to finish here on the Koenigsegg website.

Chassis 128 will be the first Agera RS to be fully homologated for the United States.

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Station 1 is where it all begins at the Koenigsegg factory. This is where the various carbon fiber parts, along with the fuel tank, are bonded together to make our monocoque chassis.

The monocoque is one of the core elements of any Koenigsegg’s capability because of its light weight and extreme torsional rigidity, or stiffness. We’ll talk a little more about that later.

First, let’s look at how we build the tub chassis in the Agera RS.

It’s an autoclave cured, pre-impregnated carbon-fiber construction with an aluminium honeycomb core structure (the same as used in Formula 1, for increased crash protection). An aluminium fuel tank is integrated into the tub chassis, inside the hollow box sections, in order to give the fuel tank maximum protection and to give the car the best possible weight distribution in combination with the most optimal packaging available. The total weight of the whole chassis and fuel tank is just over 90 kilograms, or 198 pounds. That’s super-light in anyone’s terms.

We start with the basic component parts – the bottom section of the chassis and the fuel tank.

Station1 (1 of 23)

The fuel tank is very advanced with built in anti-slosh walls and flaps, for optimal fuel distribution and pickup. It holds 82 liters.

Station1 (2 of 23)

For this entire section of the build, the parts are bonded together using an industrial epoxy adhesive.

Why bond the sections together?

If you bolt carbon parts together – welding is not possible, of course, because it’s carbon fiber – you get a stress point of force where the bolt is. Carbon is by far the strongest material compared to its weight, but it does not particularity like high point loads because it is fibrous. By using an adhesive, we’re able to get a full bond across the whole surface area where the two parts meet.

We’re talking about a large surface area and super-strong adhesive here, capable of holding around 36.1 Newtons or just over 3.5kgs per square millimeter. That’s 2370kgs or more than 5,200lbs per square inch – a lot more than the weight of the entire car. And we use a LOT of this adhesive on every section of the chassis. In fact, the amount of adhesive used on the Agera RS is more than enough to stick a couple of fully loaded Airbus A380s to the underside of the Oresund bridge (if the surfaces were suitable).

To make sure every mm of the bonding surface has enough adhesive, it is applied very generously. When the parts meet in the assembly jig and are being squeezed together, the excess adhesive is wiped off. This way we ensure consistent, secure bonds across the entire chassis, albeit at the cost of some extra adhesive.

Here’s an example:

Station1 (17 of 23)

In the picture below, the tank is already in place and Micke is applying more adhesive to the seams where the carbon and the fuel tank meet. Raul is readying the next load of adhesive so that the top section of the tub can be bonded.

Station1 (3 of 23)

Tim and Raul continuing the preparation…..

Station1 (6 of 23)

….. before fitting the top section of the tub.

Station1 (7 of 23)

It’s a case of ‘rinse and repeat’ for the nose section, the center tunnel, the windscreen section and the rear rollover bars. All have to be positioned perfectly and bonded into place.

Station1 (9 of 23)

Station1 (10 of 23)

Why is this all done manually?

The one thing you won’t see anywhere at the Koenigsegg factory is a robot. We are a small volume manufacturer. Our chassis component parts are built using consistent molds, but built by hand. In fact, many Koenigsegg parts are so complex that the only tool advanced enough to create them are skilled human hands. This way we can create a lighter more advanced car with more advanced components compared to more “mass produced” hypercars and thereby gain technical and performance advantages.

For example the dashboard is integrated as one piece with the hollow A-frame for the front window. In any other car this area would easily consist of 6 to 10 pieces. In a Koenigsegg, it is one hollow, immensely strong piece, and that also allows for the roof to be stored in front of it in the luggage compartment. This part can only be created with skilled hands.

Designing our car is a very human-centric process. Building one of them is, too.

Station1 (18 of 23)

Station1 (11 of 23)

Along the way, everything is measured and then measured again to ensure that panels are precision aligned. The roof is a key element here. Because the roof on every Koenigsegg is a removable item, the distance between the A-pillar and the rear rollover bar is crucial. Final alignment will be done in the jig, but Raul is measuring the gap with a laser (note the red dot on the rollover bar) to ensure that it’s right as the work progresses.

Station1 (12 of 23)

The ventilation chamber for the windscreen is installed at this point. Raul is seen in the pictures below both sanding and then bonding the surface.

Station1 (13 of 23)

Station1 (16 of 23)

When all the work is done and everything aligned, the jig is finally closed. The adhesive has a 90-minute window for basic movement/realignment and any excess is removed/cleaned during this window. It takes a further 7 days for the adhesive to cure completely.

Station1 (19 of 23)

Station1 (21 of 23)

Station1 (23 of 23)

Let’s talk about why we do this, then. Why do we build the chassis the way we do and why is torsional rigidity such an important component of the way we build a car at Koenigsegg? We’ll put the Koenigsegg chassis into perspective by looking at some more well-known cars first.

A Chevrolet Cruze is a generic, modern compact car. It has a torsional rigidity figure of 17,600 Nm per degree.

The Mini Cooper from early this century is a more sporting economy car. It has a torsional rigidity figure of 24,500 Nm per degree.

The Ferrari F50 is a performance car legend and a true collectible. It had a torsional rigidity figure of 34,600 Nm per degree.

The Porsche 918 Spyder is a contemporary of the Agera, also with a removable roof. It has a torsional rigidity figure of 40,000 Nm per degree.

The monocoque in the Koenigsegg Agera RS has a torsional rigidity figure of 65,000 Nm per degree.

Those figures should give you a feel for different cars and their level of structural stiffness. So what does it all mean?

In simple terms, it means that the car is very, very resistant to twisting or flexing when under pressure (e.g. at 1.8g’s in a corner). All cars benefit from a stiffer chassis but it is more expensive and more complex to create than a less stiff chassis, especially if you are looking for low weight, good space and good ergonomics.

One thing that many people don’t understand is that a stiff chassis actually allows for softer suspension and a more comfortable ride compared to a less stiff chassis if you set it up that way. The reason for this is that a stiffer chassis allows the suspension to do more of the work. With a less rigid chassis, the chassis flexes and moves when the suspension moves and this has to be considered when you design the suspension movement. Also a less stiff chassis has a more noticeable “judder” when driven on uneven surfaces, as the structure of the car resonates with the bumps. This is known as the resonance of the chassis.

Running hand-in-hand with rigidity is weight and to some extent, engine power. If you have a heavy car with poor rigidity then it will be more prone to flex as the laws of physics put stress on the chassis in the corners. The more power and speed, the more flex you will be prone to. If you make the car lighter, the inertia will be less and it will relieve this stress to some degree. Many readers might have enjoyed some seat time in a Mazda MX-5 (Miata). The NA series MX-5 has relatively weak rigidity (6000 Nm) but is super-light with an engine output appropriate for the car, which helps explain it’s fun nature on the road. A lot of MX-5 owners stiffen the car using aftermarket braces and suspension.

It’s all about knowing what your customers want. Koenigsegg customers want the best performance car in the world and a lightweight car with a super stiff chassis is the best foundation for superb handling in a comfortable car.

And that’s exactly what we build.

Station1 (4 of 23)

Station1 (5 of 23)

22 comments

  1. Comment by Ahmad Al-qaed

    Ahmad Al-qaed December 2, 2015 at 16:31

    I wish (like many pther car guys) I work there in Koenigsegg’s factory, it’s just an amazing place to work in, and anybody could write this to say how much they want to work and such things, but imagine waking up for “work” but actually you are doing your hobby as work as no one in any place could be happier

    • Comment by Giordano Menegazzi

      Giordano Menegazzi December 3, 2015 at 18:01

      To Ahmad al Gaed you’r totally right sir!
      I really wish someday, i can go to work at Koenigsegg.
      If you can call it work indeed. it’s really following your passion and creating the best car in the world with a small family.

      But first i have about 3,5 years of extra studying to do before i have my Bachelor of science. :p

      Also to Steven Wade, thank you sir! for this update on the blog i really love it and can’t wait to read the next article about the build.

      Keep it up!

  2. Comment by Elias

    Elias December 2, 2015 at 17:08

    How many stations are there in the factory?

    • Comment by Steven Wade

      Steven Wade December 2, 2015 at 17:24

      There are 8 stations in the factory, plus a couple of associated areas (polishing, composite construction, interior fabrication, etc)

  3. Comment by Primož Resman

    Primož Resman December 2, 2015 at 17:30

    The tub itself might have a 65 kNm/deg torsional rigidity, but what is the rigidity between the axles of an assembled car? It’s said the other cars have an x value, which i suppose to mean stands for the rear to front axle rigidity (which is the one that really matters after all). The 918 and F50 both probably have a much higher rigidity value in their tubs as well.

    A figure on page 6 of the following PDF shows, that by far the stiffest part of an F1 car is the chassis. Sure, You use braces around the engine and a self-designed block, probably incorporating the stiffness requirements into it, but still, i doubt the engine is as stiff as the tub is (including the fastenings and all).

    http://sd-2.archive-host.com/membres/up/10237196789579146/moteurs_BMW_F1.pdf

    • Comment by Tyler

      Tyler December 9, 2015 at 21:29

      I was hoping to see an answer to this as I had the same question come to mind as I read the post. Obviously posting your process opens you up to further scrutiny so I (and I’m sure many others) appreciate the transparency Koenigsegg offers that I would never expect to see out of another manufacturer. Looking forward to further updates!

    • Comment by Christian Wilson

      Christian Wilson December 14, 2015 at 17:02

      How do you know the specification stated for the 918 and F50 is not relative to their chassis?
      I’ve never seen a manufacturer release specification on torsional rigidity relative to the axles. To me it seems weird that a 20 year old Ferrari without a roof has ca. 50% of the torsional chassis rigidity of an Agera between it’s axles.

    • Comment by Steven Wade

      Steven Wade December 21, 2015 at 14:39

      Hi Primoz,

      Sorry it’s taken so long to get a response. Things are crazy here at the moment.

      With regards to your question, it’s a number that we’re not going to disclose publicly at this point, mostly because the measurement of that number is so subjective. It could include or exclude wishbones, bushes, etc. There doesn’t seem to be a standard way to do it. The number we do disclose publicly is for the tub and that’s a very easy number to understand. The axle-to-axle number is not always so simple to define.

      What we’re happy to say is that were extremely confident we’d be up there with the best closed roof cars – possibly at the top of that list – and we’d have the best figure for an open roof car by far.

  4. Comment by paulgreyhead

    paulgreyhead December 2, 2015 at 18:22

    Brilliant insight, thank you.
    Hurry with the next instalment please!

  5. Comment by Kris Singh

    Kris Singh December 2, 2015 at 18:51

    WOW!!! This is next level. Very impressive, SW!

  6. Comment by Kyle

    Kyle December 2, 2015 at 19:17

    Wow and I thought the One:1 or Regera had the most complex design! I find it thrilling that every new car you guys create introduces a whole new concept!

    What a great way to always think of new ideas and really bring out and maintain the uniqueness of Koenigsegg cars. CvK shall always be applauded!

    • Comment by Elias

      Elias December 2, 2015 at 22:24

      I don’t think the chassis construction has changed much since the very first carbon fiber monocoque they built.

  7. Comment by Fossorier charles

    Fossorier charles December 2, 2015 at 20:05

    Did you already start the construction of the customers’s Regera?
    Cannot wait to see more about the building process of this agera RS…
    Keep it up you make us dreaming!!

  8. Comment by Matt DiGioia

    Matt DiGioia December 2, 2015 at 21:11

    with all ive read about the car, i can still be further impressed. in part this is because of the take on the car itself, that is, the fact that its an iterative process (cvks words). unlike other manufacturers who spit out “this” model and “that” model, koenigsegg simply manifests what a car is, and that manifestation is constantly evolving. the cc8s, the ccx, the agera, and so on…it really is ONE car. its the best car in the world because its the ONLY car in the world.

  9. Comment by Leonardo V de Anda

    Leonardo V de Anda December 2, 2015 at 22:22

    awesome, now i want koenigseggs engineering department to glue an airbus 380 to the underside of a bridge

  10. Comment by Dino Buongiorno

    Dino Buongiorno December 3, 2015 at 00:16

    This is fascinating! Like many others I would be honored to have the opportunity to be involved with such a work of art. Please keep the updates coming!

  11. Comment by Lyon

    Lyon December 3, 2015 at 05:35

    I dig it.

  12. Comment by Brian Sookhoo

    Brian Sookhoo December 3, 2015 at 06:24

    I just love how these cars are built entirely by hand, piece by piece by piece, making sure that every little component is designed and implemented and installed perfectly ensuring that you get a stunning result. Just beautiful. There really aren’t too many places that build things as you do anymore Koenigsegg, keep up the amazing work and never stop 🙂

  13. Comment by Nimalan Rajagopalan

    Nimalan Rajagopalan December 3, 2015 at 13:36

    Nice!

    The chassis is just as good as that of a One:1 and I can really start to understand why some car manufacturers want to build their cars with human hands rather than machines! One reason is obviously the reason stated by Mr. Wade and another one is that the car you made is much more personal, more refined, and has a lot of passion and love behind it.

    Not to discourage it’s use though, but it’s like asking a robot to paint a picture for you and passing it off as your own, really. Wouldn’t a hand-painted picture carry a lot more sense of involvement and artistic pleasure?

    Reading what Mr. Wade said about the adhesive, it looks like it means business! Wouldn’t want to sit on that by mistake……we would officially become a permanent part of the car then…..

    And when we look at the torsional rigidity figure of the Agera RS, we can see that it has the 918 nearly licked bare.

    Keep the good news coming!
    Nimalan S. R.

  14. Comment by Andy N.

    Andy N. December 4, 2015 at 03:39

    Too Steven Wade (or anyone else who know the Koenigsegg website well), what ever happened to the Agera configurators on this site? I miss being able to design my dream egg 🙁

    Also, these articles are really really really cool. It shows how personal the entire Koenigsegg team is, being able to connect with the fans! Thank you!

  15. Comment by George Lekkas

    George Lekkas December 6, 2015 at 12:06

    Will you also cover the production process of Regera? When will that production begin?

  16. Comment by Steven Heritage

    Steven Heritage December 9, 2015 at 13:02

    All I want for Christmas is the next installment of this blog …then the next one… …then the next one…

    Love the openness of this company. Keep up the great work

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