We’re a small crew here at Koenigsegg. Our numbers are limited to around 75 people on staff plus another 10 contractors. So how do you take such a small number of people and get them to design and build some of the world’s most amazing high-performance cars? You get obsessive about the details.
Our #1 priority at Koenigsegg is supreme performance. Our goal is to build the world’s best performance cars and achieving that goal involves engaging some of the world’s best automotive engineers. We get them to work on innovative solutions that allow us to chase perfection, unhindered by compromise. Then we make those solutions as beautiful to look at as they are in terms of function.
An internal combustion engine is, in it’s most basic form, a giant air pump. The intricacies of intake design are not so critical on your average family sedan, but in a purpose-built high performance sports car, such details can be critical.
Our intake manifold, for example, is designed to provide an optimised inflow of air. It receives compressed air, sent from our twin turbochargers through the intercoolers and then directs the airflow to the heads, where the air is subject to continuous pulses as the intake valves open and close. We’ll share more on that process in another post.
The intake is beautiful from the outside, but in engineering terms it’s even more beautiful on the inside.
It’s one level of obsession to design the perfect air intake. The next step is building it.
Of course, we make our intake right here in the factory. Like all of our carbon parts, it’s made from the highest grade pre-preg carbon fibre. At just 1,017 grams it’s extremely light in weight and of course, it performs its job to perfection. That’s obsession in engineering.
What progresses us along the plane from engineering obsession to total obsession is the attention to detail in the way we make it.
The carbon fibre is laid up around a mold. Each section of the intake is exactly as thick as it needs to be and no more. This maximizes the strength of the piece and minimizes the weight, which is always an important consideration for a company obsessed with performance.
It’s a painstaking process, taking between 3 and 4 days just to build and then trim the air intake. There are another 1 to 2 days involved in polishing the piece so that it’s presentable when used on the engine.
Why so long? The obsession.
As you can see in the photo above, the visible layer of carbon fibre is applied in such a way so as to be beautifully symmetrical in presentation.
The photo below shows one of our display engines but it’s a perfect representation of the engines that go into our cars. Look at the carbon fibre patterns on the valve covers; the way they’re made with the carbon pattern on an angle in the factory so as to appear vertical when placed on the slanted V8 heads. It’s enough to make a car guy/girl get a little bit emotional…..
This is the sort of attention to detail that our customers demand. Everything at Koenigsegg is about the ultimate in performance but we never skimp on quality of manufacture of presentation. If you can do something better, you do it.
It’s why building a Koenigsegg car will usually take up to 8 months – because everything has to be just right. We don’t know any other way.