Wednesday, 6th January.
It’s a public holiday today and it’s my last day in Sweden before I go for a 2.5 week trip back home to Australia. At 5pm I get a call from my boss, Christian von Koenigsegg.
“Steven, we’ve just finished updating some software on the Regera and it’s ready to drive. Do you want to come for a ride?”
A little context first…..
What you’re about to read here is written by me, a Koenigsegg employee. My name is Steven Wade and I’m the copywriter at Koenigsegg. I write material for this website, for social media, for press releases, etc. I take a lot of photos, too. I started working here in June 2015, though I’ve known Christian since 2009.
There will be, therefore, an inherent bias in what I write here and you’re free to take it with an appropriately sized grain of salt.
That said, I urge you to ignore the temptation to write this off as an insider sales piece. The chance to actually ride in a Koenigsegg is almost as new to me as it is to you. It’s not as if we employees get to drive Koenigseggs every day. In fact, the vast majority of us rarely get to be in a car at all.
I see Koenigseggs every day but this was my first time in the Regera and only my second time in a Koenigsegg in the seven months I’ve been here. The car I drove earlier this year was a CC8S and that was just moving it from one place to another on our test track. In the interests of full disclosure, I also drove a CCX back in 2010. I’ve never been in or driven an Agera of any kind, including the One:1.
So this was, indeed, a rare opportunity and I can assure you that every emotion you read here is genuinely expressed. Yes, I’m a Koenigsegg employee. But before that happened, I was a car guy and I remain a car guy, first and foremost.
It’s 5:30 when I get to the factory. I step outside and while the Regera is looking serene in the ambient light, it’s idling like Thor’s hammer from its twin fishtail Akropovic exhausts.
“How do you want to do this?” Christian asks.
“You drive, I’ll film” is my reply.
Yes, I just turned down my opportunity to drive the Regera myself but that’s OK. It’s -6 degrees C and I don’t want to be the newbie who plowed our test car into a pole because I didn’t understand the conditions. There’ll be other chances. Plus, I know how much he adores driving this car.
We drive for the next 15 minutes with me trying to hold my iPhone steady while Christian demonstrates just a little of the Regera’s capabilities. It might have only been one third throttle, but it was more than enough to suggest that this car is absof#$!inglutely AMAZING.
I don’t know what I was expecting but the Regera’s ability to surprise knows no bounds. A few notes from the experience…..
I know from photographing #Build128 that our engine mount system effectively means that the engine is bolted directly to the body of the car. It’s mere inches behind you as you sit in the seat. The Regera is a little different, with a new rear subframe and mounting system that is smooth and quiet in normal conditions, but can firm up when needed for greater stiffness and agility.
End result? The ride comfort and noise in the Regera, at steady speed, is as peaceful as a forest on a spring day. This will make an astoundingly good GT car.
On the other hand, there’s the power. Holy Mother of Acceleration, the power. As mentioned, we only went around one-third throttle at any given point in time but it felt like we were in one of those cartoons where there’s so much power that you can visualise the tarmac being pulled from the ground and stacked in folds behind you. And with the power comes that deep, powerful noise that you expect from a Koenigsegg. It’s raw and it keeps you 100% in the moment.
The Koenigsegg Regera really IS like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Only Mr Hyde’s been popping steroids and just downed a six-pack of Red Bull.
People keep wondering what it’s like to be in a car with no transmission, with no distinct gear change noises. It’s mesmerising in the best possible way. What you come to realise is just how much extra power and torque there is available with every additional engine revolution. It’s effortless. Seamless.
Let me tell you – if you’re riding in or driving the Regera and your mind is on the lack of gearchanges, you’re missing the point. Yes, the fact that this car has no transmission is indeed one of it’s major points of difference. But it should not be thought of as something that’s lacking. It should be viewed for what it is – DIRECT DRIVE. Put simple, you have truckloads of power going directly to the wheels in a way that you cannot experience in any other car.
The Regera has a neat little feature on the rev counter that will have you focused on this fact.
The tachometer indicator moves around the dial as the revs build, just like in any other car. When you hit the go-pedal, however, the indicator gets bigger/fatter, denoting the fact that you’re using more of the available torque. It’s a brilliant interactive graphic that’s going to cost some of our customers some speeding fines, I think. Stay safe, hombres.
For those who still think they might need a little old school gearchange feeling, we’ve also built in an electronic clutch feature that simulates the feeling of a kickdown gear change. You can see it in action in the video, below.
The chassis and suspension on this factory development car has not been fine-tuned as yet. The car feels extremely sure-footed already, though. Christian has said that the only way to be faster around a track than a Regera is in another Koenigsegg and I believe him. This might make for a beautiful GT car but it’s not going to be a wallflower on the circuit. Drivers are going to have to re-learn how to drive as they’re not going to have gears to reference corners with. They’re going to have to pay more attention to their speed. But they will learn and they will love it.
It’s so comfortable, so innovative and yet so aggressive and powerful. The Koenigsegg Regera is truly going to blow you away.
Christian asked me “What do you think?” when we got back to the factory.
What do I think? I think we’re going to need a bigger factory.
We sold 20 Regeras as soon as the car was announced early in 2015. We’re only going to make 80 of them over the car’s lifetime. I think that as soon as customers drive the Regera and experience what I experienced today, they’re going to order one of those 60 remaining cars in very quick time.
We’ve already got a 2 year backlog of work at Koenigsegg. I think there’s a blowout coming.