Did a Tesla Model S inspire a $1.9 Million Supercar?
Koenigsegg, for those unfamiliar with the legendary automotive powerhouse, is the manufacturer of some of the world's fastest production supercars... ever. In fact, at one point Koenigsegg held the Guiness World Record for the fastest production car on the planet until the record was broken by the Bugatti Veyron.
Koenigsegg’s newest model, according to Car and Driver, has “a price of around $1.9 million, the [Koenigsegg] Regera is truly a member of hypercar royalty. It uses both a twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine and three electric motors for a total combined output of 1.11 megawatts, which converts to 1509 metric horsepower—or 1489 horsepower on America’s SAE measuring stick. Koenigsegg claims the 0-to-400-kph (249 mph) acceleration time of less than 20 seconds makes the Regera —Swedish for 'to reign'—the fastest-accelerating car in the world.”
Is it possible that this $1.9 million super… (ahem) hypercar was actually influenced by a Tesla Model S?
Well... it turns out that Koenigsegg founder, Christian von Koenigsegg, purchased his very own Tesla Model S P85+ (see photo above) in 2013 and enjoys the car as his family's daily driver. In a recent interview published on the Koenigsegg blog*, he discusses Tesla and the future for electric vehicles. Check out these excerpts from the interview that demonstrate he has admiration (and some inspiration) from Tesla...
Can you comment on how driving Tesla’s P85 influenced your aspirations for the Regera? For mass-market, do you feel that EVs [electric vehicles] have turned the corner yet for daily driving?
Koenigsegg: "I got my first Tesla in the summer of 2013. I think it was either the first or second one that came into Sweden. I ordered it as soon as it became available because I was curious as to what the car could do. I loved it. Fantastic, amazing, incredible. It’s one of the best driving experiences ever, which is saying a lot for something that’s supposed to be a ‘normal’ car. It has no gearbox so it has incredible electric response. I remember saying to myself Wow! The response is electrifying! Of course it is. It’s an electric car. It really is mind-boggling, almost better than a Formula One engine because it’s so instantaneous. Even the fastest performance cars have a tiny period where you wait for the response but in the P85, you don’t sit around and wait for anything. It just happens. You can overtake much safer and easier. The car is more intuitive, more directly connected to your brain than almost anything else."
Source: Tesla Motors
Have EV’s turned the corner yet for daily driving?
Koenigsegg: "Yes. For the segment that Tesla is in – commuter cars – the answer is yes. It’s not affordable for everyone to buy yet, but Tesla has hit the mark with the P85D in combination with their Supercharger network. To me, it’s better than an M5 to drive due to its response and low centre of gravity. And it’s no more expensive than an M5. For sure the M5 is better after a few laps on a racetrack, but is that what it’s for? So the Tesla is there (on the mark), and it’ll be even more there when they bring out 100kWh pack or higher, which should happen very soon. The Model X will be there and the Model 3 will be there in its segment, too… A big reason for why Tesla is 'there', comes down to their Supercharger network. Without that, they wouldn’t have such a great overall product because the total ownership experience wouldn’t be as practical as it is. But you can now travel pretty much right across Europe (and the US) in any direction."
Where do you think we’ll stand with internal combustion engines after 15-20 years? Are they dead? Are hybrids the future?
Koenigsegg: "I like electric cars and I believe in the technology. I think battery technology will improve remarkably over the coming years… the number of combustion cars sold in developed markets will dwindle due to other options emerging. I said something three years ago and people thought I was crazy back then. Right now in Norway, in 2015, 5% of all new car sales are electric vehicles. In Sweden it’s 1% and it’s gone from virtually zero to 1% in just a few years. These sales curves typically have a slow beginning and then they pick up quickly. Apple had slow sales of its portable technology at first but a few years later it went off and in short order, Nokia was basically dead.
So a few years ago I said that in 2020, in developed countries, there will be more electric cars sold than combustion engined cars. People thought I was crazy for saying that and there IS a big chance that I’ll be wrong, but let’s put it another way….. I think that around that time, the cars offered on the market will be 70-90% combustion engined cars and 10-30% electric cars but people will be walking away from combustion cars in big numbers. There’ll be huge delivery times for electric because people will not want the old technology once they get used to the new. Sales of old technology will go down dramatically. Cars will also be autonomous by then and a family will only need one car because it’ll be picking up and delivering the family members and their stuff all day long.
There will be a bloodbath, I think. And most of the cars sold by then will be electric. It might be 2020. It might be 2023 or 2027. It might be 30% or 40% instead of 50% but I do think it’s coming and it will only gather momentum when it does."
Above: Koenigsegg Regera (source: Koenigsegg*)
Koenigsegg's new Regera supercar is a plug-in hybrid (albeit with electric-only range of 22 miles) so he's staking the future of his company on EV-related tech. And last year Koenigsegg participated in a special video (presented by Samsung Ultra HD TV) where he gave his views on why he purchased an all-electric Tesla Model S for himself…
It’s clear that Tesla has greatly influenced this automotive legend and his newest hypercar, the Regera. And Motor Authority seems to agree: "[Regera is] something that's sprung forth from the minds of von Koenigsegg and his team, but it seems this idea began to form once Christian got a taste of what Tesla is doing with its Model S."
So how does the Tesla Model S stack up against the Koenigsegg Regera? A new Tesla Model S P90D with "ludicrous" mode is said to do 0-60 MPH in 2.8 seconds. Although the Regera can destroy any Tesla racing on Germany's Autobahn, it would be neck-and-neck with a ludicrous P90D doing 0-60... it turns out the $1.9 Million dollar hypercar also does 0-60 MPH in 2.8 seconds.