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Koenigsegg: Koenigsegg goes green
1018bhp CCXR is world’s first ‘green’ supercar
While most other manufacturers at the Geneva motor show were worrying about their company's CO2 emissions and how they are going to meet future legislation, over on the Koenigsegg stand company founder Christian von Koenigsegg was revealing this, the world's first ‘green’ supercar, the aptly named CCXR Flower Power. It's been designed specifically to run on E85 biofuel (the name given to the commercially available mix of 85 per cent ethanol, 15 per cent petrol) as well as conventional super unleaded.
With an amazing 1018bhp available at 7200rpm, the CCXR also happens to be the most powerful production Koenigsegg to date and also the first homologated production car to reach beyond 1000bhp. Oh the irony of it – a tree-hugging supercar that produces even more power than the regular petrol-guzzling, planet-cooking standard version, the 806bhp CCX.
Koenigsegg says the 0-62mph time of 3.2sec is unchanged for the CCXR, but 0-124mph (200kph) is reduced from 9.6sec to 8.5, while top speed rises from '245+ mph' to '250+'.
Koenigsegg has spent the last two years developing the in-house-produced twin-supercharged 4.7-litre V8 to suit the particular demands of the renewable fuel.
Christian von Koenigsegg explained: 'When we first tested this new E85 engine we were seeing peak horsepower figures of around the 1100bhp mark, together with 1200Nm [885lb ft] of torque. This was much higher than we were expecting, but since then we have decided to de-tune the engine slightly to 1018bhp, but this is still plenty in a car weighing 1180kg!'
Indeed it is. The result is a power-to-weight figure of 876bhp/ton. For comparison, the Bugatti Veyron offers 521bhp/ton…
'The biggest problem was feeding the engine with enough fuel,' Christian continued, 'so we have fitted four fuel pumps on the CCXR Flower Power instead of the normal two on a CCX, and each cylinder is fed fuel by two injectors rather than one. Boost pressure rises from 1.2bar to 1.5bar to take advantage of the higher octane rating of E85 and the cooler combustion temperatures produced when burning it. Other changes include slightly modified intercoolers and a change in piston ring design.'
Koenigsegg has also recently managed to homologate the CCX for America, having now completed eighteen crash tests as part of the US homologation process.
'One of the hardest tests for me to watch was when a concrete block representing another car was crashed into the back of the CCX at 80kph,' says Christian. 'The car was then turned upside-down to check for any possible fuel leaks caused by the impact. I was very relieved when the car passed that test at its first attempt!'
After a bit of a lull, business seems to be on the up at Koenigsegg, with 42 cars produced so far (seven of which were development cars). Looking to the future, the company is working on a new gearbox design that gives the advantages of DSG but without the complications. Christian expects to be able to show us something in around two years' time.
Beyond that, he is getting very excited about a revolutionary camless engine – where the valve action is taken care of by pneumatic actuators controlled by computer – that is currently being developed by a sister company at the Koenigsegg factory. Among the advantages Christian envisages are a 100rpm idle speed, up to 10,000rpm maximum engine speeds, and massive reductions in internal friction. All this could be on production engines in around three to four years' time.
In the meantime, if you want a CCXR Flower Power then you’d better be prepared for a big bill, as Koenigsegg charges an extra 77,000 euros plus taxes on top of a regular CCX. In the UK that means a list price of around £500,000 before extras.
...and goes racing
Also unveiled by Koenigsegg at Geneva was its new CCGT (Competition Coupe GT) race car, built to comply with FIA GT1 regulations. The engine is based on the CCX road-car unit but with less power in order to comply with FIA regs. Expanded to 5 litres but with the superchargers removed, it produces an unstressed 600bhp. At 980kg, the CCGT falls easily under GT1's 1100kg weight limit.