Koenigsegg doors - Art of Speed
The conventional supercar scissor door wasn't quite enough for Christian von Koenigsegg, so to the drawing board he went
Christian von Koenigsegg was never going to be your average sort of chap. Aged five, he knew that, one day, he would build the world’s fastest car. And with the Agera RS – a 1380bhp evolution of the already ludicrously rapid Agera R, he did just that, hitting 277.9mph.
That the inspiration for this Bugatti-toppling ambition came from a Norwegian movie about a bicycle repairman (who, with his friends, cobbled together a racing car that blew the wheels off the big-brand competition) should be equally unsurprising. CvK’s Swedish car business has been a fusion of inspiration and innovation from the beginning. Original ideas simply tumble out of the man. He’s had a go at storing music on microchips and, way before it was adopted as an industry standard, invented a click-together way of joining floor panels without adhesive or nails. More than a clear thinker, von Koenigsegg has clever bones.
But he soon decided that instead of chasing after the perfect business idea, he would follow his heart and build his dream car. His mission was to create the perfect car with no compromises, no limits, and no fear of failure. So, in 1994, at the age of just 22, Christian von Koenigsegg launched the Koenigsegg car company and set about creating what he believed to be the ultimate car, one for which no technical solution was deemed too difficult.
Undoubtedly the most celebrated manifestation of this mantra has been the signature feature of every Koenigsegg from the very first CC8S in 2002, namely the wonderfully overwrought-sounding ‘dihedral synchro-helix actuation system’ that opens the doors. Now it’s probably true that any super-, hyper- or indeed, in the case of the One:1, ‘megacar’ that wants to adhere to a truly ‘exotic’ blueprint has to have doors that ascend skywards rather than opening outwards. Lamborghini has made more cars with ‘scissor doors’ than just about anyone else and the LaFerrari and McLaren P1 just wouldn’t be the same without them.
Simply having doors that floated upwards on gas struts wasn’t theatrical enough for CvK, though, and, more importantly, he felt that conventional scissor doors were both impractical (sailing way above the roofline of the car) and could make climbing in somewhat awkward. What he wanted was ‘minimal swing’ together with a more spacious opening.
Typically thinking outside the box, he came up with a very special hinge system that incorporated a geared rotational pivot that operated simultaneously with a parallel arm in an outward arc. When unlatched, the doors smoothly rotated outwards through 90 degrees, clearing the sides of the car and offering a generous aperture while looking neat, compact and desperately cool.
- 1The Art of Speed | the great performance car design details
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- 12The Aston Martin Vantage V600's twin supercharged V8 - Art of Speed
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- 17Aston Martin V12 Zagato double-bubble roof - Art of Speed
- 18Lotus Esprit pop-up headlights - Art of Speed
- 19Lamborghini Miura louvred engine cover - Art of Speed
- 20Alfa Romeo SZ headlights - Art of Speed
- 21Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1 grille stripe - Art of Speed
- 22Aston Martin One-77 carbonfibre chassis - Art of Speed
- 23Koenigsegg doors - Art of Speed - currently reading
- 24Ford Sierra RS Cosworth whale tail - Art of Speed
- 25Renaultsport Clio V6 body kit - Art of Speed
- 26BMW M3 CSL carbon airbox - Art of Speed
- 27Maserati MC12 air intake - Art of Speed
- 28Peugeot 106 Rallye steel wheels - Art of Speed
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