When Christian von Koenigsegg was five or six years old, he was hooked by a Norwegian children’s movie about a bicycle repairman building his own racing car, the Flåklypa Grand Prix. 17 years later, at 22, he gathered 60 million Swedish crowns (roughly 5 million Euro) from investors and founded Koenigsegg Automotive in 1994.
After eight years of development, the first, pre-production Koenigsegg CC8S was shown at the Paris Auto Show in 2000, and soon thereafter regular serial production started in Ängelholm (Angels Isle) in southern Sweden. According to the Stockholm-born founder, the location was chosen for a number of practical reasons, including its relative proximity to the European continent, and the milder winters allowing more time for track tests. Another vital factor may have been a vision of the company’s own 1.7 km long test track, now conveniently located at a former airfield near the car plant.
Another Koenigsegg model was clocked at 388 kilometers per hour, officially noted in the Guinness Book of Records as The world’s fastest serial production car. As if that were not enough, the 2008 CCXR model was listed by Forbes as one of the world’s most beautiful cars, in March 2009.
Believe it or not: environmental ambitions too
When fueled by E85, the twin turbo engine of the new model Jesko develops fully 1625 horsepower, the top version Jesko Absolut offers a top speed of 330 mph (533 km/h). And, just in case you reach for your wallet now: It also comes with a 3 million USD price tag.
So what does all this mean in terms of environmental footprint? The company is arguably invested into green tech too, beginning with the CCXR (“Flower Power”) flex-fuel sports car. And the environmental aspects are not necessarily irrelevant, even in a hyper performance car like the Koenigsegg. The following is a direct quote from a Bloomberg news article:
Hypercars with $3 million price tags aren’t usually synonymous with environmental sustainability. Christian von Koenigsegg, founder, and chief executive of Koenigsegg Automotive, wants to change that. The Ängelholm, Sweden-based company is experimenting with ultra-high-voltage battery packs and biofuels using emissions from volcanoes to build environmentally “benign” and potentially even carbon-neutral cars, without sacrificing performance.
”Everyone is going to laugh at me”
Business-wise the 2019 financial report shows a turnover of 484 million SEK or approximately 50 million euro. And starting in September 2021, the company’s facilities are expanding substantially with another 11,000 m2 next to the existing site, and with vertical integration of production, design, and testing.
In a recent interview with Carbuzz, Christian von Koenigsegg said: “I went into it thinking ‘this is going to be very difficult, it’s going to be almost impossible, and everyone is going to laugh at me. So when that actually did happen, and it did for a long period of time, I was expecting it. It didn’t put me down.”
The dream was not that crazy, after all.