#TechThursday – Is There Still a Need For Speed?

  Lindsey Schutters


Koenigsegg Regera 0-400-0 Record

There’s a new fastest car in the world, but Lindsey Schutters wonders if it even matters anymore.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of beating a slightly faster car than yours to the next set of traffic lights or hitting a sweeping mountain pass in a car with a lively chassis. And sure, those are subjective experiences that can be called “childish” thrills if you ask my wife, but it’s at least something you can feel.

Which bring us to the latest arbitrary world record that Koenigsegg recently broke with its blisteringly quick Regera: 0-400-0. Executed in just 22 seconds. Have you ever heard of anything more absurd than to decide that merely being fast isn’t enough, but that coming to a dead stop must also be measured and assigned a place in the annals of automotive history?

Look, to achieve that impressive figure the smart Swedes mated the dry-sump, twin-turbo 5-litre V8 from the Agera to three electric motors that are placed in series. One of the motors is on the crankshaft to fill in torque to mitigate turbo lag, and while also moonlighting as a starter motor. Then, because of course the engineers needed to save the weight that they just added with electric motors and the associated batteries, the gearbox was removed. Yes, that 22-second 0-400 km/h run is made possible by something called Koenigsegg Direct Drive.

Picture this; a 4,5 kWh battery in the centre tunnel between the seats, then there’s a 160 kW motor at the front of the mid-mounted engine, a hydraulic coupling plate, then a 2.73 ratio final drive gear that feeds the axles, which each have their own 180 kW motors. It’s an astonishing design job by Christian von Koenigsegg himself. You see, the axle-mounted motors handle all the torque vectoring and supplement the power coming directly from the engine.

Here’s the man himself explaining it in detail

Stopping power is also helped by the regenerative braking – remember there’s no coasting in an electric car – which shaves the required seconds off of the 400-0 time and ultimately enabled the world record run.

But there were only 80 Regera models produced, so the chances of you ever experiencing that performance is extremely slim. With such a limited run, in a time where Ferrari is selling record number of vehicles (over 10 000 cars in 2019), the best we can ever hope for is that the technology, at some point, trickles down to make general consumer hybrid cars more tantalising.

No, the world record doesn’t matter anymore, other than an impressive stat on trump card, but the engineering behind it may just make the world of difference to the generation of cars bridging the gap to our ultimate electric future.

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