We met Christian Von Koenigsegg back in 2014 at the New York International Auto Show. Even given the brief, 5 minute conversation with him, we could glean a few things:
- He’s a car nut
- He’s an engineering nut
- He’s a mad scientist hell bent on (automotive) world domination
While that last one is only partially true, it is a fact that Koenigsegg and his team of engineers are smashing through the boundaries of what’s capable with gasoline engines. They have an 1800hp hybrid hypercar as a testament to this. The Regera made its North American debut this year at NYIAS and we were there to cover it. While we didn’t get to speak to Christian this time, other people did and we’re thankful for that.
According to a report from Carbuzz, Koenigsegg and his team are apparently working on a 1.6 liter engine, 1/5 of the displacement of the 8 liter Bugatti Veyron, that’s capable of 400 HP.
Christian and his group have undertaken an engineering exercise in order to demonstrate the applicability of their technology to everyday vehicles, “We are currently working on a 1.6-liter engine with Chinese carmaker Qoros that will have the potential to produce 400 hp or more. The same principles with which we designed the Agera and Regera engines can be applied to these smaller engines.”
There is no current plan to use this smaller engine in a production vehicle yet, as it primarily serves as a proof of concept, and when complete it won’t need to produce 400 hp. A majority of the energy losses in internal combustion engines occur through heat dissipation. As a result, larger displacement engines have an advantage due to their increased surface area in the cylinder. When asked about the synergies in large displacement engines that will be harder to replicate on an economy scale, Christian responded, “By reducing the bore and elongating the stroke of the piston, we are able to lessen the heat losses from the engine.
We’ve also used forged pistons, forged connecting rods, and higher quality valves that make engine as efficient as possible. These are more expensive parts, but will not be so much so in mass production. Currently, Koenigsegg has the world’s highest specific output engine (horsepower power per liter). When we add Freevalve technology (sister company to Koenigsegg), engine efficiency will further increase 3-4%, which is massive.”