At the Geneva car show, Swedish carmaker Koenigsegg is giving the world a look at is new supercar: the 2016 Regera.
The Regera is the latest addition to the current hypercar trend: insanely potent exotics driven by a hybrid powertrain. It’s a class that caters to the fortunate and affluent few that want unrestrained muscle and are not limited by budgets under $500,000.
Already on this grid are supercars like the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari.
It’s evident that companies like Koenigsegg are operating in a reality most of us don’t visit. The Swedish carmaker describes its previous One:1 and Agera RS (priced at $2.8 million and $1 million, respectively) as having “surprising levels of practicality.”
Even so, it’s hard to deny that the Regera is a remarkable plug-in hybrid, with jaw-dropping performance and some unusual components.
Koenigsegg calls it the world’s fastest accelerating production car, capable of reaching 400 kph (249 mph) in under 20 seconds.
The twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V-8 is downsized, but still track-certified. Adding the output from the internal combustion engine to the three electric motors (one crank-mounted and two driveshaft-mounted) yields a combined output of 1,500 horsepower.
The 9.27 kilowatt-hours battery pack rests in the center tunnel. It’s cooled with liquid-filled lines that connect to the radiator and an electrical air conditioner. The underlying chemistry wasn’t named, but Koenigsegg rates the Regera’s all-electric range at 50 km (31 miles).
As a plug-in hybrid, either the engine or an external source can recharge the battery pack. In addition to the normal powertrain settings, including an all-electric mode, a Battery Drain Mode is also available. By selecting this within 30 miles of your final destination, the system drains the battery so it’s ready to be plugged in and fully charged.
Digesting these specs, Koenigsegg clearly wants to ensure that the Regera lives up to the Swedish translation of its name: to reign.
Whatever you call the car, don’t label it as a hybrid, said Koenigsegg. The company listed the car’s lightweight design and innovative powertrain as examples of traits that clash with the traditional hybrid definition.
It should be noted, though, that the Regera isn’t the lightweight champion of hypercars: its 3,589-pound curb weight is heavier than the LaFerrari (3,200 pounds) and the McLaren P1 (3,300 pounds).
But the Regera does stand out for having one of the most unusual slushboxes: the Koenigsegg Direct Drive Transmission (KDD).
“The KDD manages to create direct drive to rear axle from the combustion engine without the need of multitude gears or other traditional types of variable transmissions, with inherently high energy losses,” explained Koenigsegg.
“During highway travel, for example, the KDD reduces drivetrain losses, compared to traditional transmission or CVT by over 50%, as there is no step up or step down gear working in series with the final drive – just direct power transmission from the engine to the wheels.”
In other words, it’s a single-speed transmission. Christian von Koenigsegg, company owner and architect behind the Regera, recognizes that this gearbox is not what most are expecting.
“This is of course very different to what people are used to in sports cars,” said Koenigsegg. “It’s nice to shift down, hear the engine howl and then shoot off. However, given the massive electrical support and the power of the internal-combustion engine over 2500 rpm, the experience is otherworldly. At low rpm, the engine will still feel truly monstrous as the combined torque is unbelievable. The fun of shifting down and planning for the acceleration is quickly forgotten and not missed. It needs to be experienced.”
Another innovative and entertaining feature is the Regera’s robotics. Using hydraulics, the Dihedral Synchro Helix Doors swing up 90-degrees, the mirrors tuck in, the front hood lifts up and the rear hatch raises … all with the click of a button or smartphone.
For visibility, Koenigsegg has also replaced conventional daylight running lights (DRL) with a scattered set of LEDs resembling the night sky. Koenigsegg calls it the Constellation DRL.
The Regera is expected to cost around $1.8 million, with a production run limited to 80 handcrafted units.