Koenigsegg Regera – the ‘megacar’ with no gearbox:

You read the title right; and if you know anything about Christian von Koenigsegg, there’s a small part of you that won’t be surprised he’s found a way to build a hybrid with more than 1000kW that has no gearbox.  It’s innovation at its finest, which is something the Swede has done well in the past decade.  This is the Regera – a Swedish word that means ‘to reign’ – something the new ‘Segg intends to do on all fronts.

 

This is the 2nd megacar (a car with 1 megawatt/1000kW) from Koenigsegg, after last year’s reveal of the Agera One:1.  This time though, it’s more of a genuine production vehicle – 80 units will be built instead of the 6 of the One:1.  But this time there are no bold simulated figures that suggest the Regera might beat the Bugatti Veyron SS and set a new speed record – in fact this time the Koenigsegg is instead focusing on being more of a comfortable GT car like the Veyron, with aspects such as refinement, cabin insulation, and noise buffering being key to the Regera’s construction.

 

The Regera features the usual Koenigsegg carbon fibre monocoque construction; although not carbon copied from the Agera as the new construction had to accommodate the hybrid drive systems and battery packs the Regera features.  As such the front track is wider, as is the centre tunnel between occupants as the bulk of the 620-volt, 9.27kWh battery pack, which weighs a mere 115kg.  The battery can either be charged via a plug-in charger, or via regenerative breaking and the combustion engine which acts in part like a generator.

 

The combustion engine is an all too familiar one for Koenigsegg fans; the 5.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine found n the Agera model line-up.  The outputs of the V8 are 809kW (1100bhp) and 1250Nm on 95 octane petrol – already more than the total combined output of the LaFerrari.  But in addition to the V8, the Regera features 3 electric motors – one on each rear wheel and one at the crankshaft of the engine itself to fill torque when needed.  The 2 motors at the rear wheels output 515kW (700bhp) and 900Nm.  But due to careful apportioning of the power and torque, the total combined output sits at 1103kW (1500bhp) and over 2000Nm driving only the rear wheels.  The system can alternatively operate in an EV only mode using the 700kW motors only.

 

Acceleration figures are equally as impressive – 0-100km/h takes 2.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 410km/h, while 150 to 250km/h takes just 3.2 seconds.  But whilst hybrid hypercars like the Porsche 918 Spyder are accelerating from standstill and smashing the 300km/h mark in 20 seconds, at the same mark the Regera will hit 400km/h.  400km/h… in under 20 seconds… let that sink in.

 

It’s all thanks to the Koenigsegg Direct Drive system – a concept thought up about 8 months ago by Christian who describes the idea as being a means to get rid of any additional gear sets that aren’t being used 100% of the time.  As such there is no gearbox, at all, in the Regera.  Instead, the rear electric motors are responsible for reversing and initial pull-off, and the engine kicks in thereafter.  As it is a direct drive system, the revs of the engine increase directly proportionally to speed – culminating in the top speed of 410km/h at the engines rev limiter.  The lack of a gearbox, according to Koenigsegg, saves around 200Kg on the total weight of the Regera over the fitment of a traditional 7-speed DCT gearbox.  Including batteries, the KDD direct drive system adds a total of 88Kg to the overall weight compared to a conventional transmission setup.  That’s Koenigsegg’s way of keeping the weight down whilst still engineering a hybrid system – something they’ve done successfully as the Regera weighs 1420Kg dry, and 1628Kg including a driver, all fluids, and a full tank of fuel.

 

The engineering brilliance doesn’t end with the drivetrain though.  What looks like an exhaust at the rear is actually a heat outlet for the electric motors.  The exhausts are two cleverly disguised Akrapovic titanium ones, that appear as fins in the rear diffuser.  The shape, and the flat narrow design, combined with the titanium build allow for reduced back-pressure, as well as increased resonance – creating a distinct noise throughout the rev and speed range.  They also add to the aerodynamics of the Regera, complementing the active aero systems underneath the car, and the active, top mounted rear spoiler above the car.

 

The Regera is an engineering marvel – but one that’s as luxurious as it is utterly bonkers.  Large amounts of cabin insulation and sound deadening materials have been used to reduce road noise and unwanted engine noise speeds permeation at lower speeds, whilst the new rear sub frame on the chassis and active, soft engine mounts isolate engine noise and vibrations further.  The shock absorbers and dampers are adjustable in height and firmness too, allowing comfortable GT cruising with vicious performance just moments away should you desire it.  Koenigsegg describe it as a “true Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde persona.”

 

The Regera is also fully robotised to add to the luxury of the whole package.  The addition of lightweight hydraulic actuators that utilise the same fluid as used to raise the suspension allows the doors, and all other openable body panels to be opened robotically via instruction sent via smartphone or remote.  Additionally, all body closures feature ‘soft latches’ that close all panels softly, and firmly.  The addition of the soft latches and all additional hydraulic actuators adds a mere 5kg to the total weight of the vehicle.  The traditional Koenigsegg doors also make a showing on the Regera, as does the removable, stowable hard top, allowing for quick changes between open-top and closed top driving.

 

The interior of the Regera features all the luxury the rest of the car promises, including 8-way adjustable electrically adjustable seats with memory function, a 9-inch touch screen infotainment system, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, front, inner, and rear camera systems with recording capabilities, Apple CarPlay, a luxury sound system, ambient lighting, and other features.  All materials are plush and clean in their design, much like the exterior design.

 

The exterior styling of the Regera will perhaps be the greatest bone of contention in future discussions.  The slick design lacks the animosity we’re used to seeing from the Swedish firms vehicles, although to our eyes it’s still a rather beautiful thing.  But the wheels – the hand crafted, hollow carbon fibre wheels – just don’t quite look right to us.  However whilst some aspects are a bit odd, others are particularly interesting – such as the constellation daytime running lamps, with scattered LEDs within the carbon fibre housing of the headlamp.

 

The Regera is a new era for Koenigsegg and for motoring as a whole.  No gearbox and a fresh take on the idea of a hybrid vehicle, all with a new focus on luxury rather than all out performance.  Conceived, designed, and engineered within the past 8 months, the Regera is yet another marvel from the Swedish brand that’s bound to leave the competition feeling decidedly dumbfounded.  The insanity of Christian von Koenigsegg knows no bounds.

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