FIRST THERE were supercars. Then there were hypercars. Now there’s the Koenigsegg Regera, which with a claimed 1,782bhp surely takes the game to a new level entirely. And, assuming that’s not a case of the Swedish company telling the gloucestershire old spot of all porkies, the astronomical performance is all thanks to the Toyota Prius hybrid.
Sometimes associated with drivers who spend an unhealthy amount of time on recycling, hybrids have been tainted with the green brush and rarely attract driving enthusiasts, but that all changed with the arrival last year of the so-called holy trinity of hypercars, the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder. In power output, though, none of those three is a patch on the Koenigsegg: the Ferrari comes closest, with 950bhp. Regera means “to reign” in Swedish, which would seem apt in this case.
Just how astonishing is the car’s performance? Koenigsegg claims that the combination of three electric motors and a 5-litre twin-turbo V8 engine can send the Regera from standstill to 300kph (186mph) in just 12 seconds, and after 20 seconds it will have reached 250mph.
When the need for speed eases off, the two-seat Targa model can cruise along sensibly in electric-only mode for about 18 miles. Christian von Koenigsegg, founder of the company, says that for the first time he has deliberately made one of his cars comfortable, by introducing rubber mounts on the rear subframe.
Three electric motors and a 5-litre twin-turbo V8 engine can send the Regera from standstill to 250mph in 20 seconds
That’s not the only Regera innovation. Apparently the company has removed the gearbox entirely, replacing it with something called a direct drive system.
According to Koenigsegg, a crank-mounted electric motor acts as a starter motor and is harnessed to a hydraulic coupling. The rear wheels each have an electric motor, which are used to get the vehicle in motion.
As speed builds, the hydraulic coupling begins to close, and the smaller, crank-mounted electric motor kicks in. The combined power of the three electric motors is said to be close to 670bhp. The V8 engine can join in from about 30mph but isn’t able to contribute fully, because of its torque curve, until the car is doing over 70mph, when the full force of the combined power units is available.
The versatility of the system also means that, for those casual trips to the shops the driver can choose to stay in EV operating mode, too.
“We managed to take a heavy, expensive lump out of the equation,” says von Koenigsegg of the traditional gearbox, “without sacrificing the ability of the combustion engine to provide drive to the rear wheels.”
With fluids and driver, the Regera weighs 1,628kg – about the same as a Ford S-Max.
There are plenty more gadgets and gizmos that owners will be able to show off to friends, such as front LED lights that are scattered to resemble a cluster of stars, Apple CarPlay, remote diagnostics and automatic firmware updates.
Not enough? How about a rear wing made from carbon fibre that rises out of the tail to provide stability at speed and adjusts its angle to act as an air brake. The Regera is also the first supercar to have “soft-closing” doors, which pull themselves shut, and von Koenigsegg says owners will have a smartphone app that will allow them to open the doors. Just don’t let the children get hold of your mobile.
The company would like to make 80 Regera models, with an asking price of about £1.2m. We’ll take two, please.