Koenigsegg Regera Incredible Hybrid Tech Could Soon Be Used In Every day Cars
Koenigsegg is now a well established manufacturer of hyper cars. They famously built "the only car that defeated the Stig" since the CCX spun out while he was driving it for a lap time back in 2006. Despite the hypercar performance, Koenigsegg also prides itself in luxury and exquisite attention to detail.
It is now also famous for building the hybrid Regera hypercar and the One:1; the first production car with a power to weight ratio of 1:1 hp per kg (it makes 1 MW/MegaWatt of power, prompting Koenigsegg to call it the first Megacar with a straight face). But this post isn't about all of Koenigsegg's fascinating cars. No, it's about only the Regera. Or the Regera hybrid technology, rather.
Koenigsegg just sold 20% of its parent company for €150 million (~$171 million USD) to NEVS. They also started a joint venture together where NEVS is contributing $150 million USD (~ €132 million) for a 65% stake in the joint venture. Koenigsegg is taking a 35% stake by contributing their designs and technology but no cash.
If you aren't sure who NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB) is, it's the company that bought SAAB automotive assets from General Motors back in 2012. The intent was to electrify SAAB platforms to build electric cars for the Chinese market without having to start from scratch. According to their website, their first electric car based on the SAAB 9-3 called the Tianjin kicked off production in December, 2017, but it's not clear what their production looks like now.
According to the announcement by Koenigsegg, the two companies were already collaborating, although it doesn't provide any details on that. But they said the partnership will allow them to leverage each others' strengths. NEVS has production facilities and automotive knowledge; presumably, distribution connections (they also seem to have a good bit of cash, which I'm sure helps). Chances are, the main interest from NEVS is in the hybrid technology for electrification. Koenigsegg has the innovative patent-pending tech, showcased in the Regera.
Koenigsegg's Hybrid Technology
The Regera is a hybrid, but it's like no hybrid you've ever seen. It still uses Koenigsegg's 5.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8, but it doesn't use a transmission/gearbox. Instead, it uses a hydraulic coupling and a set of clutch packs to connect the engine to two electric motors; one for each rear wheel. That gives the Regera full torque vectoring capability, flexibility over engine RPM, and eliminates over 50% of drivetrain losses according to Koenigsegg. There is also an electric motor connected to the engine crankshaft to supplement power from the engine as needed and act as a generator and starter motor.
Koenigsegg calls its 5.0 litre V8 is the heart of this car just like its Internal Combustion Engine is the Heart and Soul of every Koenigsegg. It also says the drivetrain makes 1,500 hp and, thanks to the electric motors providing power, the engine can have smaller turbos than other Koenigsegg's and spool faster. Not only that, it says its unqiue coupling allows the engine "to gain revs and power, thereby giving the sensation of a traditional downshift with the associated aural enjoyment." Now this is hybrid technology I can stand behind.
Future Cars Using the Tech
There are a couple of interesting tidbits in the announcement. There are multiple references to building cars other than hypercars. They say the joint venture will "expand into new market segments" and the partnership will develop "a product for new and untapped segments." It's already clear in the announcement that Koenigsegg is contributing technology and know-how and since they are looking to enter new segments, you can bet that technology will not be used exclusively for hyper cars because that's Koenigsegg's current market segment.
Now, NEVS is focused on electric cars and the Regera has a unique 800 V battery system that allows extremely fast charging and power supply when compared to other battery systems, even including Tesla. The only cars using 800 V battery systems now are F1 cars, according to Koenigsegg. There is a chance the partnership and joint venture will focus on only developing that technology for full EV every day cars.
But for me, I'm going to be waiting for a downsized version of that twin-turbo 5.0 litre V8 Heart and Soul with a bunch of electric motors supplementing it in a family sedan. Koenigsegg has a habit of building insanely fast cars so I'd like to think that, if they're going to involved in the development of any car, it's going to be worth waiting for. You can watch their record top speed run for a production car in the Agera RS here:
What about you? Would you rather see a full electric car from the Koenigsegg joint venture or something using the Regera hybrid technology? Let me know in the comments!