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Auto Show:  2012 Geneva Auto Show

Koenigsegg Agera R: Geneva Auto Show

author photo by Nick Palermo March 2012
  • Powered by a 1140-horsepower twin-turbo V8 that runs on E85 biofuel
  • Sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds
  • Packed with high-tech components to maximize performance

Thank goodness for Koenigsegg. If it weren't for this tiny Swedish automaker and other boutique builders like it, the mighty Bugatti Veyron would be alone at the all-time pinnacle of road-going automotive performance. Koenigsegg's latest offering, the truly wild Agera R supercar debuting at the Geneva Auto Show, is sort of like the Veyron's doppelganger. And if Koenigsegg's top speed estimate for the Agera R is accurate, it may soon push the Veyron off its pedestal by breaking its 268-mph record through innovative design and engineering that yields light weight and explosive power.

How fast will the Agera R go? Only a verified run will confirm the company's 273-mph top speed claim. But if the folks at Koenigsegg are right, the Agera R will take the title of the world's fastest production automobile.

If not, it's still superbly quick, thanks to an 1140-horsepower 5-liter V8 with two turbochargers. Zero to 62-mph acceleration time is estimated to be 2.9 seconds. Keep pressing, and the Agera R will hit 186 mph in 14.5 seconds. Engine components like the fuel system and turbochargers are optimized for light weight and high performance. But as breathtaking as the straight-line performance figures are, the R is about more.

No expense was apparently spared in the design of the Agera R's suspension and aerodynamics. The innovative "triplex" rear suspension links the two rear wheels with a spring and damper to prevent squat under acceleration. Koenigsegg says the lightweight setup alleviates squat without introducing new undesirable handling characteristics. From nose to tail, aero tweaks improve downforce and lower drag. Winglets ahead of the front wheels serve both purposes. In back, a newly-designed active spoiler uses the force of the wind, not hydraulics, to move into its sweet spot for a given speed.

Wheels and brakes are race-grade, too. A special manufacturing process was necessary to produce the car's "Aircore" wheels, one-piece all-carbon units with hollow spokes. The special wheels are 40% lighter than typical wheels, improving performance by reducing unsprung weight and rotational mass. Brakes are light yet powerful, too. With vented carbon disks all around, the Agera R's six-piston calipers up front and four-piston units out back bring the car from 62 mph to a stop in a scant 100 feet.

If the NHTSA, America's auto safety regulator, approves it, the Agera R will be Koenigsegg's first model to be imported into the US. While just a few individuals will ever have the chance to drive the spectacular machine, vehicles like the Agera R illustrate how pushing the limits of automotive design can result in astounding potency and performance.

What it means to you: The Koenigsegg Agera R may soon take the title of world's fastest production automobile from the reigning champ, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. If not, it's still one very quick car.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Koenigsegg Agera R: Geneva Auto Show - Autotrader