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Irresistible & Irreplaceable - 2008 Koenigsegg CCXR

When the Swedish set out to make cars, they tend to do a good job. Saab, for example, wasn’t financially successful but they did spend a tremendous amount of time over-engineering everything they were told to make. Volvo has upheld their dedication to safety and luxury. And Koenigsegg brings to the world some of the most insane supercars the world has ever seen.

In the pursuit of speed Koenigsegg constantly tries to push the boundaries of performance with every model. In doing so they need time and money. Koenigsegg needs to recover the cost of not only building the car but also for the years of research and development leading up to it. The technology that results from all this work goes into patents leased out to other car companies as a source of revenue.

Handling world class performance also requires the best parts, and the only way Koenigsegg can get them is by making it themselves. Very few components in a Koenigsegg are off the shelf. Everything else is built in house. That’s why Koenigseggs are rare. So rare in fact that most models are made in the single digits and rarely break the double digit barrier. So few are produced that it’s not until the year 2014 when they had finally built their 100th road car.

This is the company that will not settle unless their newest creation straddles world records in one of the facets of acceleration, handling, power-to-weight ratio or in this case - top speed. When it came time to best a car like the Bugatti Veyron that had released two years prior in 2005; Koenigsegg needed to upgrade their CCX into a CCXR and it had better be pretty damn quick.

But the CCX is no slouch, mind you. You already get a 4.6-liter twin supercharged V8 making 806 hp. Its 0-60 took just 3.2 seconds and its top speed of 242 mph was mind bendingly quick. However, if you want to go over the magic number of 250 mph you need to add what is basically the power equivalent of a Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Enter the Koenigsegg CCXR. Sitting low in the middle of the car is a 4.7-liter twin supercharged aluminum block V8 producing a colossal 1,018 hp @ 7,000 and 740 lb ft @ 5,600. The added power is possible with the employ of flex fuel technology so it can utilize E85. This fuel change is like adding 100+ octane petrol into the system - race gas. However, usage of E85 does hurt the mileage a little but it does cut down on emissions so it’s actually more environmentally friendly.

Matching the engine is a chassis that has to be rigid and light. That’s why the frame is composed of carbon fiber and kevlar. With carbon fiber intakes, Ohlins SLA suspension, and an adjustable ride height the CCXR is capable of high speed stability and track tearing agility. To keep everything sticking on the ground the CCXR uses Michelin Pilot Sport 2s at 225/35 R19 and 335/30 R20. Vented carbon ceramic discs, 8 piston, and 6 piston calipers make short work of bringing the Koenigsegg to a stop from any speed.

The result of the CCXR project is a car with a dry weight of 2,821 lbs (1,280 kg) which is over half a ton lighter than the Veyron. And yet it can go from 0-62 mph in 3.1 seconds with a top speed of over 250 mph (400 km).

But how fast it goes isn’t why this car is so great. The real reason is because the CCXR and its special editions are some of the last few supercars made with a manual transmission. With so many high performance vehicles today using super-smart electronics to pick the perfect gear every time this CCXR and its incredible engineering leaves all the wonderful room for errors up to the meat bag behind the wheel. There’s really no greater joy than picking your gears, and there’s no greater place to do so than inside a car as beautiful as this Koenigsegg.

One last thing: It's a convertible. The roof can fit under the front hood.

This black CCXR is the only one in the United States with a 6-speed, and only 18 in total were built. It was sold at auction for $825,000 USD. All photos by Patrick Ernzen ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's.