Christian von Koenigsegg: Next Bond Villain or Composites Superman?
Take a look at the bio of hulking Swede Christian von Koenigsegg and decide for yourself. Head of his own start-up car company at the age of 22. Based out of the former home of the Fighter Jet Squadron No. 1 of the Swedish Air Force, complete with helipad. Wildly intelligent. Obviously ambitious. Equipped with all manner of futuristic technology, gadgets, and cars. (Wow, the cars.) He’s got the name, the accent, the style. This man is a 007 villain just waiting to rocket onto a movie screen near you. And he got awfully close to just that.
Three short years after starting his quest to conquer the supercar world, Christian von Koenigsegg rolled into the ’97 Cannes Film Festival in his hand-made CC prototype. He wasn’t looking to land any roles—just looking to gauge international reaction to his product. He did, in fact, steal the show. The rest is history still in the making.
Koenigsegg is a genius, with a seemingly razor-sharp mind for business; an automobile acumen that’s off the charts; and a super-fueled imagination. A powerful combination, to say the least. And brace yourselves, fabricating nerds: he’s built a large part of this supercar empire on composites technology: carbon fiber, to be specific. The Koenigsegg factory is fully equipped with a composites department, including carbon fiber tooling, lay-up manuals, and the actual parts and panels used in the vehicles. Koenigsegg himself gives viewers a peek in this Inside Koenigsegg video.
Since producing that first CC prototype, Koenigsegg hasn’t been in the business of mass production, but rather, has taken a boutique approach, producing only a handful of each model in the line-up. He can afford to, with each coach commanding a premium price (think millions). And this is largely due to his perspective on specialized composite fabrication. According to the Koenigsegg website:
At Koenigsegg, we are able to fabricate intricate, hand-made metal and carbon fiber components in our own hi-tech production facilities. We source specialist components from a network of dedicated suppliers and partners – most of which are based in Sweden.
Many of these suppliers are small companies and craftsmen that produce low volumes of incredibly high quality components. The manufacture and assembly of components used in a Koenigsegg are both incredibly labor intensive processes – there are more than 300 hand-formed carbon fiber parts alone in each car, for example.
The most recent iteration of this meticulous design is…the One:1. The world’s first megacar, named so because it is the first homologated production car in the world with one megawatt of power. On top of this, the One:1 boasts an impressive 1:1 horsepower to kilogram-of-curb-weight ratio. It weighs in at just over 1,300 kilos (that’s 3,000 lb.), so you do the horsepower math. And, frankly, it’s stunning just to see.
Take a look at just a few of its features: advanced high modulus carbon fiber chassis with F1-style honeycomb core and integrated fuel tanks for optimal weight distribution and safety; track optimized aero winglets; extended venturi tunnels and side splitters; Le Mans-inspired active wing configuration and optimized active undertrim air management; large air vents for improved cooling; roof air scoop to support the 1 Megawatt of power; 8250 RPM rev limit; custom Michelin Cup Tires; rear triplex suspension with carbon bevel springs and active shock absorbers and ride height, combined with upgraded revolutionary Koenigsegg Aircore carbon fiber wheels.
Even better, the One:1 runs on E85 biofuel, race fuel, or normal gasoline. And there’s so much more to this beast—you can check out complete specs on the website.
There’s more to Christian von Koenigsegg, to be sure, as well. After all, he’s just two very short decades into this venture and changing the world of automobile technology faster than a speeding bullet. With cars that might be more powerful than a locomotive. Making expansive leaps and bounds with carbon fiber technology. Sounds less like a Bond villain, and more like a composites superman.
Check out the entire selection of carbon fiber reinforcements, including fabric, tow, and sleeve, available at FibreGlast.com.