It’s one of the fastest, most powerful and most expensive cars in the world – but most people have never heard of the brand, let alone seen one on the road.
That’s partly because Koenigsegg has never been sold here – but it is coming.
The Swedish brand has begun selling cars in Australia, with six cashed-up local enthusiasts popping down a deposit of about $1 million for a car they may not park in their driveway for years.
The man behind the deal to bring Koenigsegg to Melbourne’s Dutton Garage – experts in rare and exciting classic cars – is John Kochanski.
He says the first of those buyers will likely get their vehicle in 2019, while others could be waiting until 2023.
Koenigsegg, th ultra rare luxury car from Sweden, will be coming to Australia. Photo: Steven Wade
Since its first car in 2002 Koenigsegg – the brainchild of car enthusiast Christian von Koenigsegg – has only produced about 165 cars globally.
Production has typically hovered around 10 cars annually, although von Koenigsegg is in the throes of increasing production, with a goal of building 38 cars in 2018.
To put that in perspective, in 2017 Ferrari posted record annual sales of 8398 cars.
Von Koenigsegg says that rareness is “very important”.
“They don’t want everyone else to have the same thing,” he says of his wealthy clients, adding that he is not fazed by potential rivals performing a similar job to his.
“Most of our customers don’t seem to choose. If they like Bugatti or if they like Pagani or if they like Ferrari then they buy those cars; if they like Koenigsegg they buy Koenigsegg as well. The majority have whatever they want to have.”
More astonishing than the big budget deposits local buyers have already splashed out on a Koenigsegg is that they don’t yet know the details or design of the car.
Koenigsegg founder Christian von Koenigsegg. Photo: Supplied
Internet articles suggest its twin-turbo V8 will have more than 1100kW of power – almost double that of the most powerful cars currently on sale.
That’s less than the Koenigsegg Regera – which teams a less powerful version of the same basic V8 with an electric motor – but the new model will be lighter without the batteries and electric motors.
Von Koenigsegg describes it as “lighter, more track-focused” and “something completely new”, which pretty much guarantees stratospheric performance.
“It’s an extreme sports car but something that is in a niche of its own,” he says.
There’s no doubt it will be low slung and sleek, but the exact design is yet to be revealed.
The price of the Koenigsegg coming to Australia starts at €2.2 million out of the factory. By the time you apply a 5 per cent import tariff, state stamp duty, GST and luxury car tax the price tag will be approaching $5 million, give or take a few hundred grand.
But Kochanski saw demand in Australia, where sports and luxury sales are at record levels.
From Mercedes-AMG and BMW M to Porsche and Ferrari, fast cars are experiencing record demand down under.
Oz finally catches up
Until now, though, Australia has typically missed out on the so-called hypercars, which are faster than regular supercars.
Kochanski saw an opportunity with Koenigsegg, which builds cars with the steering wheel on the right – something hypercars from Porsche and Ferrari typically haven’t done.
He also likes the innovation, such as the single speed gearbox that teams electric motors with a twin-turbo V8 for extreme performance.
“As far as engineering goes, he’s out-Germaning the Germans,” Kochanski says of von Koenigsegg.
Heading Down Under
Von Koenigsegg has never been to Australia, although says it’s on the wishlist for a family holiday.
But he describes it as “a big part of the world that needs some Koenigsegg cars”.
Key to the appeal is that most hypercars haven’t been sold here because they have been limited to left-hand drive production, meaning that can’t be registered here.
“We’ve always done left- and right-hand drive and many of our competitors don’t,” he says. We should maximise the market out of that solution.
“The car interest for Australia is very, very deep, so why shouldn’t we be there?”
The Koenigsegg won’t be alone among hypercars; Aussies will soon have more uber fast cars to choose from.
Mercedes-AMG has sold eight of its radical Project Ones, the closest thing to a road-going F1 car. The €2.275 million machine utilises the 1.6-litre V6 engine used in Merc’s championship-dominating F1 cars of recent years and teams it with electric motors. Depending on the exchange rate local pricing could top $5 million.
But Aston Martin could top the lot with the Valkyrie, a car that could sell for closer to $6 million.
Developed in conjunction with Red Bull F1 guru Adrian Newey, the car will get a V12 engine as part of its hybrid system. It’s claimed to be as fast as an F1 car in its track-ready guise, complete with slick tyres.
Are Australians ready for the Koenigsegg? Share your thoughts in the comments below.