With the CC850, Koenigsegg is celebrating its first production car, the CC8S from 2002. Technically, however, the hypercar is breaking new ground. The circuit is particularly interesting.
The rise of Koenigsegg began 20 years ago: Back then - in 2002 - series production of the first super sports car by the Swedes started. The initially 655 hp V8 mid-engine bolide CC8S immediately embodied what Koenigsegg is all about: Extreme design, unusual technical solutions as well as technical data and driving performance that are at record levels. "The CC8S put us on the map and made us successful," says company founder and CEO Christian von Koenigsegg. Consequently, his team used the Monterey Car Factory as an opportunity to present a homage model there: the CC850.
Not surprisingly, the newcomer takes the pioneer as a visual model. One of the defining features of the style is the flat front, which has a large air intake in the apron and smaller ones under the headlights. A spoiler lip sits under the bumper and extends upwards as a side flap in front of the front wheels. The rocker panel takes up the shape on the other side of the wheel arch. The CC850 also reinterprets the dome-like cabin of the CC8S. The windshield, on which the single-arm wiper is located in the center, also extends around the barely visible A-pillar and the side window tapers towards the rear. The mirrors sit extremely far out on very filigree brackets.
Dial rims and huge air intakes
Eye-catchers on the flanks of the 4.36 meter long, 2.02 meter wide (without exterior mirrors), 1.13 meter high and 1,385 kilogram heavy CC850 are the rims in the dial design and the monstrous air intakes in front of the rear wheels. As with the CC8S, there is no attached rear spoiler; this extends depending on the respective driving situation. A classic rear window is also missing; they are replaced by air outlets that optimize the temperature balance in the engine compartment. Three-part rear lights and a powerful diffuser with a large central tailpipe are further design cues from the original Koenigsegg. Just like the (optional) removable roof element and the unusual opening mechanism of the doors.
On the surface, not much has changed in terms of drive technology at Koenigsegg in the last 20 years. Like its ancestor, the CC850 is powered by a mid-mounted V8 engine; now, however, with twin-turbo instead of supercharging and a little more displacement (5.0 instead of 4.7 liters). For the newcomer, Koenigsegg adapted the Jesko engine with a flat-plane crankshaft and dry-sump lubrication, albeit in a tamed form. In the CC850, the eight-cylinder achieves 1,201 (in petrol mode) or 1,404 hp (with E85 bioethanol; then an increased boost pressure from 1.5 to 1.7 bar is possible). The maximum torque is 1.385 newton meters. For comparison: The Jesko offers a maximum of 1,622 hp and a maximum of 1,500 Newton meters.
Manual and automatic in one
The true technical feature of the Koenigsegg CC850 is its gearbox. This is basically the "Light Speed Transmission" (LST) that does its job in the Jesko as a nine-speed automatic. The gearbox works a bit like the sprockets on a bicycle: the Jesko combines a two- and a three-sprocket set and, thanks to its six small hydraulic pressure-actuated clutches, can choose any combination at any time without having to consider any type of synchronization. Does the math: 3²=9 gears. And results in a variable translation that is adjusted depending on the driving mode or situation.
With the CC850, Koenigsegg has added a function to the gearbox called "Engage Shift System" (ESS). It turns the automatic into a manual six-speed gearbox, in which the shift lever whizzes through an open gate and the driver operates a clutch pedal. Christian von Koenigsegg explains how this works in a video on the US platform Jalopnik. "The shift lever communicates with all clutches and, depending on the position of the shift lever, selects the most suitable (sprocket combination; ed.)", says the company boss. Because the position and movement of the shift lever is understood by the electronics, it is possible to shift up or down in the classic way – always in connection with engaging and disengaging the clutch. In addition, the engine speed must always be right if the next higher or lower gear is to be engaged, otherwise the shifting process is not possible. Von Koenigsegg also shows that the CC850's engine can stall if the clutch is not engaged correctly - like with a normal manual transmission.
Lots of carbon as well as Alcantara and/or leather
An electronic differential is also responsible for power distribution. The wheels are suspended all around on double wishbones, the chassis works with electronically controlled gas/hydraulic shock absorbers. The carbon-ceramic brake system has 410 mm discs and six-piston calipers at the front, while 395 mm and four-piston counterparts are used at the rear. The deceleration components reside in 9.5x20 inch wheels at the front and 12.25x21 inch at the rear with central locking. The dimensions of the tires are 265/35 R20 at the front and 325/30 R21 at the rear. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires are only available at an additional cost.
Inside, the CC850 presents a perfectly symmetrical design, which allows Koenigsegg to easily produce any car in left or right hand drive. Behind the completely round steering wheel sit three analogue clocks; the central one serves as a speedometer, tachometer and boost pressure indicator at the same time.The shift lever, which - like the CC8S once did - presents the Swedish flag is slightly raised on the center console that rises forward. In front of it, the Swedes position the vertically aligned infotainment touchscreen, which in turn is crowned by separate air vents. The material of choice is carbon, which can even be seen on the roof. Where upholstery is attached, for example on the full bucket seats, these are covered in leather or Alcantara.
Limit raised from 50 to 70 cars
Price information for the car built on a carbon monocoque with an aluminum honeycomb structure and with a carbon-kevlar body is not yet available. When it comes to limitations, Koenigsegg is upping the ante again. Originally, the Swedes wanted to produce a maximum of 50 copies of the CC850 to celebrate the 50th birthday of the boss. Then it turned out: the number is too low that "not even all loyal Koenigsegg owners can get their CC850". So, after consultation with those customers who have already secured a CC850, Koenigsegg raises the limit by 20 more units. In this way, the manufacturer is also taking up the reason for the homage model: the 20th anniversary of the CC8S. Even that doesn't even come close to meeting the demand. But it gives us the opportunity to take brand loyalty into account to a greater extent and at the same time to welcome a small part of the new owners," says Christian von Koenigsegg.
Compared to today, the Koenigsegg CC8S with its 655 hp almost has the character of a toy - at least as far as its engine is concerned. Nevertheless, he was one of the co-founders of the megacar era, which has long since expanded into the hypercar category given the easily achievable four-digit horsepower figures. One of their most important representatives is Koenigsegg, which started a success story with its debut work. The fact that the CC8S gets a homage model with the CC850 is more than deserved.