You’ve probably familiar with foreign automakers like Honda, Toyota, and Subaru. You probably even know a few things about exotic cars from Lamborghini, Ferrari, and even McLaren. But you might not have heard of Koenigsegg.
True, it doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as, say, Bugatti. Still, there’s a reason the Swedish automaker chose this name to adorn its mind-blowing hypercars. “Koenigsegg” may look like a mouthful, but fear not — learn how to pronounce it here.
A brief history of Koenigsegg
Aspiring auto designer Christian von Koenigsegg founded Koenigsegg Automotive in 1994. He was inspired by other high-powered racing cars like the McLaren F1. However, he didn’t want his cars to fade into history like other supercars produced in that era.
He carefully planned into his first model, drawing it using MS Paint and releasing a prototype two years later. The car wouldn’t be ready for consumers until 2002. That model, the CC8S, is now considered one of the rarest cars in the world. Only six were produced due to high production costs, Koenigsegg says.
Thankfully, its innovative “rocket cat” engine technology served as the blueprint to produce other Koenigsegg models in a shorter amount of time. The CC8S also won a Guinness World Record for the fastest supercar, beating the McLaren F1. And one of the next Koenigsegg models, the CCXR, would make history as the first flex-fuel-powered supercar.
By 2018, Koenigsegg’s small team of 70 had grown to over 200 people. Vehicle stock is still limited, usually capped at under 100 units. However, Koenigsegg recently partnered with National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which will provide the automaker with more factory facilities and access to materials. Thanks to this venture, we may soon see more of Koenigsegg’s impressive cars.
Our favorite Koenigsegg models
All of Koenigsegg’s models are ultra-rare, high-performance sports cars, but we have a few favorites. The Agera R’s original production ran from 2011 to 2014, and only 18 units were released. The R is similar to the original Agera but boasts an upgraded exhaust, side winglets, and a more powerful engine.
The Agera R harnesses 1,140 hp and over 1,000 nM of torque, equal to about 740 lb-ft of torque, Koenigsegg claims. It holds the 2011 Guinness World Record for the fastest 0-to-300-km/h (about 186 mph) time in 14.53 seconds. This was also the first Koenigsegg model to include ceramic piston brakes with better stopping power.
The Koenigsegg CCR, released in 2004, was also a Guinness World Record-holder. Its top speed of 388 km/h (about 241 mph) made it the fastest car ever at the time. Its engine produces 806 hp, and its body cuts a fierce figure with its big wheels, front splitter, and rear wing.
The Koenigsegg Jesko is the automaker’s latest model, a mid-engine sports car limited to 125 units. Its twin-turbo V8 makes 1,280 hp and reportedly up to 1,600 hp with certain biofuels. It also features a carbon fiber chassis and a patented “light-speed transmission,” which can shift between ratios in just 2 milliseconds.
How to pronounce the name
The pronunciation is pretty simple: Put together “kuhn” (the vowel sounds like the two o‘s in “wood”), “ig” (rhymes with “wig”), and “segg” (rhymes with “egg”) for “kuhn-ig-segg.” To hear Christian von Koenigsegg himself say the name, skip to the 15:50-minute mark in the Gentleman’s Gazette video above. The name is derived from “Königsegg,” a Holy Roman Empire principality where Mr. Koenigsegg’s ancestors lived. You can find the family crest on the front of every model the brand makes.
Though “Koenigsegg” doesn’t have any special meaning, it’s clear the automaker puts careful thought into its model names. In Swedish, “Agera” means “to take action.” And “Regera” means “to rule.” These two examples are fitting for the powerful cars they represent.