Koenigsegg on top speed record: ‘we could have gone faster’


Plus: Koenigsegg would also support a customer ‘Ring lap record attempt

In November 2017, the Koenigsegg Agera RS famously blasted through the Nevada desert at an average speed of 447.2km/h, on only its second flat-out run. But it could have gone even faster.

Speaking to TopGear.com at the Geneva Motor Show, we asked boss Christian von Koenigsegg if he has any niggling, fleeting wishes about trying to push it a bit harder on the day.

“For sure, we could’ve gone even faster”, the Swede says matter-of-factly, “but when the record was clearly taken, I said that’s enough.”


“You could have tumbleweeds, a rock, a nail, or a raccoon… it’s pretty windy and bumpy [too]. I was just happy we nailed it. It was a clear statement, and we beat that old Mercedes record [from 1938]. That record had lasted for way too long – it’s incredible. We could’ve pushed it more, but the risk factors involved… you just never know. We were done.”It’s heartening to see Christian isn’t tempted by bigger headlines, and puts the safety of his test driver, Niklas Lilja, as number one concern. Quite rightly too, you’ll agree. But does that mean he encourages Hennessey, Bugatti, Rimac or whoever not to run the high-speed, 450km/h+ record risk?

“Oh, no no no”, he shakes his head.  “I expect we will be beaten. I was expecting Bugatti to announce that they have beaten us at this [Geneva] show!


“Of course, Hennessey says 300 miles an hour (480km/h)… if you have 1,600bhp or whatever they have, it should be possible. What I don’t know about the Hennessey: is it a production car? Is it a rebuilt Lotus? Is it crash-tested, or homologated? I have no idea – and to me that makes a difference. Otherwise we could just put dragsters into the equation.”

After telling Top Gear about his plans for a new Agera-replacing, V8-powered hypercar in 2019, Koenigsegg mooted the idea of once again considering the prize of scoring lap records, at the Nürburgring and beyond…

STORY Ollie Kew


Author: TopGear
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and is the most widely watched factual television programme in the world.