Paying tribute to 20 years of Koenigsegg cars and 50 years of its namesake founder.
20 years ago, Koenigsegg produced its first production vehicle in the CC8S. From the word "go," it set new standards and broke new records, crowned by Guinness World Records as the world's most powerful production engine in a car and picking up a plethora of other awards.
Today, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the CC8S and his own 50th birthday, Christian von Koenigsegg has pulled the covers off of the ultimate tribute, which sets even higher standards than the original. Meet the Koenigsegg CC850, a 1,363-hp homage to Koenigsegg's roots with a six-speed gated manual gearbox that doubles as a nine-speed automatic.
That's not a typo; the CC850 utilizes yet another world-first transmission from Koenigsegg - following on from the insanity of the Light Speed Transmission (LST) and Koenigsegg Direct Drive (KDD) transmission systems. Based on the aforementioned LST, the new system is called Engage Shift System (ESS), combining the best of both automatic and manual transmissions. In automatic mode, it acts as a nine-speed self-shifter for laidback cruising, but at your behest, it has a true gated six-speed manual shifter, replete with a clutch pedal.
Not only is the H-pattern gearbox design itself a work of art, but the mechanism beneath it is fully exposed, with Koenigsegg taking inspiration from Swiss chronographs for its beauty. In a nod to the original CC8S, the wooden shift knob is topped with the Swedish flag.
The transmission, according to Koenigsegg, is "one of the most engaging manuals ever created." Considering Christian von Koenigsegg drives a first-gen NA Mazda Miata, you can imagine what was used as the benchmark.
As for what powers the CC850, we need look no further than Koenigsegg's in-house-built 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 - the same one that powers the Koenigsegg Jesko. Notable for its exclusion of a flywheel, the motor is renowned for being the most responsive, fastest-revving engine around. Its outputs measure 1,363 bhp on E85 fuel at 7,800 rpm and 1,020 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm, all sent to the rear axle. Redline arrives at 8,500 rpm.
In keeping with Koenigsegg's history, the CC850 weighs 3,053 lbs. In metric units of weight in kilograms, metric horsepower (PS), and metric torque measurement in Newton meters, it has an identical 1,385 of either, giving it a perfect 1:1 power to weight ratio. And, because combustion isn't dead yet, nor does it need to be, the motor can run on renewable fuels.
Koenigsegg has not published performance figures, but says that the CC850 was not developed to break the track records that will be set by the Jesko or target top speed records but rather to "offer the highest level of driver satisfaction and enjoyment with the exhilarating performance for which Koenigsegg is renowned." This echoes the sentiments Christian von Koenigsegg once shared with CarBuzz when telling us how his NA Miata's fun-to-drive nature was present in every Koenigsegg hypercar.
The car, which was teased right at the beginning of the year, and again only this morning, bears a familiar side profile, as its design has been directly influenced by that of the CC8S. Various Koenigsegg models inspired multiple details, with center-locking telephone-dial style wheels - measuring 20 inches up front and 21 inches at the rear and shod in optional Michelin Pilot Sport 4S or standard Pilot Sport Cup 2 R rubber - and triple taillights being not-so-subtle nods to 'Seggs of the past.
Within the wheels, carbon ceramic brake discs measure 16.1 inches up front and 15.5 inches at the rear, acted upon by six- and four-piston calipers, respectively.
The chassis is Koenigsegg's carbon fiber monocoque with aluminum honeycomb and the Koenigsegg safety cell, while the body itself is pre-impregnated carbon fiber/kevlar. Underneath, double wishbone suspension all around with hydraulically adjustable ride height, electronically-controlled gas-hydraulic shocks, and rear triplex dampers will ensure it handles as a 'Segg should, while rack and pinion power-assisted steering will ensure it feels good doing so.
Inside, Swedish minimalism takes on a new level with a symmetrical layout inspired by the original CC8S. Koenigsegg says the symmetry makes it possible to spec the car in both left- and right-hand drive. The details are meticulous, as showcased by the instrumentation, which forgoes digitalization for analog dials.
The seats can be upholstered in leather or Alcantara, the infotainment has Apple CarPlay, USB input, and wireless device charging, and occupants are kept cool by automatic climate control. The doors, hood, frunk, and more can all be controlled electronically, and a birds-eye camera and two-inch hydraulic nose lift will make the CC850 easy to live with.
Ingress to the cabin, in typical Koenigsegg fashion, happens via the brand's synchrohelix door design, while the brand's signature detachable roof features as well.
"The CC850 is an homage to the single most meaningful car in Koenigsegg history," said Christian von Koenigsegg. "The CC8S put us on the map and made us successful - and celebrating 20 years of production, alongside my 50th birthday, felt like the right time to reveal the CC850 to appreciate our roots."
In celebrating Christian's 50th birthday, only 50 models of the CC850 will be manufactured. There's no word on price, but if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it anyway. For those that can, they will have access to the only car in the world that has both a gated manual transmission and an automatic - a true class of one.