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Koenigsegg Feels Threatened By Tesla's Performance

Electric Car / 40 Comments

Christian von Koenigsegg still believes internal combustion has more room to grow

Tesla isn't out to just make electric vehicles. It's out to positively disrupt the automotive industry. And mainstream automakers aren't the only ones being challenged to shake things up with EVs of their own.

Speaking with Top Gear, Christian von Koenigsegg said that the performance capabilities boasted by the forthcoming new Tesla Roadster have prompted his company to raise its game. "We kind of had our future mapped out," said Koenigsegg, "and then we heard about the new Tesla Roadster and its insane acceleration numbers, and we thought 'damn that's put the gauntlet down'."

"We thought, 'this is not OK'. We wondered whether it was possible, and yeah, it's possible," the Swedish hypercar producer. "Then we thought, 'OK how do we deal with it? This is embarrassing.'"

Tesla claims its new electric sports car will be able to accelerate to 60 miles per hour (96 km/h) from a standstill in under two seconds. By comparison, Koenigsegg's hybrid Regera takes 2.7 seconds to make the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) run. But Christian and company aren't out to make an all-electric supercar of their own to rival Tesla's.

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Instead they're more concerned with "pushing the combustion engine into the wall to try to make it more power dense than an EV for as long as possible."

"What we see with our engines, we've noticed that we're just scratching the surface of what we can achieve," he told TG. By boosting the turbo compression, Koenigsegg says they could extract "another 600 hp just like that, without putting more stress on your engine because your peak pressure doesn't go up. And it would only consume about five per cent more fuel." So unlike Elon Musk, CvK evidently believes the internal combustion engine still has a promising future ahead of itself.