The Gemera is the first car with Koenigsegg's innovative FreeValve technology.
The Koenigsegg Gemera is an incredible feat of engineering. At its heart is a 2.0-liter twin-turbo three-cylinder engine (also known as the Tiny Friendly Giant engine) rated at 600 horsepower in contrast to the Jesko's 5.0-liter V8 engine. As well as being Koenigsegg's first four-seater hypercar, what makes the Gemera unique is that it's the first car to use the Swedish automaker's innovative camless FreeValve technology with infinitely variable valve timing. It can also run on renewable carbon-neutral Ethanol fuel. That's all very impressive, but why didn't the mega GT get a V8 as with other Koenigsegg creations? In an interview with Road & Track, the company's founder, Christian von Koenigsegg, has revealed that the Gemera was originally going to be fitted with a naturally aspirated V8 engine with Freevalve technology, but smaller turned out to be the better way forward.
"The three-cylinder Freevalve concept was something I had in the back of my mind, dreaming about for like 10 years-to have this super compact, renewable-fuel-capable little monster of an engine that can replace much bigger engines," von Koenigsegg said. At the start of the Gemera's development, the plan was to use a naturally-aspirated V8 with hybrid electrification. But Koenigsegg found that removing the turbochargers had "very little effect on emissions" because "you don't have the turbos cooling down the exhaust gases before the catalytic converters." So far, Koenigsegg hasn't built a V8 with Freevalve as von Koenigsegg sees the V8 as a "trusted entity" but said the possibility of engineering a camless V8 is "always lurking around the corner."
Fitting a V8 into the four-seat Gemera also posed challenges as it would have reduced the interior space. presented challenges in the four-seat Gemera. "We were fighting to make it work, only to land back at the three-cylinder idea," said von Koenigsegg. "We started packaging it, and everything started to fall into place. Then we really started pushing for the development of that engine, and of course, we were doing it mainly for the Gemera, but we now also see other opportunities for this engine."
While other supercar manufacturers are embracing EVs - Ferrari will launch its first EV in 2025 and Lamborghini's first EV is expected to launch between 2024 and 2027 - Koenigsegg is sticking with electrified combustion engines for the foreseeable future. After all, its Freevalve technology and TFG engine mean we can still enjoy combustion-powered hypercars with insane amounts of power without much environmental impact.
"I think it would be a mistake for humankind to forbid CO2-neutral, almost zero-emitting engines that run on renewable fuels for certain applications," he said. "Especially low-volume [production vehicles], because they have absolutely no impact on the environment, or greenhouse emissions for that matter, if they are CO2 neutral. For sure, these hyper- and megacars with combustion engines should run on renewable fuels, and then they will have zero impact on the environment. It would be exciting for them to be allowed to exist, and I hope the world is sane enough to see that. We are trying to make internal combustion much better for the environment, and I think that's better than just ignoring it."