On October 1, the Swedish carmaker took a customer’s Agera RS to the Vandel airfield in Denmark where it used its 1014kW (a bit more than one megawatt) 5.0-litre turbo V8 to get to 403km/h in 26.9s and then back to a standstill in 9.6s.
All up, the mental megacar went to beyond 400km/h and back in 37.28 seconds, covering a distance of 2535 metres and shaving 5.5s from the Bugatti’s time.
Koenigsegg claims the timed run was not in direct retaliation to Bugatti’s achievement, but in response to a customer’s request to verify their car’s performance, which had been specced with the megawatt-plus factory engine upgrade.
“The owner of the Agera RS used for this 0-400-0km/h run is very keen for us to verify the car’s performance in comparison to other manufacturers,” it said. “This run was a great opportunity to do so.”
The run was originally planned to go ahead in late September at Germany’s Papenburg facility, but bad weather pushed the attempt to a later date and different country.
Despite the shift to a location closer to Koenigsegg’s home, and perfect weather, the conditions were far from perfect and the pilot – factory driver Niklas Lilja – can be seen correcting for imperfections on the airfield’s ageing surface.
Fresh from the factory, the team reportedly didn’t even have time to remove the protective tape from numerous surfaces about the car, but it’s more likely the strips were left in place to avoid damaging the body’s finish at stratospheric velocity.
No modifications were made to the vehicle other than some small adjustments to the massive rear spoiler to reduce drag and make the V-max easier to hit – but the reduced downforce meant the car was breaking traction at 183km/h.
Before pounding the carbon-ceramic brakes to scrub the monumental speed, the Koenigsegg was covering 100 metres a second. However, it only asked for less than half a kilometre to come back to a rest.
The Koenigsegg may have snatched the title from Bugatti for now, but it is likely the French manufacturer is planning to embarrass Koenigsegg with an attack on an even more significant title – the overall production car maximum speed record.
At the end of Bugatti’s 0-400-0km/h video released at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, a final flashback shows the speedometer pushing on to 440km/h, indicating the production car record is about to be toppled.
Bugatti has a distinct advantage when it comes to high-speed production car record attempts with its Ehra-Lessien high-speed oval providing an unrivalled facility for all Volkswagen Group brand vehicles. Boutique manufacturers such as Koenigsegg, meanwhile, are forced to improvise with their locations.