The name Koenigsegg doesn’t ring a bell in the way that competitors like Ferrari and Lamborghini can, but this Swedish firm has been giving those established brands a run for their money.
Koenigsegg (pronounced ker-nig-seg) is based in Sweden, with its founder Christian von Koenigsegg tracing his roots to Germany. Christian was in his early 20s when he started the company in 1994. His dream was to produce the fastest production sports car in the world.
In 2001, Koenigsegg came up with the prototype of his first car. He called it the CC V-8. It had a carbon fiber chassis with swiveling doors. It featured a supercharged, V-8 engine that offered 655 horsepower. It had a price of $300,000.
Three years later, Koenigsegg came up with a new, faster model—the CCR. It had more horsepower than the CC V-8 with 806 ponies. And it did the unthinkable back in 2005—outrunning the McLaren F1 by speeding to 241 miles an hour at the Nardo test track in Italy.
That record, however, fell in less than a year as the $1.25 million Bugatti Veyron ran to 253 miles an hour in late 2005.
But that short rise to fame was enough for Koenigsegg to introduce his brand. He had sold 34 units abroad, including the US.
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