Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut Can Do 330 MPH in Theory but Needs Space
Koenigsegg is chasing 300 mph in dramatic fashion. The Jesko Absolut is the Swedish company's idea of a high-speed streamliner, with a drag coefficient of 0.278 and 1600 horsepower from a twin-turbo V-8. It's Koenigsegg's answer to the 304-mph Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+.
The Absolut should be very fast, but the exact top speed remains unknown, as Koenigsegg hasn't tested it. Speaking to our friends at Road & Track on the phone, company founder Christian von Koenigsegg said he believes the automaker will be ready to do a top-speed run within a year, but he's not sure where it'll be held. The section of Nevada highway closed for the Agera RS's 277-mph run in 2017 isn't quite smooth enough for the speeds the Jesko Absolut is capable of hitting, which should be very high.
"If you run the numbers, you take the frontal area, the Cd, the power, the gear ratio, the power curve . . . the simulations say 532 km/h [330 mph], or something like that," Koenigsegg said. "It's of course a theoretical number, but that's what simulation tells us. We don't really have the ambition to drive that fast. The end result will be location, driver willingness, and car's capability. But theoretically, it looks extremely fast."
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We asked if the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds—a repurposed three-mile space-shuttle runway in Florida—would be suitable. "It's perfect, apart from that it's not long enough. We can go maybe 85 percent of the car's top speed there." Koenigsegg said. "The problem is when you start reaching your top speed, and you want to get your last 5 to 10 mph, they come very, very slowly while the car is flying forward and just consuming miles so quickly."
Arguably, the best place in the world to do such a test is Volkswagen's Ehra-Lessien proving grounds, where Bugatti set its 304-mph record. Unfortunately, Koenigsegg doesn't have access to such a facility.
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Amazingly, Koenigsegg doesn't think tires will be an issue. The company test spun the tires used on the Agera RS to 330 mph for a minute without an issue. "Michelin, when they were there during our testing, they didn't believe their eyes. How kind our cars are to their tires." Koenigsegg engineers will verify that the Absolut's tires will be able to handle the speeds if the opportunity to test comes up, but Christian isn't worried. Even if the Jesko Absolut never gets to break the 300-mph barrier, it still represents an amazing engineering achievement. Its 0.278 drag coefficient is remarkably low when considering the fact that it has wide tires and high cooling requirements for the brakes and drivetrain. "We did not expect to get this low," Koenigsegg said.
The back wheels have removable covers that add about 4 to 5 mph to the Jesko Absolut's top speed, while the rear wing is gone and the rear clamshell has been smoothed and extended. Two vertical fins help increase high-speed stability and reduce drag, while the splitter and dive planes are removed for the Absolut.
KOENIGSEGG JESKO ABSOLUT (L) AND "REGULAR" JESKO.
Koenigsegg will price the Jesko Absolut higher than the more track-focused version released last year because of the increased investment it took to get the drag coefficient so low, and the expected cost of high-speed testing. Just 125 examples of the Jesko will be built, and Koenigsegg said he doesn't yet know how many customers will go for the Absolut, as the configurator was just sent out recently.
So will the Jesko Absolut beat Bugatti? Who knows. But what is certain is that after the Jesko Absolut is finished, Koenigsegg will exit the top-speed chase.
"This is the fastest Koenigsegg we will ever endeavor to make," Koenigsegg said at the car's reveal.