Koenigsegg is the Swedish word for "crazy." In its two decades of existence, this car company has pushed more boundaries and designed more outlandish automobiles than most others can accomplish in a century. The latest Regera is no different. Debuting here at the Geneva Motor Show, it ratchets up the insanity a few notches yet again, this time starting with the utterly unreasonable headline number of 1,500bhp.
The Regera is a hybrid (a plug-in hybrid, no less!) that combines the output of three electric motors (700bhp) with the power of a twin-turbo V8 gasoline engine (1,000bhp) to produce unspeakable amounts of speed. Combined, the drivetrain will propel all 3,131 dry pounds of the Regera from 0 to 400kmh — that's nearly 250mph — in under 20 seconds. Again, for emphasis: that's roughly Mach 0.33 in a third of a minute.
It's not just about power, though — there's some tech, too. Koenigsegg advertises the Regera as "the first fully robotized car," which is to say that everything that can open, close, or otherwise move around is electronically controlled. Using either a remote or a smartphone app, you'll be able to open the butterfly doors or adjust the front and rear wings. The rear wing is pretty cool, folding down into the car's construction for a perfectly streamlined shape when you don't need its active downforce.
0 to 100kmh in 2.8 seconds. Or you can cruise in a silent EV mode
The rearview mirrors fold in automatically when the doors open through their 90-degree turn, adding "practicality and visual drama" to a typically mundane action. You can always do things the old-fashioned way, of course: with your hands. That was the only option available when I came around to gawk at Koenigsegg's new car, but the experience still had its charm. The carbon fiber doors are featherlight, and their alien feel seemed to match the uniqueness of the vehicle before me.
There will be just 80 Koenigsegg Regeras ever made, which, for the sort of car that this is, actually sounds like quite an ambitious number. When you think of plug-in hybrids, Toyota's staid Prius is typically the first thing that comes to mind. And yet, here I am, standing next to a car that has both an electric-only mode for perfect silence and a full-power insanity mode that goes from 0 to 100kmh in 2.8 seconds. And it has CarPlay! All that incredible value can be yours for a price of $1.89 million plus taxes, with the first cars being delivered to their lucky owners in 2016.
Regera is Swedish for the verb "to reign" — not kidding this time — and my brief encounter with the car that bears that name suggests that it's deserved. If the thing drives the way that it looks, it'll certainly live up to its proud title.
P.S. — That huge air outlet on the back isn't the exhaust, it's actually part of the cooling system for the electric motors. The exhaust system is a fishtail outlet pushing heat from the engine out to the sides.