Carbon fibre is as intriguing a material as any. Woven strands of graphite are bound in resin to create a composite that is extremely strong and lightweight, and the black fabric pattern has become so iconic that it has become de rigueur in the supercar world.
As a result, car manufacturers have gone to great lengths to showcase the weave underneath, with whole cars having been finished in nothing but a clear coat. However, Koenigsegg has one-upped them all by building its first Regera entirely out of completely bare carbon fibre – a finish the Swedish company calls Koenigsegg Naked Carbon (KNC).
The material uses no lacquers, varnishes or other coatings, and even the thin outer layer of epoxy that comes from curing the piece in an autoclave has been polished away by hand. The result is a finish that is cold to the touch, and the now fully exposed graphite fibres produce a metallic sheen. Koenigsegg has built KNC components before, such as wheels, wings, splitters, winglets and steering wheels, but never an entire car.
To make sure KNC stands up to the elements, the company left sample parts outside for several years, going through the summer heat and winter cold. Indeed, Angelholm claims that the surface finish is more durable than lacquers, as the exposed carbon is stiffer and thus less sensitive to stone chips and scratches. What’s more, because of the lack of any paint, lacquer or epoxy on the surface, the KNC Regera – destined for a Swiss customer – is actually around 20 kg lighter than a “standard” Regera.
As you’d expect, it’s a delicate process to strip the epoxy, as one stroke too many would ruin the carbon threads. The process also requires the parts to come out of production absolutely flawless, as imperfect surfaces cannot be smoothened out or adjusted. Koenigsegg says this is a testament to the extreme tolerances and quality control inherent in its production process.
“It’s not unusual for a customer to specify their car with visible carbon fibre,” said CEO Christian von Koenigsegg. “It’s a beautiful material from a visual perspective and our customers love to show what the car is made from. KNC takes the idea of visible carbon fibre to a whole new level, revealing a beautiful lustre and a very silky finish.”
The rest of the Regera is pretty extraordinary as well, as it’s Koenigsegg’s first hybrid supercar. It gets a monstrous 1,100 hp 5.0 litre biturbo V8 paired with three electric motors to produce over 1,500 hp and 2,000 Nm of torque, but the most bizarre thing is that the engine is connected directly to the rear wheels, assisted not by a traditional gearbox but by a torque converter.
It’s no surprise, then, that this plug-in hybrid is exceedingly quick. It will get to 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds before blowing past 200 km/h in 6.6 seconds, 300 km/h in 10.9 seconds and 400 km/h in a scarcely believable 20 seconds. It will also get from 150 to 250 km/h in a blistering 3.9 seconds.
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