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Koenigsegg Gamera: 4 Seats, 4WD, 3 Cylinders, and 1700 hp



Meet the Koenigsegg Gamera. This car brings so many firsts, not just to Koenigsegg, but also to the entire automotive industry. For Koenigsegg, it is the first car to have 4 seats, the first to have 3 cylinders and the first to have all wheel drive. Koenigsegg calls it the world's first mega-GT (gran touring) car, and I think they're right. For the world, it brings the first four seater, mid-engine, hyper car. Koenigsegg says it wants to bring the "exciting performance traits of a mid-engine two-seater megacar with the practicalities of a four-seater car with more luggage space" so the experience can be shared with "family and friends." Clearly, I need better friends...

With 1,700 hp on tap, you are sure to impress those lucky enough to be your family and friends if you own one of those. Of course, a three cylinder engine with 1,700 hp is likely to have all the driveability and flexibility of a farm tractor so Koenigsegg doesn't rely on it for all the oomph. Still, the 2.0 litre 3-cylinder engine makes an astonishing 600 hp at 7,500 rpm with a redline of 8,500 rpm and 443 lb-ft from as low as 2,000 rpm to 7,000 rpm. Appropriately named Tiny Friendly Giant (TFG), everything about the engine is astonishing.


It weighs a measly 154 lb. which is unheard of for that much power among production cars. For reference, one of the most compacts and power dense engine out there is is Chevy's small block V8, thanks to a single cam-in-block design (i.e. overhead valves or pushrod engine). It weighs around 430 lb. Ford's tiny 1.0 litre 3-cylinder EcoBoost weighs 200 lb. How does Koenigsegg manage to make the engine so light? Well, it doesn't specify if this is dry or wet weight so it might be a little more, but the engine is actually a dry sump design so it wet weight should not add a whole lot. The most likely reason is what Koenigsegg calls Freevalve technology.

Co-developed by Koenigsegg and sister company Freevalve, it is a cam-less design, meaning the engine doesn't have any camshafts controlling intake and exhaust valve. Instead, there are individual actuators for each valve. In essence, valve lift and duration are completely uncoupled from engine rotation, inherently also uncoupling all valves from each other. That means range of operation is much wider, allowing engines to switch combustion cycles and fuels seamlessly. And the amount of optimization possible based on engine load and rpms is massive. Think about what variable valve timing technology did to engines 10-15 years ago, only about a thousand times more flexible. You can watch Christian von Koenigsegg himself explain the tech and its benefits below:



Koenigsegg then throws in its own Engine Control Module combined with in-cylinder pressure sensors instead of relying on traditional knock-sensors, which means that the engine module should determine with much better accuracy if there is any detonation and therefore (likely) run leaner, hotter, with more timing to make more power if required without engine damage.

And as already mentioned, it also means seamless fuel switching. As a result, Koenigsegg says the engine can switch between gas (petrol) and ethanol (up to E100!) with no tuning required. Koenigsegg also says it can run on methanol, presumably meth/water injection capability without tuning but it doesn't specify. They also says it can run on "sun fuel". Not sure what that is. Likely the hopes and dreams of other car manufacturers out there.


What about the rest of 1,700 hp? The rest comes from three electric motors. The way the entire drivetrain comes together is very unique and some details are not explicitly clear from reading Koenigsegg's official info, but you can tell after watching the video a couple of times (below). Essentially, the 2.0 litre engine (TFG) has a 400 hp electric motor connected to the crank. A torque tube connects that electric motor to the front axle and powers the front wheels. In the back, there are two 500 hp, 738 lb-ft electric motors outback, one powering each rear wheel independently.

There is no mechanical connection between the engine and the rear wheels, meaning that the two electric motors in the back are the only way to power the rear wheels. The two electric motors each have an independent gearbox which have reverse gears. The front wheels are connected using similar tech to the Regera hybrid, or direct-drive in Koenigsegg speak. You can read about the technology in more detail here, but in essence, it uses a hydraulic coupling and a set of clutch packs in place of a traditional gearbox just before the front differential. The front differential is a traditional open diff but it uses a set of electronically controlled clutch packs - one on each front half shaft - to independently lock each side.

The front differential and clutch packs essentially work the same way as the rear differential on a Focus RS to provide torque vectoring but with one major exception; there is a mechanical differential in between. Where the Focus RS needs to constantly modulate clutch packs to mimic a mechanical differential (hence the heating issue some people run into on track), the Gamera has a mechanical differential just like any traditional car, and the clutch packs only provide the ability to vary how much torque it sends to each wheel by modulating the clutch packs. Combined with the independent rear electric motors, this gives the Gamera four wheel drive combined with four wheel torque vectoring.

You can read more on the official Koenigsegg Gamera page and watch Koenigsegg's rendering below of the entire drivetrain and battery pack which is very impressive.


The results? 0-100 kph (62 mph) in a scant 1.9 seconds. Top speed of 250 mph (400 kph) and Koenigsegg claims that it reaches that speed in record time, faster than any other production car can. All while offering 50 km electric only range thanks to a 15 kWh 800 V battery pack. But to do that, it does have to decouple the rear wheels... that's right, in range mode, the Koenigsegg Gamera becomes FWD. With that said, the battery pack can discharge electricity at a whopping rate of 900 kW or 1,206 hp so that it can keep up with the combined max power output of the three electric motors.

Wrapping all of this together is a carbon-fibre intensive design. There is a carbon fibre tub with aluminum front and rear subframes attaching the suspension. Body panels are also carbon fibre and the wheels could be made out of carbon fibre if you want. Even the seats are made out of carbon fibre buckets with exposed weaves and they appear to be fixed back, but Koenigsegg is touting comfort thanks to memory foam. The interior is very minimalist with a large centre screen that looks to contain all functions and all air vents appear to be concealed. There are also no side view mirrors. Instead, there are side cameras connected to two side screens and a third screen replacing the dash and gauges. Rear view mirror is likewise replaced with a screen and a rear view camera.



And being Koenigsegg, it's a complete package, not just an exercise in mad power or headline specs. If four wheel drive and four wheel steering is not enough, Koenigsegg also fitted the Gamera with real wheel steering, meaning the Gamera also has four wheel steering. The suspension is double-wishbone front and back. The dampers are, of course, adjustable and the Gamera goes one step further with hydraulic ride height adjustment range of 1.4" (35 mm). Wheels measure 21" x 10.5" up front and 22" x 11.5" in the back. Standard tires are 295/30/21 in the front and 315/30/22 and they are Michelin Pilot Sport 4S. Option tires are the same size, but are sticky Michelin Cup R3's. Standard brakes are 16.3" up front with 6-piston calipers and 15.4" in the back with 4-piston calipers, all carbon ceramics.

And since Koenigsegg is no boutique automaker, you get ABS, traction control with 3 settings (wet, normal, and track), and stability control, in addition to driver assists and a host of luxury features. If you're a regular reader, you probably have noticed that I don't typically comment on all the little features and focus on the mechanical details, but I'm just impressed by how complete the package is. There is a whole host of luxury features, including three zone climate control, heated and cooled cup holders, heated seats, the lot. Despite all of that, Koenigsegg is quoting a curb weight (including fluids) of approx. 4,079 lb (1,850 kg). It's certainly not light, but when you think of cars offering anything this complex (i.e. AWD, four seater, hybrid tech with a battery pack large enough for EV range, over 1,000 hp), it is actually a featherweight.


Koenigsegg hasn't announced pricing yet, but they did say production will be limited to 300. Think you'll be able to afford it? Better let Koenigsegg know you're interested.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for taking the time to share this excellent post with us. There was just so much informative details that you provided in this article and always something new to take in from each of your posts. Have a wonderful rest of your day.
    Greg Prosmushkin

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