What makes the Koenigsegg Jesko so fast? The details. Unlike so many flashy would-be hypercars hiding old technology under new skin, the Jesko is the rare low-digit hypercar that’s more impressive the deeper you look. We got a close-up tour of the car in Sweden at the Koenigsegg factory ahead of the car’s reveal at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show from company founder Christian von Koenigsegg.

Development of the car began in late 2017, with company’s Skunkworks division working closely to guard the new technology and name of the project. Details were so guarded that it wasn’t until the reveal of the car on Koenigsegg’s Geneva stand that Christian von Koenigsegg’s father learned that the car would be named after him. Jesko von Koenigsegg played a critical role in the early years of the company’s history, even selling his house to help his son Christian develop the company’s first car in the mid 90s.

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While the Jesko hypercar looks like an evolution of the Koenigsegg’s design language it's actually an entirely new car built on a new chassis that’s longer, wider and yet lighter. Weighing in at 3130 lbs, the same as a Porsche 911, the Jesko will sit above the Regera in Koenigsegg’s car portfolio as the ultimate street legal track car.

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“[The Jesko] is more of a visceral, track-focused car, more like the Agera RS… a little bit louder, a little big lighter,” Koenigsegg told us during a tour of the new car.

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The first Koenigsegg Jesko one week before the 2019 Geneva Motor Show

NEW TWIN-TURBO V8 WITH AIR INJECTION PRESSURE CONTROL SYSTEM

The fascinating details start with the engine, which produces 1280 horsepower standard fuel or 1600 hp on E85 biofuel. Early indications suggested the new car would feature Freevalve technology but instead the Jesko has a re-designed 5.0 liter twin-turbo V8, similar to what was in the outgoing Agera RS model.

The internals have been reworked and the motor has a re-designed 180-degree flat-plane crankshaft, new intake, and a new patent-pending air injection pressure control system for the turbos. Deep within the engine bay lays a small carbon fiber air tank which is constantly refilling and shoots powerful 20-bar shots of air strategically into the turbocharger. Koenigsegg claims this new system pre-spools the turbochargers to provide instant response, eliminating turbo-lag entirely.

LIGHT SPEED TRANSMISSION

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The Jesko utilizes a new Koenigsegg engineered nine-speed, six-clutch transmission designed to change between any gear nearly instantly, regardless of the relationship to the current gear.

“The Agera RS has a kind of the latest glorified AMT transmission, it’s very strong and very light, but you have that little bit slower shift than the DCT,” explained Koenigsegg. “So we put our heads together: How can we overcome the downsides of that kind of transmission but not have that complexity and weight of a traditional DCT? And we managed to come up with a completely novel transmission, which we call the Koenigsegg Lightspeed [LST] Transmission.”

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This setup will allow a driver to shift from first to seventh just as fast as they can shift from sixth to third. Weighing 60 pounds less than Porsche’s PDK transmission, the LST also utilizes a new gear shift pattern. While the back of the steering wheel has a traditional paddle setup for track use (right paddle upshifts/left paddle downshifts), the gear shift on the center console has a unique design that’s more like a sequential gearbox but with two additional steps. Push forward one step, you downshift. Push forward further to the second step and the LST will mathematically calculate the optimal gear to be in to would provide the maximum power on demand with at least 3,000 rpm remaining before the next gear. Pull back on the gear shift one step, you go up one gear. Pull back to the second step, the Jesko is placed into the most fuel efficient gear.

NEW AERODYNAMICS

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As a track-focused car with huge power, the Jesko will keep itself glued to the track with a seemingly unrivaled aerodynamic package that utilizes more active elements than any current street legal production car.

Producing over 2,200 pounds of downforce at 170 mph, Koenigsegg claims the Jesko makes 30% more downforce than the Koenigsegg One:1 and 20% more than a McLaren Senna. One thing you notice while approaching the car from the rear three-quarter view is just how much negative space is built into the body to help improve aerodynamics. Air channels and vents can be found on every surface of the Jesko, most notably in the rear.

The front splitter measures about six inches in length, helping channel air through and around the car. That massive front splitter was required to help balance the car thanks to its U-shaped rear wing. Active aero can be found underneath the car, utilizing actuators to bend the carbon fiber floor in critical areas to help funnel air into the rear-diffuser. Koenigsegg has not said whether or not he will use the same GPS-based active aero system found on the One:1 which optimizes the car’s aero setup for each corner on previously mapped race tracks, but we suspect something similar could be provided.

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The Jesko’s aerodynamics figures are so outrageous that the development team took action to further stabilize the car at high speeds by adding Koenigsegg’s Triplex damping system to the front of the car, which has been used on past Koenigsegg models to prevent the cars from squatting under power. The system is usually used on a car’s rear axle but was added to the Jesko’s front axle to improve high speed stability on rough roads. Designed to pass world-wide emissions and safety standards until 2026, including the most stringent standards of American states California and New Hampshire, Koenigsegg plans to start delivering the Jesko to the first customers in early 2020.

APEX.ONE KEY DETAILS: KOENIGSEGG JESKO

  • The Koenigsegg Jesko’s body has more body panels than previous Koenigsegg models, with the front hood and rear clamshell no longer being one piece. This reduces build-time and allows for panels to be replaced easily in the event of accident.
  • The 251 on the side of the Jesko Geneva show car represents chassis #251.
  • Koenigsegg‘s goal is to have the Jesko break the 300mph barrier.
  • The Jesko is the first Koenigsegg to include rear-wheel steering.
  • The Jesko’s instrument cluster, called the Smartcluster, is a touch screen that includes a tachometer and speedometer that will be fixed to the steering wheel and will rotate with the angle of the steering input.
  • Koenigsegg is introducing the Analogue-G, a hand-made analog G-gauge pendulum that will sit in-front of the driver or passenger. It was inspired by Christian von Koenigsegg’s love for analog watches.
  • Jesko von Koenigsegg loves horses. The colors chosen for the Jesko Geneva show car, white with green accents, are the same colors the Koenigsegg gentleman jockeys wore while racing horses.
  • 2019 is the 25th anniversary of Koenigsegg Automotive.
  • The Koenigsegg "ghost" badge is present on the Jesko as the car will be built in the former Swedish air-force Hanger in Ängelholm Sweden. The assembly line in the hanger has been renovated since Agera production and the plan is to produce one car each week.
  • Koenigsegg says they’ll be hiring 60 new engineers and fabricators as prototype testing begins for the Jesko in the summer of 2019.
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Jesko von Koenigsegg
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Koenigsegg Jesko Interior
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Koenigsegg SmartCluster
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The hand-made analog G-meter on the Jesko dash
ABOUT THIS SERIES APEX.one is devoted to in-depth, long-form coverage of the most exciting stories in transportation and this series is part of our experimental storytelling approach. We've been filming the development of new Koenigsegg products for  8 years and over the next few months we'll be periodically releasing videos that tell the story of how we got here. Stay tuned.