Cult Cars Road Tests

Cult Cars 13: Koenigsegg CCX

Time 13 years ago

koeniggIt is most famous for being the car The Stig developed. Remember the Koenigsegg’s first attempt at lapping the Top Gear test track? It ended in an ignominious spin, as the hypercar proved just too hyper for the reclusive racer.

‘Fit a rear wing,’ he said. ‘Then, it’ll be the fastest ever round here.’ Koenigsegg did. It was. But then, what else would you expect from a car boasting a claimed 245mph top speed?

Sorry, that’s 245mph ‘plus’. Well, if you’re gonna be bonkers, best be totally bonkers. Such are the dazzling numbers of the mental CCX, a car built specially to commemorate Koenigsegg’s first CC edition back in 1996.

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The CCX marked its foray worldwide, into markets previously unexplored, such as the US. This meant a redesign, to make it safer and more secure.

It also demanded a cleaner engine – so, instead of using a much-modified old Ford V8, the Swedish company designed its own, and got a British company that casts blocks for Formula 1 engines to make it.

The result is a 4.7-litre V8, with two superchargers, and some stupefying figures. How about 806bhp? Which means it does 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds? And, 0-124mph in less than 10 seconds? This car is fast – so fast, it gets from 0-124mph and back to zero again in just 14 seconds.

This is why the traction control is F1-grade. This is why the brake discs have eight-pot calipers. This is why, at 155mph, it can generate a mighty 100kg of downforce from aerodynamics alone. To put this into context, the carbonfibre Koenigsegg in its entirety only weighs 1,280kg…

The two-door targa model is sensational. Everyone who drives it says they’re daunted by it, such is the ferocity – but get used to the physical and intense experience it generates, and there’s nothing else like it.

There are no fancy aids here (even a paddle-shift gearbox is optional, rather than a substitute for the standard six-speed manual) and everything about it demands total concentration.


That’s probably why The Stig got caught out. But still, there’s some who say the standard car’s not fast enough. For such types, Koenigsegg has an answer.

The even more powerful CCX Edition, a 4.8-litre version of the mighty CCX, with a no-we’re-not-lying 888bhp being flung to the rear wheels. Awesome does not begin to describe it.

Nor does the fact that, despite all this, and despite (actually pretty decent) fuel economy of 16.6mpg, Koenigsegg also shows its Swedish eco heritage by offering a ‘green’ CCX. The CCXR is biofuel compliant, and has a much lower cumulative CO2 effect. This makes it about as green as the average big saloon car, which for one of the genuinely fastest cars in the world, really is going some.

Oh, and another feather in the CCXR’s cap is that it’s said to produce 25 per cent more power than the standard one…

The Koenigsegg is not cheap. It’s not easy to buy. It’s not easy to drive. But, master all of this, and you really do have one of the quickest and most capable things on the planet. Not many machines carry more mystique than the mysterious Stig. Never mind being a Cult Car, the CCX is masterful enough to start a cult all on its own…


Koenigsegg CCX

Price: £495,000

Engine: 4.7-litre, V8

Power: 806bhp, 919Nm

0-60mph: 3.2s

Max: 245mph

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James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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