Designing and building a car isn’t easy. Actually, we need to clarify that statement. Designing and building a production car that meets all the various rules and regulations of countries around the world isn’t easy. Homologation for road-legal vehicles requires all kinds of steps, and while high-volume automakers can recoup the expense through mass production, it’s a veritable mountain of misery for low-volume performance companies like Koenigsegg.
A new video from Apex One chronicles the process of climbing this mountain, at least from Koenigsegg’s point-of-view. Company founder Christian Von Koenigsegg and Homologation Manager David Tugas discuss the challenges of being a small car company meeting these requirements, which according to Koenigsegg account for no less than 60 percent of the company’s budget over the last few years.
Crash-testing is obviously a large chunk of that, and we actually took a closer look at Koenigsegg’s creative solutions on that front in a previous clip. Tugas breaks down the process further here, explaining that homologation basically involves active safety, passive safety, and emissions. In this instance, active safety doesn’t refer to tech systems like automatic braking, but any systems that might be related to safety before a crash, such as the lights, brake systems, and mirrors. Passive safety involves items that come into play after a crash, like seat belts and airbags.
Naturally, emission homologation deals with the exhaust gases coming out of the company’s glorious twin-turbo V8 engines, or more recently, with the three-cylinder engine in the Gemera. The tiny 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine merges with three electric motors in the four-seat hypercar to produce a heroic 1,700 horsepower (1,268 kilowatts) of power. Once on sale, it will likely become the fastest four-seater on the planet.
Sadly, getting this car legal for on-road operation means some measure of crash-testing on prototypes will be required, and with Koenigsegg selling its niche hypercars in numerous countries, it means multiple tests will be needed. That’s because crash standards and emissions are different from place-to-place, and while there is some overlap, U.S. and Euro laws in particular require different tests. It’s certainly a costly endeavor, but with upwards of 15 years in the world of niche manufacturing, Koenigsegg has figured out how to get things done without completely blowing away its operating budget.
We’re grateful for that, as few vehicles are as exotic and exciting as those from Koenigsegg. This short video is certainly an eye-opener for what goes on behind the scenes in simply getting these cars legal for the fortunate few who can enjoy them.