Wednesday, November 3, 2021

KOENIGSEGG GEMERA - A TINY, FRIENDLY GIANT IN CHEETAH'S CLOTHING by John Crawford

Powerful, fast, muscular and capacious – do all those features fit in one design? In the case of the Swedish-built Gemera, you bet. To those qualities you can add one more – incredible functionality – which when you break down the component elements, will blow you away as fast as one of the Koenigsegg turbos.




This is not only one impressive automotive creation, but the tiny company which produces it has established itself as a true innovator, and proves that visionary craftsmen like Christian von Koenigsegg and his design chief Sasha Selipanov are truly able to break (no, smash) boundaries in design, technology and performance.




There will only be 300 lucky individuals who will be able to park the Gemera on the driveway, but I am convinced they will smugly be very proud of their decision. Of course, it’s a megacar, with a mega price tag, but what the Gemera celebrates is the pursuit of targets most mainstream car people have never even thought about, much less contemplated bringing these incredible concepts and ideas in this car to market.

 

First, I will attempt a simple description (good luck with that then). It’s a PHEV, which has a 2.0L twin-turbocharged three-cylinder ICE, plus three electric motors and it’s a 2+2 coupe featuring Dihedral Synchro-Helix doors – meaning no B-pillar. There is also no camshaft! The engine features Koenigsegg’s patented ‘Freevalve’ technology.



The transmission is an in-house single-speed direct drive which transmits 1268kW (1700hp) to the road, providing a 0-100km/h time of 1.9 seconds and a top speed of 400 km/h.

 

But, it’s how you get to that stopwatch-challenging performance that categorically reveals both the art and the science in the Gemera.

 

Let’s start with the ICE. Carefully note the power output and the performance this car delivers. The TFG (Tiny Friendly Giant) camless engine has twin turbochargers, driving the front wheels. There is an electric motor on each of the rear wheels, with another on the crankshaft. Each rear wheel E-motor delivers 500hp, and the front E-motor delivers 400hp. Oh, and the ICE delivers 600hp – for a combined 1700hp!



The Koenisegg TFG engine is, as I said, camless. It uses a series of solenoids to open and close the intake and exhaust valves. Also, the ICE weighs just 70kg! The car itself weighs in at 1850kg. The EV range is just 33km, but as a hybrid, the driving range extends to 620km.


 

It may be stretching credulity to describe the Gemera as a four-seat, family hypercar – but it is.





The Dihedral doors extend into the roof, and together with their unique opening mechanism means the occupants enter and leave without twisting into awkward positions, moving seats, flipping the front seat forward, or any other physical challenges to allow effortless ingress and egress.

 

Being the first all-wheel-drive car from Koenigsegg the Gemera has all-wheel-steering and torque vectoring. Consistent with the company’s construction touchstones, it is a carbon fibre monocoque with aluminium sub-structures. And, if you’re wondering about ground clearance, it also features electronically-adjustable ride height.

 

Koenigsegg’s innovative three-pot, twin turbo hybrid engine could well be the design which prolongs the life of the enthusiast ICE market.




I don’t care if this sounds like a commercial for Koenigsegg, I am really, really impressed with the innovation and delivery of impressive design, technical integrity and performance, which proves that, much like my other favourite car maker (Touring Superleggera of Milan), small, highly skilled ateliers following the energetic pursuit of perfection shows it remains within reach – even today.


John Crawford

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