Koenigsegg don’t play by the “rules”

Official 'Ring Taxi for the Nordschleife by Jaguar RaceTaxi Nürburgring
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WOW… When I wrote my analysis of the Koenigsegg Agera One:1 Nürburgring Nordschleife crash on Tuesday, I thought that would be the end of the tale. But apparently not…

Because normally, when manufacturers crash cars at the Nürburgring they will follow one of three patterns:

  1. Ignore it
  2. Deny it
  3. Ignore it

Want me to elaborate? Look at the Camaro, or McLaren, or pretty much anything that crashes in Industrie Pool. There’s a lot more fender-benders than you might think, and the Nordschleife’s a big place.

That’s EXACTLY why Bongard have this, the covered super-secret recovery truck.

If your Acura NSX prototype burns to the ground, or as above, you get a puncture on the RingTaxi on a very busy Sunday, you can pay a little more to have a very discrete service.

With all that secrecy being just ‘normal’ at the Nürburgring, imagine my surprise when I saw this release by Koenigsegg:

The vehicle has since returned to Ängelholm and upon examination of both the car and the on-board telemetry, we have been able to deduce the following:

The One:1 experienced front axle brake lock-up at approximately 170 km/h on a section of the track known as Fuchsröhre before hitting the fence at Adenauer Forst at approximately 110 km/h. The impact with the fence launched the car into the air for an estimated 22 meters while it turned 180 degrees before it landed on its left rear wheel and pivoted to land parallel with the fence. The airbags, fuel shut-off and other safety systems all deployed as they were designed to do.

koenigsegg_post_accident

Such an open “mea culpa” on social media is practically unprecedented in this industry. It’s a level of transparency that some of the bigger manufacturers will laugh at. I can imagine some of the older bosses seeing this as a sign of weakness.

But it also shows a company with a human side, with empathy and emotion. When you sell cars for €2m, it’d be easy to forget the fans, the faithful and the followers. How many fans will actually buy an Agera, after all?

It would be easy to ignore them, and instead concentrate your PR and damage-control effort instead on the few hundred potential millionaire customers.

The truth is that ABS sensors failing on racetracks is nothing new at all. Rumble-strips, big kerbs, plenty of jumps, all of these can move the brake pads or upset the software monitoring the wheel speeds. The Nordschleife is fantastic for it. I’ve had it more times than I can remember, seriously. On a 2008 Lotus Exige S I could make the yellow light come on with one ‘trick’ nine times out of ten!

So don’t think too little of Koenigsegg, when you see a $3m car ruined by a €100 wheel speed sensor. Because that’s what testing is for!

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