Koenigsegg Jesko is a 1,600-hp behemoth with a 'light speed' transmission

Once again, the Swedish automaker has built an engineering marvel.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read

Koenigsegg is known for building small-volume cars that are, simply put, jaw-dropping displays of engineering prowess. Its latest, the Jesko, is no different.

Koenigsegg this week unveiled the Jesko at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Just as founder Christian von Koenigsegg lent his last name to the company, this new car's badge has a special meaning -- it's the name of Christian's father. The car replaces the Agera RS as the most bonkers thing the automaker builds, but to be honest, everything this company makes is bonkers.

Watch this: The Koenigsegg Jesko might hit 300mph

At the heart of the Jesko is a 5.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine, revised after its time in the Agera RS. It sports a flat-plane crank, the same type of crankshaft that creates the unique sound profile of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and the Ferrari 488 GTB. Thanks to some new turbochargers and other bits, output is a meaty 1,280 horsepower -- on regular gas. Throw some ethanol-heavy E85 into the mix, and that number rises to 1,600 horsepower. Torque is a proper 1,100 pound-feet.

Sending all that power to the rear wheels -- yes, just the rear wheels -- is perhaps the most clever nine-speed transmission on the planet. Koenigsegg's Light Speed Transmission has nine forward gears and seven clutches, yet the whole package weighs less than your average dual-clutch gearbox at about 198 pounds. All that trickery allows the transmission to jump from one gear to another (for example, from third gear to seventh) without moving through the gears between.

Enlarge Image

That wing is a monster.


Equally wild is the two-stage shifter. A light pull of the paddles or shift lever moves up and down the gears like usual, but if you pull a little harder, it engages what Koenigsegg calls Ultimate Power on Demand. The system will determine the proper gear for maximum acceleration and immediately shift to it.

Speaking of speed, the automaker says that simulations have seen the car eclipse the 300-mph mark. Of course, bringing those results to the real world introduce a whole host of complications, from tire compounds to location. Still, this could be the first car to hit that ridiculous speed.

All that speed means the car really needs to stick to the ground. Its aerodynamics combine to produce 2,200 pounds of downforce. Its damper system is engineered to prevent the car from being squished into a physics pancake. It also has rear-wheel steering and a set of optional carbon fiber wheels.

We haven't even touched on the creature comforts yet. Despite all that attention being paid to making the car perform well, it's very well appointed, sporting multiple touchscreens, a gauge cluster display, USB ports and a wireless phone charger. All the doors, hoods and whathaveyou can be opened remotely from the key fob.

Ridiculous? Absolutely. Rare? Oh yeah. Only 125 will be built, and each will cost a hair under $3 million. Better start savin'.

The Koenigsegg Jesko is a hyper hypercar

See all photos