Automobiles

Koenigsegg Regera super-hybrid reigns supreme

With 1,500 horsepower from its V-8 engine and three electric motors, the Koenigsegg Regera, revealed at the 2015 Geneva auto show, is the most powerful plug-in hybrid production car.

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GENEVA -- Koenigsegg may not be as well known as Ferrari or Porsche, but the upstart Swedish automaker wants to compete on the same stage. Following the LaFerrari and 918 Spyder super-hybrids launched by those competitors, Koenigsegg has come out with its own powerful plug-in hybrid car.

It's called Regera and it boasts 1,500 horsepower.

Unlike Koenigsegg's previous creations, such as the Agera R and One:1, the Regera looks very comfortable with its removable top, leather seats and Apple CarPlay-compatible infotainment system. In design elements that hark back to the 1960s, aerodynamic humps sit behind each seat, while the windshield curves dramatically around the passenger compartment.

Carbon fiber and Kevlar make up the body and aluminum mostly comprises the suspension. Koenigsegg uses its own carbon fiber wheels, as well. These advanced materials keep the curb weight down to 3,589 pounds (1,638 kg).

Koenigsegg Regera
Koenigsegg's newest creation, the Regera, uses a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain producing 1,500 horsepower. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

That's still a hefty number for what Koenigsegg refers to as a mega-car, but chalk most of that weight down to the drivetrain. A 5-liter V-8 engine uses twin turbochargers to produce 1,100 horsepower and 944 pound-feet of torque. Adding to the power mix are three electric motors, one on the driveshaft and one at each rear wheel. Along with pumping up the total drivetrain output to 1,500 horsepower, the rear wheel motors vector torque for better handling.

Adding significant weight to the Regera is a 9 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, necessary to store energy from the engine and power the electric motors. Owners can plug in to charge up the battery pack, which can drive the car for about 22 miles under pure electric power.

An adaptive suspension aids handling and should make for a more comfortable ride when cruising, and drivers have three driving modes -- wet, normal and track -- making the car suitable for a variety of driving conditions.

Although no pricing is yet available, Koenigsegg plans on building 80 Regeras, a robust production run for such a beautiful and high-tech car.