[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]t’s wild, it’s loud and it’s one of the most powerful production cars in the world. By contrast though, the man selling the Koenigsegg Agera RS is unusually understated.
Michael Lim is the CEO of Motorway Group, the authorised distributor for the Swedish hypercar.
For those finicky about semantics, a supercar – like a Ferrari or Lamborghini – is a very high-performance sports car. A hypercar, on the other hand, is a super supercar.
As a result, everything about a hypercar is, er, more hyper. If a supercar has an aggressive bodykit, the hypercar’s will pick a fight with you. If a supercar accelerates from zero to 100 kmh in about three seconds, a hypercar will do it below three seconds.
And a hypercar won’t just have doors but butterfly or scissor doors; in other words, something that has no intention of swinging open the normal way. In the Koenigsegg’s case, dihedral synchrohelix doors rotate up instead of out.
And finally, if a supercar costs $1 million or $1.5 million here, a hypercar will require you to multiply that by at least three.
Apart from Koenigsegg, other hypercars include Bugatti and Pagani. The latter is available here but the former is not made in right-hand-drive.
Since Lim became the Koenigsegg distributor in 2013, he has sold three cars.
The first unit was registered that same year and it was a Koenigsegg Agera S. Its 5.0-litre turbocharged V8 mounted mid-ship on a carbon fibre chassis produces 1,030 hp and 1,100 Newton-metres, or more than eight times the power of a Toyota Corolla Altis.
The Agera S does zero to 100 kmh in 2.9 seconds. Zero to 200 kmh is 12.6 seconds (or what some small family cars take to reach 100 kmh), while zero to 300 is 22.5 seconds.
The price then? $5.3 million.
The other two cars were sold earlier this year and they were the Agera RS, with an even more powerful version of the twin turbo V8. Maximum power is now about 1,200 hp and maximum torque nearly 1,300 Nm. Due to the tiered tax structure, the price is also higher at over S$6 million. To be exact, $6.8 million, or what it would cost to buy 40 BMW 3 Series sedans.
Other numbers are equally eye-popping. The ARF alone, or the registration tax paid to the government, excluding COE and GST, is $2.7 million, while the annual insurance premium should be about $200,000.
So what kind of person buys a Koenigsegg?
“An enthusiast,” says Lim. A male enthusiast, to be precise.
“He is passionate about cars and very knowledgeable. He knows more product info than me.” As to their age and occupation, Lim reveals they are “businessmen” between 35 and 50 years.
And being at least second-generation money, they are not nouveau riche either.
They live in “detached homes with a lot of space” and “about five to six cars”, including the odd Ferrari and Lamborghini.
The Koenigsegg, however, is the undisputed objet d’art.
“They buy the Koenigsegg to display and view like fine art,” Lim explains. “But the cars are not showpieces. They are driven but seldom and usually for an occasion.” For example, the first car that was registered, the Agera S, has done only about 2,000 km after three-and-a-half years.
Most of all, the Koenigsegg was purchased for its limited edition status. “Because it is so rare, it is a collectible.” Koenigsegg makes only 16 units a year.
Production will increase to 25 units in the next two years but it is still minuscule and most people who want to buy one usually have to go to the open market.
But rare or not, how does one drive a car with so much power?
It is surprisingly easy, according to Lim. “It feels normal, except for the swift response. When you step on the accelerator, there is instant power.”
The massive oomph shouldn’t be something to worry about, though. “It is very fast but very stable. With power steering, it is not difficult to handle. Even my wife test drove the car when we were at the factory in Sweden.”
And if 1,200 hp still isn’t enough, the Agera RS can rustle up an extra 100 hp if E85 fuel – a blend of ethanol and petrol – is used.
So has anyone here filled up with E85?
“No, I think normal fuel is powerful enough,” the easy-going Lim says with a laugh.
There will be an even more hardcore Koenigsegg coming soon – the Regera. This plug-in petrol-electric hybrid has the twin turbo V8 plus three electric motors. And because it ditches the conventional seven-speed transmission for a one-speed fixed gear, it is lighter than the usual hybrid hypercar. Less weight equals more speed, and Koenigsegg claims the Regera will do zero to 400 kmh in under 20 seconds.
Only 80 units will be produced and anyone who wants one must wait until June 2020. As well as have $10 million to spare. So far more than 50 units have been spoken for but Lim has been allocated two. And one of them is already the focus of negotiations.
“Usually, we have a buyer waiting. People look for us, we don’t look for them,” he says simply.
The last statement may sound like a boast but it isn’t. After all, before becoming a Koenigsegg distributor, Motorway built its reputation as one of the biggest dealers of pre-owned super sports cars and ultra-luxury limousines. Any owner or distributor of high-end luxury cars seeking to trade in a used ride invariably turns to Motorway for a reference price.
Walk into the Motorway building and in your line of vision will be either a Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari or Lamborghini, or all four at the same time. There may even be a used Maybach parked somewhere.
But the man who goes to work each day in such rarefied surroundings is also one who drives a rather conventional luxury saloon. “I have loved cars and motorcycles since I was young, and today, I can drive anything I want. But I don’t own anything special because I don’t know which one to choose. There are too many,” he explains with a chuckle.
So does that mean there is no chance he will be getting a Koenigsegg for himself anytime soon? “No lah, it’s too flashy for me. I just provide a service.”
Koenigsegg Agera RS
Engine 5,032cc V8 turbocharged
Gearbox 7-speed sequential manual transmission
Max power 1,299 Nm @ 5,300 rpm
Max torque 1,299 Nm @ 5,300 rpm
0-100 kmh – 2.8 secs
Top speed 425 kmh
CO2 emissions 381 g/km
Average OMV $1.5 million
Price $6.8 million (with COE)
This story first appeared in The Business Times.