Sweden isn’t really known for its supercars. However, the country did come across two internal manufacturers. Volvo (still exists but now Chinese capital) and Saab (no longer exists), their reputation often revolved around robustness and safety. Of course, the two brands also coined their image thanks to the sports automobile. But their range never really included genuine sports cars. In 1997, Josse tried to launch Indigo 3000, but it wasn’t successful, while each one looked at Christian von Koenigsegg with curiosity, presenting his CC prototype: this led to a supercar which the latter set up amongst the greatest ones of the world, the CC8S and its CCR evolution.
First and foremost, Koenigsegg is a legend that took shape as the years went by, the one of a young “kid”, self-taught of 22 years who (already) was making a fortune with import/export food processing and established his own brand with his little savings. Reality is a little different: the young man, was indeed born Christian von Koenigsegg and had (little) family fortune and (many) contacts of his father, who made him come across Baard Eker, a rich Norwegian entrepreneur. Even though Koenigsegg had vision, he was no technician and his main quality was surrounding himself with the right people, punching out at Bugatti, Saab or Bentley, developing his car in a time span of 8 years.
A CC prototype
The company was launched in 1994, rode its first prototype known as CC, in 1996 and presented it to its public on the Croisette at Cannes, in 1997. But those days, the car wasn’t as powerful as one had expected, despite its V8 Audi 4.2 liters. One had to wait for 2002 so that this little Swedish artisan present its final version, the CC8S. During CC’s presentation at Cannes, the little world of automobile had doubts: the style was faltering and the performance speculative.
Christian von Koenigsegg was only 24 years old and his youth didn’t favor him. Those days, the sports car manufacturers suffered : Bugatti had just gone bankrupt, Lamborghini was looking for serious shareholders, to replace Megatech and the son Suharto, Venturi had just been taken over by the Thais in the nick of time, Porsche tried surviving by dwindling its range downwards (Boxster), McLaren was losing money on every F1 which was sold, while Ferrari and Maserati survived thanks to Fiat, Aston Martin due to Ford. Suffice to say, that the adventure wasn’t going to be easy, for the Swedish young man.
CC8S presented in Geneva
During late 90’s, Koenigsegg kept a low profile. The latter used this time to slowly but surely develop the CC and achieve the CC8S, presented in 2000 at the Paris fair. The pre-series car was assembled in 2002 and was to be officially presented at the Geneva fair in 2003. Meanwhile, she traded its Audi engine for a V8 Ford, re-worked in-house with 4.7 liters, developing 655 horsepower. The curve evolved a bit and adapted to the current taste, all the while remaining relatively different, of its competitors back then.
The fire in February 2003 of the little Margretetorp workshop where 6 CC8S models had been assembled (luckily, the presence of employees, two weeks before the Geneva fair allowed to save the vehicles, which had already been manufactured), shortened the life of the model. Starting over with a clean slate: a move to Angelholm, on an old air force base of the Swedish army, and the car’s evolution, which turned into CCR.
CCR off the charts
CCR is different from CC8S, but isn’t a new model: on the same basis, stylistically it evolved a little but mostly adopted a new version of the V8 4,7 liters, now boosted with 806 horsepower. With such cavalry, for a weight of 1180 kg, Koenigsegg offered his clientele a genuine dragster, capable of achieving 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds and a maximum speed of 388 km/h. In 2004, Bugatti Veyron wasn’t released yet and the Swiss offered the world’s record in terms of speed, for a (little) car series, accredited by the Guinness Book.
Christian von Koenigsegg rose to the challenge: he was taken seriously, found clients (14 for the CCR, sold for more than a million euros between 2004 and 2006) and made the company durable. Thanks to his investors (he was already in minority within the company, bearing his name), Koenigsegg realized the same performance as the Argentinian, Horacio Pagani: creating a self-titled brand, capable of competing with the most reputed sporty automobile manufacturers. From then on, the adventure was launched and continues till date, with Regera.
Given the low production of CC8S and CCR (20 for both the models, combined), it is tough to establish the actual price, but don’t expect finding one of these cars for a bargain: these are extremely exclusive cars, which are rarely exchanged. But who knows, one could actually come across such an opportunity, but will need to have a well-replenished bank account, to afford it.