Why did Koenigsegg Just Call Out Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche?

Swedish boutique supercar maker throws down in not-so-modest blog post.

Julia LaPalme

Recently, we shared a drag-strip shootout between what the automotive press (the lamestream media?) has decided are the top hypercars in the world. Though a spoiler, the Pagani Huayra, and a boogey, the Bugatti Veyron, were also in attendance, the match-up focused on the “Holy Trinity”—the hybrid hypercars, those three horsepower-fattened sisters: LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and  Porsche 918 Spyder.

And Koenigsegg, the proverbial Swedish Cinderella, thinks that’s total  bullshit.

The company’s CEO, Christian von Koenigsegg, took the time to say as much in a recent blog post titled, “#HolyTrinity vs. Koenigsegg.” The gist? We don’t like to brag, but we’re faster than those ninnies, and again, we don’t usually say this, but the Agera R and One:1 are quicker, suckers! As much as like a little old-school, Mustang-and-Camaro-style manufacturer fisticuffs, Koenigsegg sounds is attempting to thread the eye of a notoriously thin needle: the Humble Brag.

Essentially, Koenigsegg wants to have it’s Kladdkaka and eat it, too. That means maintaining and air of aloof superiority—Testing? How gauche. We’ll let our cars speak for themselves...—while doing the verbal equivalent of a touchdown dance, crowing, Hey, our cars are faster! It’s a feat Koenigsegg haven’t quite pulled off. In the Apathy Olympics, publishing an essay about feeling left out is a big fumble.

First, the title and the context. The post is called “#HolyTrinity-vs-Koenigsegg,” the hashtag alluding to the rabid Internet conversation that arose following the drag-race video from which, of course, Koenigsegg was excluded. Lumping the Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche into a group, #HolyTrinity, shows that Koenigsegg, for all its accolades, feels ganged up upon, one tiny Swedish company against the world. Also, Koenigsegg had to write the article about its own superiority and then self-publish: a method only a step above a Facebook screed.

Then, there’s the language. Here’s a quote.

Disclaimer: It would normally be considered somewhat impolite for a company such as ours to talk about our vehicle’s performance this way. This is why we don’t usually talk directly about competitor cars when we do performance tests. We let the figures speak for themselves. However, in this instance, with one of our customers writing to us directly about this, we thought it important to say something, primarily to provide reassurance to our customers about the cars that they are buying.

“Somewhat impolite” and “company such as ours” — a little stilted, no? In horsepower, as with horses, there’s a code of conduct that includes maintaining a facade of impassivity. With this post, though, Koenigsegg has dropped the pretense. If you have to state that you “let the figures speak for themselves,” are you speaking for the figures?

Those stats, at least, are very good. According to Koenigsegg, the Agera R accelerates to 186 mph a half-second faster the LaFerrari, which has the quickest claimed time at 15 seconds. The One:1, named for the fact that each of the 1,360 horsepower is saddled with naught but one kilogram, reaches that speed in under 12 seconds. We believe it.

Perhaps Koenigsegg posted this quasi-bratty piece to quell its owners hurt feelings. One “wanted some reassurance that the Agera RS he had on order was competitive with the zero-to-186-mph times achieved by the #HolyTrinity” and he’ll surely bookmark this page and rest easy. So, though we’re currently on a small Numbers Don’t Matter vendetta, we understand that pure hypercars, by their very nature, court quantification; in the multi-million-dollar sphere, numbers are what most folks are paying for.

Maybe, though, Koenigsegg could’ve played a subtler hand. If the numbers don’t lie, and Koenigsegg really produces the world’s fastest production cars, wouldn’t a simple tweet of the zero-186-mph graph have sufficed? Manufacturers of the world’s wildest cars, having let loose insane styling, ludicrous speed and savage noise upon the world, look best when they’re confident in their product. This letter, on the other hand, is plain nervous.