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Koenigsegg Calls Out Bugatti and Squares Up for 310-MPH Top Speed Record Attempt

Christian von Koenigsegg believes the Jesko Absolut is the car to do it—maybe even on public roads.
Koenigsegg Jesko Absolute. Koenigsegg

Christian von Koenigsegg is on a mission to break the production car top speed record with the Jesko Absolut. A production-spec Koenigsegg Agera RS broke the top-speed world record in 2017 with an average speed of 277.9 mph after running in two directions on public roads. Now, according to an interview with Carup, Koenigsegg is gunning for 310 mph in a car that customers will actually be able to buy, with tires that are certified for road use.

The Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut has the same engine and power level as the standard Jesko—a twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V8 with 1,625 horsepower when running on E85. However, the Absolut version is faster in a straight line thanks to its ultra-slippery aero package and softer suspension. Not only will it cut through the air better but it should absorb road imperfections at speed as well.

Koenigsegg Jesko Absolute. Koenigsegg

“What we have said is that our theoretical models show that the car can handle over 500 km/h (310 mph). Now we want to show what the car is capable of in reality,” Koenigsegg told Carup.

In 2019, Bugatti broke the Agera RS’s top speed record with the Chiron, hitting 304 mph. However, Koenigsegg calls B.S. on Bugatti’s record since it was only done in one direction and the car wasn’t fully production-spec. It made more power than the normal Chiron, had modified aerodynamics, used a longer seventh gear, wore purpose-built Michelin tires, and featured added safety gear. The top-speed run was also done on a test track, not public roads. After that, admittedly, Bugatti built the Chiron Super Sport 300+, a special edition model with some of the modifications of the record-setting car.

Koenigsegg Jesko Absolute. Koenigsegg

SSC also broke the Agera RS’s 2017 record but Koenigsegg claims that it wasn’t done with a homologated road car. It was also done at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“Bugatti has only driven in one direction and with a car in a specification that customers cannot buy,” Koenigsegg said. “Even SSC’s record is set with a car that is not homologated for road use. Our record with the Koenigsegg Agera was set with a production car, and the new record attempt will also be made with a series-produced Jesko fully approved for street use.”

Koenigsegg knows it will be tricky hitting that speed on a public road. “We are currently looking for a straight stretch that is long enough and where the traffic can be shut down; it is not entirely easy. It will probably not be in Sweden, but abroad,” he said.

Koenigsegg Jesko Absolute. Koenigsegg

If the Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut can break the production car record—especially at 310 mph—it will be interesting to see how other brands react. Under its former CEO Stephan Winkelmann, Bugatti announced it was tapping out of the top-speed race and refocusing its efforts elsewhere. But Bugatti is under new leadership now with Mate Rimac at the helm, so the French hypercar maker might not want Koenigsegg holding the record for long, especially after being called out.

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