Test Drive Tuesday review: 2012 Koenigsegg Agera R
The Agera R begins with Christian Von Koenigsegg wanting to build the ultimate and perfect sports car. This model is what he came up with in 2012, after tinkering with the same formula for a few years already. You get a light and streamlined car with an 1140-hp turbo V8 that runs on eco-fuel, all of which conceived with a spirit of engineering excellence and driving perfection. And the result is, basically, the fastest production car in the world.
And it remained so until its successor, the One:1 came out in 2014.
But if going to war with Bugatti (and winning) is all good and well, what we’re really interested in here is how it actually behaves on a race track. And as you’d expect, it’s not exactly boring.
Of course, what gets your attention immediately is the beast of a drive train that sits in this car. There’s so much torque that it could move a decent-sized city, enough power to get it to the Moon if a jump comes up. What is most fascinating with the Agera R is how it just keeps pushing hard no matter what. You can be at 250kph and the acceleration is still breathtaking.
Which of course is going to cause some problems to the rear tires. And to you, because it means that going full throttle anywhere, at any speed, is an act of faith. And something of a suicide letter, if you’re not in a mile-long straight. For this review I had to drive it on the TDT reference track car for road cars, Sonoma. You know how twisty and tricky Sonoma can be. Now imaging trying to hotlap it in a car that sends 1140 hp to the rear wheels only. All I’ll say is that it was an interesting afternoon. And also that I didn’t get to go full throttle very often. But the results are here: it’s officially Simraceway’s fastest road car (to date, though I can’t imagine it’ll be topped anytime soon). I also spun at 380kph exiting Daytona’s last corner, because, as I found out, all that torque doesn’t accept going flat out over a small bump that’s there. That crash was a long, long one.
But aside from that unbelievable power, what struck me with the Agera R was the overall balance of the car. It feels like Koenigsegg dialed it to behave like a race car. There’s isn’t too much understeer, because the rear of the car comes gently around under braking, helping the front tires to find the apex. It’s not as stable and easy as a Huyara, as a result, but honestly I found it more interesting to drive. Now I’m not saying it actually drives like a race car, because it still doesn’t have the aero and mechanical grip, or the braking power (though it comes close on that one). But it actually make sense as a track car, and while it will try to kill you at any given opportunity, at least it lets you know the rules it’s playing by. Yes the Pagani is easier to approach, but in the end it’s the Agera R that will give you the best thrills.
After having wrestled with it for two days, what I still can’t get my head round is the fact that this car is streat legal. Think about it: the law authorizes wealthy gentlemen of which some of them can’t probably drive very well, to take that monster for a spin on open roads. I’m all for driving freedom, but that’s mad.
The link to the Test Drive Tuesday cars leaderboards: https://goo.gl/ATr6mF