Yesterday, the news broke that Koenigsegg’s Agera RS had reached a new record top speed for a production car: 277.9 mph, or 10 mph faster than the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, the previous record holder. And today, Koenigsegg released some footage of the run as well as official speed stats. It’s pretty amazing.
The car was driven by Koenigsegg’s factory driver, Niklas Lilja, who I can only assume is missing whatever part of the brain makes you fear the possibility of an imminent, fiery death. The car only needed to do two runs down the 11-mile stretch of closed Nevada highway to smash the record–the first one topping out at around 272, the second at 284, giving the average of 278. The Agera they used does also appear to have been a completely stock, privately owned customer car, running on the same Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that each production vehicle wears. In other words, this thing did beat the Veyron, fair and square.
The car makes so much power and torque that Lilja spends the first 60 mph or so being extremely light on the throttle to prevent wheelspin and a massive crash on the public highway, which is undoubtedly a lot narrower and less glassy smooth than the track Bugatti uses. It also doesn’t help that this car is also only rear-wheel drive. I can imagine a Koenigsegg is a bit more exhilarating to drive at speed than a Chiron.
I wonder whether James May will get to max this car on the next series of The Grand Tour. So far he’s had the best luck with not grievously injuring himself.