Under the skin: creative solutions for transmission and Koenigsegg's

Koenigsegg drive train

Unique powertrain engine from conventional thinking, albeit at a premium

The new 500km/h concept can be revealed absolutely in Geneva, possibly using its direct drive motor (DDD) and light transmission speed (LST) technologies

Koenigsegg won't say it, but it will hopefully reveal something special on the morning of March 3rd this year at the Geneva Motor Show. Rumor has it that the Swedish supercar manufacturer, known for its innovative powertrains, will show a production car concept capable of breaking the 500km/h barrier (a little over 310mph).

Koenigsegg is currently operating two individual transmission technologies in an existing model, neither of which exists in a series production vehicle. A question that, if any, will be used to help raise the speed record bar even higher.

The first is the Direct Drive Motor (DDR) fitted by the Regera, which eliminates discrete gear ratios altogether. However, it is not continuously variable transmission (CVT); instead, it combines three electric drives with power and torque from the engine via a Hydracoup, a special type of torque converter developed in-house.

The axial flow electric motor-generators are supplied by the British specialist firm Yasa and are integrated into the transmission of the vehicle. These blocks are larger in diameter but significantly shorter than conventional radial thrusters, so they resemble tin cans. Two Yasa 750 units are mounted on either side of the rear axle final drive, producing 1180lb ft of torque each. Thirdly, the Yasa 400 is mounted on the crankshaft engine. This produces 258lb ft and fills in any torque gaps in the operating range.

The fixed gear ratio is equivalent to the Ager in seventh gear, at 2.73:1, but the engine produces 1085bhp and 922lb ft in peak operating range and nothing at 0rpm. Without something to replace the conventional gears, it would have been impossible to even pull away, so the powerful electric motors add another 661bhp and 2618lb meters from a stop.

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Around 3500rpm, the engine starts to come into play, pumping torque through the Hydracoup all the way up to provide direct mechanical drive to the wheels.

The motorsport-grade battery is capable of discharging and recharging 10 times faster than a conventional stock car battery supports a powerful electric drive.

The KDD was first shown in 2015, while the light transmission rate (LST) was revealed under Jesco in 2019. Mind says this ninespeed multi-clutch wet gearbox is capable of shifting much faster than a conventional dual-clutch (DCT), in part because it can make simultaneous changes to any speed, while the Sspy must predict and select the next gear.

If the driver changes his or her mind, the DCT is there to take off and reapply, inflicting a slight torque interruption on the wheels. Cspy is also sequential so can't miss a gear, while the LST's multi-clutch system can select the desired gear at once, bypassing multiple indicators if necessary to meet demand.

It's unlikely that either design will make it mainstream, mostly because of the cost, but that doesn't detract from the delightful engineering. What will make it to the next step notice it? Maybe too, but it's sure to be a feast for tech lovers everywhere, whatever it is.

From Oxford to Maranello

What about a front-wheel drive supercar? Ferrari also went for a tri-motor in its most powerful road car, however, the 986bhp SF90 road-going plug-in hybrid. One motor works in tandem with the engine, while the other powers the front axle when driving in electric mode only, giving a modest zero-emissions, 16-mile range at speeds up to 84mph. These engines are also supplied by Yasa.

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