When it comes to hypercars, buyers have a variety of distinct priorities for their new baby.
Subjective appeal is the name of the game-- even while the power and performance stats from all the big-league hypercars are far into the stratosphere.
But are there any universal qualities a hypercar must embody? Yes, I'm glad you asked. A handful of these are below:
--- extremely violent speed and track pace
--- exclusivity and image
--- curb appeal
--- sex appeal
--- daily drive-ability via street-legal emissions and safety
--- performance kudos and/or racing pedigree
The Koenigsegg Agera s and Agera R certainly embody all of these traits and more. Widely believed to benchmark the Veyron's performance, is the Koenigsegg ethos anywhere near that AWD bruiser of a Bugatti?
Benchmarking the Veyron is a safe way to grab headlines ahead of the new One:1 version of the Agera R that Koenigsegg will debut in Geneva March 3, 2014.
So far, only the rear-end teaser image has materialzied from Koenigsegg. But brochure scans show a nose wearing almost a full lower scoop that is far more exotic than anything this side of the Veneno Lamborghini.
This pre-emptive media tactic ensures the wider car-guy world does not forget this killer Swede in the face of LaFerrari and the McLaren P1.
So what other cars are in the mix for these types of shoppers? The Porsche 918 Spyder is perhaps a little too practical and efficiency-focused to really throw blue flames out the back.
The Lamborghini Veneno is just a re-body with little benefit other than uniqueness to its high price.
The market juggernauts are McLaren and Ferrari, who are both able to crank the sales machine almost at will. The P1 and LaFerrari are certainly taking quite a few eggs from the total overall basket of buyers for these cars.
But are all these cars too mainstream, too tame and lame? What if you really want to scare yourself wet in the trousers?
For thrills like that, the Pagani Huayra steps to the front of the line. The Hennessey Venom GT also applies in a rear-drive, high-boost format.
The Venom GT is the only other car on Earth, so far, that can top 270MPH. Koenigsegg cites a 273MPH (theoretical...) top speed of the Agera - which runs just over 1100 horsepower and a few dozen more on E85 bioethanol.
Anticipating these and other possible new entries like the (perhaps not forthcoming SSC Tuatara), Koenigsegg has turned the performance of the One:1 well past the '11' setting of Spinal Tap glory.
A jump of 240 extra horsepower for the One:1 brings the total to 1340 horsepower in the latest Koenigsegg creation.
Active aero all around and a huge new downforce package round out the changes inside this six-cars-only hypercar from Sweden.
The targa panel of all previous Koenigsegg's gains new aero scoops to feed a new ram-air snorkel on the roof. Even more important: integral vertical and horizontal stabilizers out back.
In fact, the all-new spoiler out back is one of the most serious changes to the skullcap style of this hypercar since the CC8 debuted in 2002.
The new spoiler is a twin-plane wing for efficient downforce in two stages: 100MPH to 200MPH, and 201MPH-plus. The most significant addition are the huge carbon-fiber mounting points. By acting as tail wings themselves, Koenigsegg employs many of the ideas present on the LeMans R18 Ultra and Porsche 919 LMP1 cars. These flat and tall wings keep a car arrow-straight when approaching 300MPH.
Other changes with this huge power boost?
Advanced front fender vents will help reduce lift and drag at triple-digit speeds, while new side sills keep the underbody air flow clean.
Styling-wise, additional vents appear all over the One:1 to vent trapped air pressure.
The window-line style stays dark-colored into sharp point near engine, and all-new side mirrors drop the huge and drag-inducing previous items in favor of tiny spindle-mounted mirrors.
One thing is clear: Koenigsegg is out of theory mode. Time to put this amazing technical package to work.
So, is Koenigsegg rolling over in the face of increasing competitive threats? Not one snowflake of fear from this amazing success story for small-batch, hyper-tech supercars.
The Koenigsegg One:1 brings its own raw appeal that cannot be matched by any AWD hybrids. For pure joy and thrills, there really is only one.
Stay tuned for all the details ahead of Geneva in the next few weeks, with a selection of favorite images of the Agera R and Agera S shown below.
One ace in Koenigsegg's favor? Few other hypercars are as popular in the latest global epicenter of seven-figure supercars: China.
Ferrari and McLaren? Passê in China.
The battle for hypercar TopTrumps is about to leave the textbook --- and start getting down to business in real life.