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Koenigsegg: 'Top speed is not a priority,' says maker of 1340bhp hypercar

Company boss Christian von Koenigsegg says handling is more important than v-max. FLAME WAR!

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Typical Koenigsegg. Its One:1 - the hypercar currently slaying lap records around the circuits of the globe - has a theoretical v-max of 273mph, and yet company boss Christian von Koenigsegg says top speed ‘is not a high priority’ for the company.

Yep, one of Top Gear’s favourite purveyors of track-honed exotica has this week hit back at the car industry’s obsession with speed records, instead speaking out in favour of ‘usable performance’.

“How important is it, really?” Christian von Koenigsegg asked on the quest for ultimate speed records. “Our customers are generally far more interested in driving excitement, usability and overall performance than outright top speed that is impossible to reach unless one has access to a closed 10km straight.

“Is testing the extreme outer limit of a car a necessity, or just good for marketing?”

A fine question for our age, you might think. Christian – speaking to fans on his website – stated that even finding a place to max the One:1 was proving a serious issues. “VW’s Ehra–Lessien test track would be ideal, but they are not likely to allow a Bugatti competitor to use it,” he said.

Then there’s the sheer cost of chasing a top speed record. “We have prioritized our resources towards track, handling and everyday capability of our cars,” Christian said, “which we feel is more important for our cars and customers.”

Indeed, Christian told TopGear.com a while back how, despite the One:1’s straight line performance, that it was “the least of our priorities and focuses”. He’s proud of the ‘well sorted chassis’ of the One:1 - which he feels is more important for driver enjoyment - noting that the car’s long wishbones “allows for a very small track width deviation during wheel movements, in combination with one of the highest downforce numbers ever achieved on a road-going vehicle.”

Still, Mr Koenigsegg raised the ongoing difficulty of achieving his goal of setting an outright lap record at the Nürburgring, and of slaying more circuits with the One:1.

“The Nürburgring situation has not changed,” he said. “They still have speed limits in sections of the track and that makes it impossible for manufacturers to fully test that capability of their vehicles on track.

“An added complication right now is that our factory development One:1 will be taken by its new owner soon, so we do not have long to make another attempt,” he added.

So, there you have it. Is Mr Koenigsegg right? Are top speeds just a marketing exercise, or is there value in maxing out a car to its ragged edge? Discuss below. While you’re ruminating, have a watch of the One:1 at Spa, above…

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