Koenigsegg CC850 debuts with a dual-role transmission


Is that automatic or manual? Yes.

It’s a double celebration for the people at Koenigsegg: 20 years of vehicle production and the 50th birthday of the man himself, Christian von Koenigsegg. To mark these two events, Koenigsegg has revealed the CC850, a homage to the brand’s first production car and the Guinness World Record holder at the time, the CC8S. The 50 in the name alludes to the fact that only 50 units are being built.

The CC850 is based on the Jesko, but visually, it has nothing to do with the donor car, and that’s the idea. It looks like an evolved version of the CC8S. Everything you see, including the lights, the bumpers, that side intake, the wheels, the DLO, and the detachable hardtop design, are all a modern interpretation of the CC8S. And since this is a modern interpretation, there are gonna be some additions and deletions depending on the regulations or functional requirements. For instance, the original car had outlets on the side of the front bumper, which are absent in the CC850. Also, the CC850 has an active rear wing, which wasn’t there in the CC8S.

Inside, the cockpit has been made to look as analogue as you possibly could in 2022. Of course, the original car didn’t have a portrait-style touchscreen, but I guess you gotta have one in 2022. And, I’m glad you did notice that gated manual shifter; it has got a Swedish flag on top, as it did in the original manual CC8S.

Which I guess brings us to the powertrain department then. The original car borrowed a 4.6L supercharged V8 from Ford and coupled it with a 6-speed manual from Cima. As for the homage car, well, it borrows the 5.0L (5,065 cc) twin-turbo V8 from Jesko, but the turbos here are smaller than those you’ll find in the Jesko. And the reason for this according to Christian is to eliminate the turbo lag, although he maintains that there isn’t too much turbo lag in the Jesko anyway.

The power output in the CC850, if you fill it up with regular petrol, is 871.5 kW (1,185 metric hp), and if you go for the recommended E85, you’ll get up to 1,019 kW (1,385 metric hp) and 1,385 Nm (1,020 lb-ft) of torque. So, what’s up with that gated manual then? Well, in Christian’s words it’s a “manualized Light Speed Transmission”. In simple terms, it’s that 9-speed automatic “Light Speed Transmission” from the Jesko, but here it also offers a traditional 6-speed gated manual shifting experience with a clutch pedal. This dual-role tech has been branded as ‘Engage Shift System’ or ESS for short.

Woah Woah Woah.. wait a minute.. What?! I know, I know, it’s too much to take in, but let me try and make you understand. I’m using this only as an analogy: you know that some CVTs offer simulated paddle shifting experience, right? Well, this is kinda similar concept; I mean, I’m talking about the idea of offering a manual shifting experience in an automatic transmission. But of course, in the CC850, it’s a far superior one. The “experience” is the key term here; I mean, the manual here is also a kind of simulation. Like I mentioned already, think of paddle shifters in an automatic being replaced with “manual” shifting.

So what’s really happening here is that when you are “shifting manually”, digital commands are being sent to the aforementioned 9-speed multi-clutch automatic transmission. But since the clutch pedal mechanism is directly connected to the hydraulics that operate the clutches, the company claims that the manual experience is fairly legit. Christain also says that you can even stall the car as you might sometimes do in a normal manual car if you’re an inexperienced driver.

Since there are 9 gears to play with, the 6-speed manual experience offers different ratios depending on the mode you’re in: road or track. If you don’t wanna bother with this manual experience, you can simply slot the shifter all the way to the right and down, and you’ve got the automatic.

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