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Koenigsegg is finally bringing the Agera to America.
It's been a busy couple of weeks for Koenigsegg. The Swedish automaker is awaiting approval from the U.S. government to bring their Agera across the pond while they develop, reportedly, a camless engine for their 100th car that's set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The Koenigsegg Agera, known for its 940hp 5.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine, is one seriously powerful hypercar.
The more radical Agera R, capable of a spine-tingling 1,115hp, holds the 0-200mph and 0-200-0mph world records and is one of the most popular models in the world. In the States, however, it still needs an exemption. Last year, Pagani failed in their bid to win an exemption from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration due to their lack of 'smart' airbags. Koenigsegg faces the same fight, as their Agera lacks the same weight-checking system which identifies children in the front seats and changes the speed at which airbags are deployed during different crash situations.
These strict regulations have forced Lotus to 'eighty six' the import of Elise and Exige models to the U.S. There is a loop-hole in the law that automakers have used in the past and Koenigsegg plans to take advantage of. The exemption Koenigsegg plans to receive lies in their ability to prove the company is suffering "substantial economic hardship" as a low-volume independent automaker. The company hand-builds 15 cars a year, so the 'low-volume' component should take care of itself. Koenigsegg has told the NHTSA that they have suffered losses of $7.7 million from 2006-08 and that they project a further hemorrhaging of $3.3 million from 2009-12.
CEO Christian Von Koenigsegg told the Department of Transportation last year that "The Koenigsegg vehicle-a $1.32 million ultra-high performance sports car-is simply not typically used to carry child seats or small children." So that answers the question of outdated airbags, then. Should Koenigsegg's expected exemption go through, the first Ageras could arrive to the U.S. by June. Before the first Ageras arrive on these shores, the Swedes will be heading over to the Geneva Motor Show for the debut of their 100th car. According to a report by Car and Driver, the 100th vehicle will be self-commissioned (as opposed to being ordered by a customer) and feature a camless engine.
The camless engine will be based on their twin-turbo V8 and shelve the use of camshafts for an increased fuel economy of between 20-30 percent. Taking their place will be the use of F1-like pneumatic-controlled valves developed in tandem with fellow Swedish firm Cargine Engineering.