Crash testing is part of the development process for every new vehicle. Some people might think the testing goes too far, but we promise you this – anyone who’s experienced even a minor collision is grateful for the significant time and resources invested into this critical phase of bringing a new vehicle to market. For large automakers pumping out millions of cars a year it’s not quite as traumatic – both emotionally and financially. When it comes to niche companies like Koenigsegg, however, it’s a different story.
Apex One on YouTube shares a bit of that story in the video featured at the top of the page. The approximately six-minute clip offers a neat behind-the-scenes look at some of the tests that must be performed, mixed with plenty of commentary from Koenigsegg employees as well as Christian Von Koenigsegg himself. Aside from some rather unsettling higher-speed tests involving massive speed bumps, drop-offs, and head-on runs into stacked tyres, we see cars repeatedly bashed with hammers, doors mercilessly slammed, and airbag tests with dummies inside the car’s carbon fibre monocoque cockpit. Yeah, it’s a bit unsettling for any car lover to watch.
It’s tempting to think that the expense of this process isn’t much of a concern considering the million-dollar-plus price tags buyers pay for new Koenigseggs. As the video explains, building 16 or so cars for crash testing purposes takes a tremendous toll when the company only builds a similar amount of production cars in a year. To help keep the costs down, Koenigsegg actually uses just one carbon fibre monocoque chassis that’s built to withstand the various crashes and impact tests without being destroyed.
As such, other components of the car like subframes, body panels, and crumple zones are then installed and put through the ringer. As those replaceable parts are destroyed during testing, the core of the car remains intact and is rebuilt for more testing. Prolific computer simulations are also used as part of the process to keep costs down. In essence, the company gets the crash information that other automakers might spread out over many cars from just one core vehicle.
Still, that doesn’t help us get through this video any easier.