Before the events of this article, the fastest car I had ever experienced was, by some margin, a Ferrari F12 during a damp evening drive in London. Even at sub-30 mile an hour speeds, the F12 was trying its best to kill both myself and the owner. So, when Lucas Hutchings invited me to visit The Octane Collection and experience their current king of the hill, a one-of-four, two million pound Koenigsegg CCXR Edition, my initial emotions were a mixture of excitement and trepidation. After all, the Koenigsegg CCX was famously one of the only cars to throw the Stig off the old Top Gear test track, and the CCXR Edition is even faster and more unhinged.
Upon entering the Octane Collection’s vast showroom, I was given a welcome distraction from my nerves by a Carrera GT waiting just behind the front door. Several other holy-grail Porsches follow, including a Meteor Grey 911 GT3 RS 4.0, of which the Octane Collection somehow possesses two. Then, turning the corner, I see the Koenigsegg waiting for me. It’s so low, wide, and flat that the nearest thing I can compare it to is a carbon fibre skimming stone. It’s surprisingly small too, despite the enormous, twin-supercharged 4.8-litre V8 nestled behind the driver’s seat. Walking up to the ‘Egg, as Lucas refers to it, you enter a pseudo hazing process between man and machine, as though it recognises your unworthiness of its sheer propulsive might. Even the dihedral doors require commitment; after you press the release button, you must immediately lift, otherwise it simply won’t open. No hesitation allowed.
Having soaked up the incredibly detailed carbon exterior, with all its unimaginably expensive to machine billet aluminium addenda, Lucas suggests we take it for a spin. Even after completing the riddle of the door button, getting in requires some practice, taking about three separate movements to clamber down, slide over the sill, which ominously reads “Koenigsegg Edition 1018 BHP 1280 KG 400 KMH+”, and eventually hoist yourself into the surprisingly spacious and comfortable cabin. With a press of the ignition, the engine awakens, emitting a guttural roar. It’s all becoming very real at this point, so fasten my seatbelt and triple check that it is in fact buckled.
We roll out of the Octane Collection’s showroom, down the driveway, and onto the open road. I’m immediately struck with how well damped the suspension feels - coupled with the comfortable interior, this would make an excellent place to cover some serious mileage. At this point, having found a suitably legal place to unleash the ‘Egg, Lucas announces that he’s going to give it some beans. Any daydreams of road tripping the CCXR Edition are immediately expelled by the vibrations accompanying the ‘Egg’s baritone chainsaw howl as it attempts to eject my organs backwards through my ribcage. This thing doesn’t accelerate, it compresses the fabric of space and time. Any gradual undulations on what before felt like a long, straight road are exaggerated by the sheer speed at which the ‘Egg covers ground.
And yet, remarkably, while the car seems to be skimming like the aforementioned stone over the ripples of a lake, it remains completely unfazed. From inside the cabin, it almost feels as though the car is stationary, while the external environment is unceremoniously dragged underneath its wheels, bunching up the tarmac behind you like a Looney Toons character running in place on a rug. The CCXR Edition isn’t just fast in a straight line either, because it’s the cars corning ability that will really have you embracing your unavoidable death. More than once, Lucas plunged the ‘Egg into a corner at what felt like double the speed a sane person would attempt, and again it just gets on with it, no drama (apart from the passenger).
I should mention at this point that Lucas is an excellent driver, and perfectly capable of piloting such an insane vehicle, so any sense of impending doom was entirely a result of my mind failing to comprehend the capabilities of Christian von Koenigsegg’s masterful engineering work. After not long at all, we catch up with the traffic and my mind, body, and soul are given a chance to recover. Staring down towards the gear-lever, I’m reminded that somehow Lucas has been operating a manual vehicle all this time. In fact, it’s possibly the fastest, most powerful manual car that will ever be made.
As a run-out special for the CCX line, the Edition represents the pinnacle of the non-turbocharged, manual Koenigsegg, if not supercars in general. After this, turbos were added, as were double-clutch gearboxes: diminishing driver involvement in return for even more outright speed. As Lucas tells me, this is undeniably a driver’s car. “It’s quite deceptive, a lot of people think these big power hypercars don’t drive very well, but it’s very linear in its power delivery, and very controllable on the limit. It’s very much a light, nimble machine. It has that analogue feel you’d want from a Peugeot 205 GTI or E30 M3, just with an absurd amount of power.” As an ultra-limited, holographic unicorn of a car, you’d imagine this ‘Egg’s price tag to dwarf the admittedly steep two million pounds it’s currently worth. Bare in mind, a Pagani Zonda is worth at least double, despite being produced in much higher numbers. This Koenigsegg is just as well made, as intricate, and is certainly even faster than a Zonda, so why the price disparity? Lucas reckons it’s in no small part to the name. While “Pagani” sounds immediately Italian, exotic, and desirable, most people would struggle to even spell Koenigsegg - I would too if it wasn’t written on the dashboard.
That’s why Lucas thinks this is one hell of an investment, “While Pagani is very much about the artistry and emotion behind their cars, Koenigsegg has always been about the engineering and technology, and that difference in ethos will give Koenigsegg the edge in the long run. The cars that represent high points in their past will benefit from that, and that’s exactly what the CCXR Edition is”. As I sit here writing this, still shaking from the G-Force exerted on my internal organs, I’d have to wholeheartedly agree.
Photos by Mikey Snelgar