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Three ‘Egg omelet please, and hold the cams…

Three ‘Egg omelet please, and hold the cams…

Dejan Jovanovic 8 months ago
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This Koenigsegg Gemera is a three-cylinder hybrid with four seats, 1,700 horsepower and no camshafts — the revolution has begun

Camshafts have been in use for 800 years, first introduced by Arab engineer Ismail al-Jazari in 1206 to raise water and run clocks. Al-Jazari was a genius, his work influenced Leonardo da Vinci, and many consider him to be the father of robotics. He once built a programable humanoid that could pour a glass of water into a cup, even if did take seven minutes to complete the task. Today, pretty much every engine in every motor vehicle on the planet has a camshaft actuating the valves. (Yes, yes, we hear you yelling in the background, Mazda fans…)

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A three-cylinder engine that produces 600 horsepower? Behold the power of no camshafts…

Christian von Koenigsegg, however, isn’t a fan of cams at all. Five years ago the Swede first proposed a cam-less engine and this week he finally got to reveal his magnum opus. It’s called the TFG, or Tiny Friendly Giant, and it’s a three-cylinder 2.0-litre engine with pneumatic valve actuators that don’t require any camshafts to operate the timing of intake and exhaust. This is a pretty huge deal since a cam-less design allows for huge performance and efficiency gains as there are far fewer parts involved in the process, not to mention the fine-tuning associated with electronic, independent valve control.

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Koenigsegg estimates a 20 percent fuel saving compared to a conventional four-cylinder engine, but the power hike is even more eye-opening. The three-cylinder TFG produces 600 horsepower and 600Nm of torque, which is normally what you get in the latest V8 twin-turbocharged lumps. What’s more the Swedes say you can pack the TFG into a regular suitcase, and the engine block weighs less than 70 kilograms. It peaks at 7,500rpm but don’t let that stop you, because the red line is at 8,500rpm.

Obviously 600 horsepower in a Koenigsegg still isn’t all that, so the Swedes added three electric motors to the mix to come up with a powerplant rated at a system total of 1,700 horsepower and 3,500Nm of torque. Then they put the whole deal into a new four-seater that can do zero to 100km/h in 1.9 seconds and top out at 400km/h, throwing in a zero-emissions range of 50km as the cherry on top.

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The result is the Koenigsegg Gemera, which even amongst all of the Swedes’ previous bonkers creations stands out as perhaps the most impressive one yet.

“The Gemera is a completely new category of car, where extreme menacer meets spacious interior and ultimate environmental consciousness. We call it a mega-GT,” says von Koenigsegg, so who are we to argue.

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This mega-GT will be limited to 300 examples with pricing expected to be in excess of $1 million. For that much cash, though, you do get heated and cooled cup holders, front and rear seat entertainment, wireless phone chargers, wi-fi, 11-speaker sound system, a bunch of cameras, three climate zones, four reading lights, and did we mention the 600 horsepower cam-less three-cylinder? Then they just kept going, so the Gemera also features rear-wheel steering and of course all-wheel drive. Even the weight is impressive – despite all that tech on board the four-seater Gemera comes in at 1,715kg dry, and 1,850kg ready to run with all the fluids on board. The Porsche Taycan? That’s 2.2 tonnes, and so is the Tesla Model S…

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Al-Jazari was definitely on to something, but this century it’s Christian von Koenigsegg’s time to shine.

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