Handmade carbon fiber wheels help Koenigsegg’s One:1 hypercar hit 200+ mph

When you want to make a car that packs 1,360 horsepower and weighs just 1,360 kilos, you need to get pretty crazy with the technology … if you don’t want your hypercar to fly apart at the seams. Koenigsegg has been documenting the depths of its engineering insanity in a video series, and now it is up to the wheels.

The Koenigsegg One:1 uses carbon fiber wheels, because of their lightness and also – I assume – because they look super sinister. Regardless, carbon wheels are a first for the automotive industry, and another sign that this company of 50 people might just be at the top of the performance motoring heap.

Surprisingly, for such a high-tech-sounding product, these wheels are genuinely handmade. Koenigsegg technicians – though, artisan might be more appropriate – lay out the wheels on forms using strips of carbon fiber, stealth fighter grade epoxy and X-acto knives. This seems insane considering the wheels have to stand up to immense temperature and pressure, but apparently the mass produced tires still present more of a balance problem.

The results of this crazy custom wheel process are frankly insane. Not only are the wheels stronger than the forged aluminum wheels that Koengisegg and just about every other hypercar manufacturer uses, they are also more than forty percent lighter. Light enough in fact that Koenigsegg’s founder Christian Von Koenigsegg can lift them to shoulder height with a single finger.

The startling lightness is important not just for Koenigsegg hitting its weight target, it also pays direct performance dividends. Weight on the wheels has an enormous effect on handling and acceleration. For me to properly explain this, or for that matter understand it, I would need to know a lot more about rotational forces and moment of inertia, but suffice it to say light wheels allow for much quicker response  from the car.

As the video series on the stunning Koenigsegg One:1 continues, it becomes apparent that this tiny Swedish company is something truly special. Not only are these Scandinavian lunatics creating a car that the likes of which the world has never scene, they are also doing it with technology more advanced than anyone else. 

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