Are supercars a dying breed? The Geneva Motor Show says no

Not long ago, people were writing off supercars as a dying breed. Loud, stiff, and characteristically uncomfortable, these champions of speed defy most measures of practicality and logic, and with federal emissions standards and climate change anxiety ramping up, it can be easy to feel like vehicles meant to go fast are living on borrowed time.

Thankfully, that sentiment is complete nonsense.

At the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, high-octane supercars took center stage, with vehicles like the 600-horsepower Aston Martin DB11, the 770-hp Lamborghini Centenario, the 1,030-hp Techrules TREV, and the maniacal 1,500-hp Bugatti Chiron highlighting a truly star-studded event. All are amazing examples of engineering and craftsmanship to be sure, but there’s another automotive giant that demands your attention — the $2 million Koenigsegg Regera.

Initially showcased at the 2015 Geneva show as a concept, this year’s soiree included the production version of the Swedish hybrid, which has undergone more than 3,000 changes since last year. The alterations have made the vehicle much lighter and more efficient than it was before, and the sleek Swede now weighs just 3,240 pounds dry. The car utilizes an 800-volt, 4.5-kWh battery pack and four wheel-mounted electric motors alongside its twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8, resulting in a total output of 1,500 ponies. The system leans on hand-built Formula 1-grade battery cells and the highest cooling capacity of any automotive battery on the market today, which means all of the Regera’s energy goes exactly where it’s supposed to — the ground.

Flat out, the vehicle sprints to 62 mph in just 2.8 seconds and will prance all the way up to 186 mph in a mind-boggling 10.9 seconds. Not impressed yet? By Koenigsegg’s estimations, the production-spec Regera will go from a standstill to its top speed of 248 mph in only 20 seconds, or about the same amount of time it took you to read this paragraph.

The Regera is a nearly surreal object of fantasy, one that leads the fight against physics better than just about anything else on the road, but it was only one of the bedroom poster-worthy automobiles on display in Switzerland. Simply put, if you were to throw a rock in the Geneva Palexpo convention center right now (please don’t do this), you’d be bound to hit some sort of performance machine. You might land on the hardcore Porsche 911 R, or perhaps the all-electric, 402-hp E-Tense concept produced by Paris-based automaker DS. Ferrari’s new GTC4Lusso provides V12 enjoyment for up to four passengers in a unique shooting brake package, whereas the Gumpert Apollo Arrow scoffs at the Italian’s pragmatism in favor of pure, unadulterated velocity. And noise. Lots and lots of noise.

Petrol-fueled astonishment aside, there will always be those who doubt the longevity of the segment, and for good reason. But like the people who build them, performance cars can change, adapt, and (hopefully) survive in an ever-changing world, and the 2016 Geneva Motor Show was proof of that. So whether it’s an emissions-free, environmentally-conscious Tesla that can match the Regera’s acceleration or a W16-powered behemoth from Bugatti, we have good news.

The supercar is alive and well.


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