A friend of mine who knows me through our local Cars & Coffee works for Michelin. This week they had the very last One:1 (1 of 6 worldwide) in their North American Headquarters for three days. The One:1 is shod in custom Michelins, naturally. Specially developed Pilot Sport Cup 2s. Of course they’re specially developed—they have to be capable of more than 280 mph! My friend invited me to come by and take some pictures after-hours when the atrium where it was on display wouldn’t be busy. How could I refuse?
[Edit: this may not be #1. I was interpreting “1 of 6” on the door sill as “#1 of 6.” Does anyone know which number this is?]
[Edit#2: indeed, this is actually #6 of six! I apologize for incorrect information, and I’ll edit the paragraph above.]
Wednesday evening I had very close access to this car. It had been running at a private testing facility a couple days before, so it wasn’t perfectly spotless. I prefer a car that’s being used to a trailer queen any day. I had around an hour to shoot it with only 5 or 6 guys in the area. We couldn’t touch it or sit in it, but we shot it closed and open. The atrium where the car was displayed is employee-access only, so this car’s visit was not publicized or publicly known. Just getting in the door to see it was a special treat. Being granted special access to photograph it was a dream!
#6 is white with clear coated carbon fiber and red accents. There is just enough red to be striking without being shouty. As if this car needs bright colors to say “Look at me!!” [in Clarkson’s voice]
It’s a spaceship. Completely otherworldly. It’s also the only One:1 slated for the Americas.
Yes, it’s a unicorn.
When I first saw images of the One:1, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. The rear wing especially seemed over the top, design-wise. Seeing it in person changed my perspective though. It’s a beautiful, unique design where everything is engineered to meet an objective. Obviously it’s a bit over the top. It should be. It’s beyond the hypercar trio. It’s a mega-car.
I’m sure many of you have already watched through DRIVE channel’s Inside Koenigsegg series on youtube. If not, please give yourself a treat and view it! (see link below) The videos are full of information on Koenigsegg’s vehicles, and Christian is a fantastic host/tour guide/explainer/genius. If you are of the opinion that Koenigsegg’s design language isn’t as stimulating as other brands, you should especially watch through the videos.
The engineering and thought going into their vehicles is staggering. I would love to see their headquarters and be able to document some of the processes they go through in the creation of these masterpieces. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll find myself in Sweden any time soon, and I’m not sure they would take kindly to a random fan showing up at their door, camera in-hand.
Since the car was at Michelin because of its tires, that naturally got me thinking about just how important those rubber rings are. Without them, the car is an engineering marvel, true. And it’s a fantastic design exercise. It would even make a great sculpture for the lobby. But it couldn’t fulfill its intended purpose. Yes, I know, this is true of any car with any tires. But just think about what these tires have to be able to do. Over 1300 horsepower to the rear wheels. 1000 pound-feet of torque. 0-400 kph (248mph) in 20 seconds. 0-300-0 kph in under 18 seconds.
Everything is carbon fiber. There are different finish levels for different parts, for instance they don’t want the typical weave under the painted parts as the texture could show through. The clear-coat is three times thicker than normal so they can achieve a beautiful deep protective finish. The wheels are engineered as hollow-spoke carbon fiber, which they call “Aircore.” There is no plastic in the cabin; everything is either carbon fiber, metal, or leather. It runs on E85 biofuel, race fuel, or normal gas. Brakes are massive discs in front and rear. The active Triplex suspension sounds amazing, and I don’t even understand how it works!
After the evening’s shoot, I offered to come back in the morning (pretty-please?) to get some shots of it as it exited the building. I’m so glad I did! Hearing it roar to life in the atrium was wonderful. I could feel the rumble in my core, just so much power. Hearing it rev was amazing.
Getting it through the glass doors was a bit of a challenge, though it was expertly handled by the temporary keeper of the keys. This Michelin man has a close working relationship with Christian, which is how the car ended up in their building for three days. After the doors came the sidewalk curb. Then came the truck!
The car is wide, and the mirrors are wider. The transport driver got on the phone with someone who had loaded this car previously to see if the mirrors could be rotated or removed for loading. Turns out he had to man-handle the thin carbon fiber stalks into spinning. Better him than me!
All-in-all it was a fantastic couple of days for me. Seeing such a rare exotic in my own town was really special. Being able to take these pictures and experience the car as much as I did was unprecedented. I never expected to see a Koenigsegg of any kind, ever, so to see one of the rarest right here was truly amazing. Thanks to my friend and to Michelin for inviting me in. Let’s do it again sometime!