My Day With The Agera ML
It’s half past eleven in the morning of Thursday the fifth of May, and I’m standing outside Koenigsegg HQ. I’ve been in Ängelholm for three hours already, and the anticipation is high.
I’ve met up with some other people who are here too on this special day, and I’ve already been inside the showroom of Koenigsegg, where the beautiful CCR #009 and the very special Brazilian spec CCXR #076 is sitting pretty. They sit here, together with other treasures, such as two FrontiArt 1/6th scale One:1 engines, multiple 1/18th and 1/43rd scale FrontiArt and AutoArt models, and the absolutely huge and perfectly executed 1/8th scale FrontiArt One:1, modelled after #106.
I hear a rumble, and only seconds later, the yellow Agera RS named Agera ML, which was shown at Geneva International Motor Show 2016 backs out from inside the Koenigsegg factory. As soon as I see the sunlight hit the yellow paint, applied absolutely perfectly to the body, I instantly know it’s going to be a good day. Only half an hour ago the owner of Agera ML arrived in a blue metallic Mercedes AMG van together with his friends and a few Koenigsegg people.
The car rolls out on to the asphalt surface in front of HQ and is left to idle. The sound is deep and almost ground trembling from every single angle and the closer you get to the rear, the better it sounds. The body has been given a plastic film to protect the paint, and Koenigsegg has just mounted the Aircores with new rubber for the day.
The finish on the car is top notch, not a single flaw on the body, and when you look inside, you feel the scent from brand new leather hits your nose, at the same time as a visual quality which really is unbeatable hits your eyes. This is a serious machine, but it’s also a piece of art. The owner is very pleased with the way the car has turned out, he himself is slightly overwhelmed by it.
After a photoshoot right there outside HQ, the owner suggests that we take our heading to the track for some more photo shooting and for him to finally test the car for the first time. I manage to get right behind the yellow beast as we head out on the Scania roads to the track; it’s a quite unreal and slightly bizarre experience to follow the car. It’s wide, loud, and very striking against the environment, and in every car we meet at least two eyes are glued to it.
As we reach the gates to the track, I receive the order to park my car on a small road at the side of the track, while the Agera ML heads out on to the track and parks right at the “X” at the near end of the track. The photoshoot starts and everyone goes wild with their cameras.
The weather is perfect, it’s sunny and there’s not a single cloud to be seen. The contrast between the slightly worn asphalt with its white markings and black rubber marks, the green grass and the small bushes on the side of the track, and the stunning car, is slightly overwhelming; it’s a perfect fit and it’s all very photogenic.
Some time is given to shoot the car here, then the owner seats himself behind the wheel, with a Koenigsegg employee in the left seat; his first time driving the car is about to start. His only experience driving a Koenigsegg so far is a few years old now, that time it was an Agera R. He quickly learns where the gaspedal is, and within a few runs up and down the track he’s hitting over 280 km/h. He has already noticed how much smoother the gear changes are compared to the older Agera R, and that it’s a completely different car compared to the Bugatti Veyron which he’s also driven.
Eventually, the car is parked at the X again to cool off and for us to shoot some more, and after a short while the Koenigsegg people decide to have lunch. We outsiders are invited to go with them, and we are off to a beautiful small port in Ängelholm. A small restaurant is located here, nothing too fancy since this particular day normally is a day off, but certainly sufficient for a good time. There are some interesting discussions at the table, ranging from the new Porsche 911R, to #082 which crashed in China, to the beautiful nature that surrounds us.
It’s decided there and then that we should have a small photoshoot at this location too; the car is carefully parked only half a meter or so from the edge of the water, and a twenty minute photoshoot commences. A group photo is taken here too, with almost everyone who’s been with the group for the day.
Michael A. Scherrer
The art director at Koenigsegg knows a beautiful spot where we can get some nice pictures. She goes with the owner in the Agera ML, and we head out to a small village just by the sea. The road we decide to stop to shoot at is narrow so we have to adjust to the cars that drive by a bit, but the photos there turns out to be some of the best ones from the day, very worth it!
Time has ticked away fast and before we know it, we have to get back to the factory; within 10 minutes we’re standing where the day began, and the people call it a day.
I myself stick around because I am going to buy the new book “Perfection is a moving target”, and this quickly turns out to be the best thing I could have done. Not too long after the other car spotters and interested people have left, the whole von Koenigsegg family arrive. Christian, Halldora, and their sons and I all greet each other; it’s our second time meeting. The family, the Koenigsegg people, the ML owner and his friends, and I, stand outside the factory and speak for some time, until Halldora and the sons have to do some errands, and drive off.
Christian goes in to HQ, and the ML’s owner decides he want to have a photo of the car with the Malaysian flag, the Koenigsegg flag, and the Swedish flag, in the background. He invites me in to the car; at first I just think he wants to show me something, but it turns out he wants to give me a ride as he parks the car where he wants it for the shot.
Photo: one of the Koenigsegg people (using my phone)
I’m amazed as to how comfortable the seats are, and how roomy the interior is. As I close the door, I’m once again amazed as to how light the door is, and for the third time in less than a minute I am yet again amazed as to how much everything just screams quality as I put on my seatbelt. As we start the car, I can feel everything through the seat, and as we set off I can feel the immense torque from the engine, but it’s obvious that it’s not hard to drive it, not at all.
After this, the owner and I, and the Koenigsegg people go in to the showroom for a while, where we speak about a little of everything, until we are asked if we want to go on a factory tour. This really is nothing you can say no to, so ten minutes later, after having a five minute discussion over which microwave in the dining room is the best, we move in to the factory. As you know, you have to sign a paper on which you agree to not say anything about what you saw; all I can say is that we’re going to see some seriously amazing cars coming in the coming months. It was my first time inside the factory, and personally I thought the factory was bigger than it actually was; yet there was an amazing and very impressive amount of cars, parts, and equipment there.
When we are finished with the tour, I’m considering going home, until I’m invited by the owner to join him and his friends on a small and personal photoshoot at the track. Yet another thing you really can’t say no to, so once again I’m driving behind this road going piece of art, and for the second time this day we’re standing at the track. The time is perhaps five or six in the afternoon, but the sun is still high.
We take our time to really photograph the car, and then it’s time to do some driving on the track again. The ML doesn’t get to do more than just a few runs before the car is low, very low, on fuel. One of the Koenigsegg people says that he can go fill it up at the local gas station, and asks the owner if he wants to join. The owner says that he can stay, and that I can go instead, making my day for at least the tenth time. As I seat myself in the car for the second time of the day, it’s not as overwhelming as the first time, although very much so still.
It only takes about 15 minutes to get to the gas station, and once there I decide to take a few photos of it as it’s basking in part shadow of the station, part the setting evening sun.
We had a small scare when fueling up, as another person was going to fuel their car up, and drove right up next to the Agera ML. Normally that wouldn’t be anything scary, but we had the doors open and as you know, when they are open, the rear view mirrors sticks out almost half a meter out the side of the Koenigsegg. This was something the other person didn’t take into consideration and parked only ten centimeters from the rear view mirror…
Luckily everything went well, nothing damaged and with the car fueled up, we went back to the track. As we drove there in Ängelholm, we realised that we two were most likely the two youngest people to drive a Koenigsegg together; he’s turning 19 this year and I recently turned 21.
As we hand the car back over to the owner, he goes out on track again, with speed of up to about 290 km/h several times. When the clock is about half past seven in the evening, one of his friends pushes the car to over 300 km/h on the track. We decide soon after that we’re going to call it a day, it’s been a very long day for us all.
When the clock strikes eight in the evening, I start heading home, with a huge grin on my face. I had a blast for twelve hours straight, the car is absolutely gorgeous, the Koenigsegg people and the owner himself are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and I can’t thank them enough for this experience!