News feeds as of late have been absolutely dominated by headlines touting Koenigsegg’s new and wild science project/hyper car, the Regera. What’s so unorthodox about the Regera you ask? How about the lack of gears – you know, those shifty things that 99.999 percent of cars have?
The concept is as innovative as it is confusing (and poorly explained from what we’ve seen). So, we thought we’d take a crack at explaining the mechanical birds and bees of just what’s transpiring under the Regera’s hood. Here goes…
The car is powered by a twin-turbo V8 that produces a “totally-sane” 1100 horsepower. Supplementing that gratuitous output are three electric motors. Two of those are mounted at the car’s rear wheels, while a slightly smaller third motor is positioned on the back of the engine. When the electronic motors are all working in harmony, they tack on an extra 700 horsepower to the engine, making for a combined output of 1800 completely-necessary-and-in-no way-utterly-ludicrous horsepower. Now, on to the gears – or lack thereof …
Anyone who has ever tried to start their car in third or fourth gear (whichever is closest to a 1:1 gear ratio) is well aware that end result is an embarrassing stall, or at best, a seriously bogged down engine. The Regera is no exception to this rule.
When Koenigsegg decided to hydraulically link its engine to the rear differential and exclude a gear set in between the two, they didn’t do so without a plan. In order to make up for a lack of torque on take-off (due not to a lack of engine power, but mechanical advantage) the car relies on its two, rear electric motors to do most of the leg work. The gasoline engine gets to relax for a few seconds as the car works its way up in the revs.
So how does that hydraulic system work? Much the same as a conventional lock-up-style torque converter. When the car is stationary, the hydraulic coupling that links the engine to the differential allows enough slip to prevent the it from stalling or bogging down. At approximately 30 mph when the engine begins to produce steam, the hydraulic coupling rigidly locks up, sending the engine’s power directly to the rear tires.
Why remove the transmission completely? “I’ve been wanting to create something like this without a CVT’s horrible elasticity, and the weight and complexity transmissions bring,” Christian Koenigsegg said in an interview with Top Gear. “I came up with the idea last summer, and calculated that there is no need to have any gears. It was a eureka moment for me!”
This is certainly a departure from the norm but with such stratospheric power levels on tap, and an exceptionally wide power-band (thanks to the combination of turbocharged-gasoline and electric motors) we don’t see the lack of gears as being any sort of detriment to the car’s performance. Koenigsegg is already claiming out-of-this-world acceleration figures of 0-250 mph in less than 20 seconds. They also claim that excluding a conventional gearbox saved the car a tremendous amount of weight. We can’t wait to see this rare steed hit pavement!