Apex: The Story of the Hypercar (2016) Movie Script

The first time a child can run...
You might remember
that first time that you ran
and you felt the air
accelerate over your hair
and your ears and you thought,
"Wow, that's a rush."
It's not about going fast.
It's about sort of being fast.
It's about, kind of,
elevating human experience
into places that we've never
been able to go before.
You don't feel the, uh, car,
it's very subtly, very gently
bringing you back into kind of control.
This, I think, is the biggest change
of the hypercar era
is the accessibility of a thousand
horsepower or whatever it is.
I'm not gonna say no to an open runway
a thousand horsepower car so we go down.
We go about 180. He tells me to slam on
the brakes, take my hands off the wheel
while I'm doing it
in a car I'd never driven,
in a place I've never been,
going 180 miles an hour.
If the guy who has his name on the car
is telling me to do something,
I'm gonna do it.
Capturing that imagination, the spirit,
of what the enthusiast wants
and what an engineer wants
and what an artist wants,
it's really at the cutting edge
of everything.
And that what makes it so amazing.
It's beyond art. It's beyond engineering.
It's beyond sport. It's beyond racing.
It's all of those things together.
So as long as one manufacturer
is making a car
beyond what anyone else can,
a child looking at it will say,
"Something better is possible."
[man speaking in Italian]
The thing about driving
is that you can take the steering wheel
and, with the steering wheel,
try to communicate with the road
and feel a whole range of emotions
that somehow satisfy all senses.
I think things
that are kind of, uh, impersonated
and embodies positive emotions
and that you work closely with
and put your love into,
they kind of come alive.
And I think, uh, when you're in the car
and it's done the proper way
like most racecars are
and they really feel
like an extension of yourself.
[car revs]
What is a hypercar?
There may be no better way
to ignite an argument
than to try and define
what a hypercar is.
A car whose only purpose
is to inspire awe in every aspect.
The fastest, the most powerful,
the rarest, the most striking,
the most thoughtfully designed,
the most cutting edge.
And even then, that definition
only takes us part of the way.
The hypercar,
like the supercar before it,
is the expression, in automotive form,
of tomorrow today.
These cars do things that,
from a power train
and energy efficiency standpoint,
it was science fiction ten years ago.
It's the car
that's the ultimate expression
of what they can do with technology.
Really, it's like creating
the Iron Man suit as a car.
A car whose price tag
pales only in comparison
to the desire it provokes
among those who can afford it.
They're big projects.
There are hundreds of millions,
if not billions of dollars on the line.
They are very expensive vehicles
to produce.
A price class above what anyone else
has ever made before.
It's the kind of hubris
that we tend to do as humans
when we want to take something
to the ultimate level.
The hypercar is really the ultimate
expression of intellect and ego.
It's where those two things meet.
It's the manifestation
of our human instinct
to be superhuman, to have
that Iron Man suit, you know.
As a philosopher might say,
it's to recreate God on Earth.
But, again, it's also about,
uh, an automotive global sausage fest
between these major manufacturers.
And I don't think there's any question
that, uh, part of it is just sheer ego.
So it's brilliant. So you've got Ferrari
waving its bits about and McLaren going,
"I've got a bigger one than you,"
and then, you've got Porsche saying,
"We got two."
Some of the biggest players
in the sports car world
have bet enormous budgets
and their reputations
on building hypercars.
The Porsche 918.
The Ferrari LaFerrari.
The McLaren P1.
These brands are locked in a battle
to define what a hypercar is,
and the risk is very real.
After all, hypercars sell not in the tens
of thousands or even thousands,
but in the hundreds or less.
There is a market
or there is a business model
for small, highly technical
super sports car manufacturing
that doesn't have to grow
beyond 50 cars a year.
You don't have to be GM
to succeed in the car business.
You don't have to even be
Porsche or Ferrari.
Just amazing looking
at these huge stands.
They've spent a fortune on these things
for two weeks
and then they tear them down again.
It's just, uh, shocking in a way, I guess.
Christian von Koenigsegg's firm
isn't a global multinational corporation.
But the vehicles
that bear his name are globally known
for helping define what a hypercar is.
Christian Koenigsegg is, uh,
one of the finest people I've ever met,
an intuitive engineer.
Not a trained engineer, but a person
whose intuition is incredible. Uh...
And in his own quiet way,
he is changing the car business.
ngelholm, Sweden is like most
northern European beach towns.
It's quiet and cold.
But to sports car fans,
ngelholm is synonymous
with Koenigsegg Automotive,
a company founded by a man whose desire
to build the world's best sports cars
reaches all the way back
to his childhood.
For as far as I can remember,
I've been totally fascinated by cars.
When I was about five years old,
I went to the, uh, movies with my father
and saw a Norwegian
stop-motion animation movie,
which, uh, was really fantastically made.
And it's about a bicycle repairman
who, uh, built his own car
on the Norwegian mountaintop to race
in kind of a Le Mans style race
against the established, uh, teams
and cars and drivers and, of course, won.
And this is kind of a fairy tale story,
but it's really made in a fantastic way
and it's still shown in cinemas
in Norway today.
Every Christmas Eve,
they show it on television in Norway.
It's kind of a national icon there. Uh...
But I was really intrigued by this movie
and said that looks like a lot of fun,
creating and building your own car
with a lot of unique inventions
and then go compete with it
against the establishment.
So I remember that point very clearly,
that, um, I felt I wanted to do
what that bicycle repairman was doing.
Yes, build his own car
with his little team
and do something fantastic with it.
It's a dream shared by many like him
who grew up worshipping the automobile.
But the difference:
Christian has done just that.
This is an old picture from, um,
when we built the first prototype.
This was before, uh, the ser...
This car, and, um, this was in '96.
This is Christian and his co-workers
working on this car.
This was in Olofstrm
where, uh, Christian started the company,
and stayed there--
He stayed there for two years
preparing the first prototype.
I actually lived in Olofstrm as well
with Christian, uh, during this period.
And, um, here's a picture of us back then.
I think it was 12th of... August, 1994,
I said, "Now I'm going to build the car."
So I-- So then I did everything,
designing, drawing,
uh, creating some kind of business idea
I planned around it, a development plan.
And then I started finding people
around me who could, uh, help out.
Found a chassis engineer
and I found a designer
who could help me
make a model of my sketches.
But it took me two years
from the day I decided to do it
to have a full running car prototype.
[narrator] With every new
high performance iteration,
Christian von Koenigsegg
and his team at ngelholm
keep pushing
the hypercar envelope further.
But it's his latest creation
that he hopes will really leave a mark.
It's the Koenigsegg One:1.
The name refers to the perfect
power to weight ratio.
Horsepower to kilograms of curb weight.
For every one kilogram the car weighs,
its engine produces one horsepower.
This is the first prototype One:1 car
that we're going to showcase
at Geneva Motor Show.
So this is the company test car.
So as all other show cars
from Koenigsegg,
they start out as a show car and then
they become our test car and demo car.
It will be the first production sports car
with one megawatt of power.
That's 1,341 horsepower
in a car that weighs 1,341 kilograms.
[Christian] Usually, we spend a lot of
energy and time making our cars elegant.
In this case,
as it's going to be a road car
which is also very much focused
on racetrack driving,
we let aerodynamics take
the upper hand over elegance.
So it's going to look very racy
on the normal road,
but very at home at the racetrack.
It might seem obvious, of course,
but the entire car
is made out of carbon fiber.
The monocoque, the chassis,
the body work, all the aero features,
everything is carbon fiber on this car,
even the wheels.
So as before with our Agera R
and our more normal cars,
we have the most carbon fiber intense
road car on the planet.
And that makes it lighter,
stronger, stiffer than any other car.
Carbon fiber is an interesting one
because in so many ways
it is revolutionizing our industry
and it will continue to do so.
But it isn't the answer to all problems.
There's a feeling in the industry at times
that you could solve Third World debt
with carbon fiber. You can't.
It's brilliant because it's moldable,
because it's so light
and because it's strong
when it's moved in the direction
it wants to be moved.
Of course, it's not in the direction
it doesn't want to be moved
and that has to be remembered.
Um, in terms of forming
the structure of a car,
what we'd call a tub, it's genius.
Almost all parts of a Koenigsegg
is made out of carbon fiber,
and we only use the most extreme type
of carbon fiber material available,
which is called prepreg.
It's the same
that's been used in Formula 1
and, uh, fighter jets and spaceships
and things like that.
[narrator] Exotic materials
like carbon fiber were once used
solely in the realms
of aerospace and motorsport.
But by the 1980s,
a new paradigm would emerge
and it would change everything.
[Travis] In the past,
the top of the top was the supercar.
Everything else was a sports car
or a super sports car.
Supercars were sports cars
incorporating race technology
that were street legal.
The F40 was street legal.
So the F40 was a car that came together
where Ferrari used
all of its racing resources,
where they cared
about the aerodynamics.
They put it through the wind tunnel
and they made sure that it had
the, you know, the downforce
to make it stable on the road
at 200 miles an hour.
You know, the F40
was a really groundbreaking car,
even though it was sort of built
on the 288 GTO,
which was the car I had on my wall.
It was like my personal
favorite supercar of the time.
The F40 took that platform
and just kind of threw it up
the technology ladder
and said it's racing and road cars
at a level that nobody
had seen really before.
The ten years before the F40 came out
were a hugely fertile time
for racing technology.
You had giant advances
in aerodynamics,
material science
had come a really long way.
You had materials like, you know,
composites, you know, carbon fiber,
Kevlar, really lightweight materials.
In the early '90s,
the Ferrari F40 brought Formula 1
racing technology to the street.
A decade later,
the next wave in hypercars
would focus on absolute power
and straight-line speed.
Enter the Bugatti Veyron,
the first series production car
to break 250 miles per hour.
I think we created
this segment of hypercars.
We were the very first, uh, to develop
a car with a top speed of over 400
and we were the first with a car
with a performance
of more than 1,000 horses.
And we were the first to go
in a price segment above a million Euros.
The Veyron is the application
of technology against psychology.
If you're able to buy one of these cars,
it's not your first car.
It's not your second car.
It's not your tenth car.
It's probably your 100th car
in your collection
and being able to throw down
millions of dollars
really means nothing to you.
This was a steep change
in the way people
felt about an investment in a car.
And people were used to spending
millions on the arts
or spending millions on airplanes.
You know, you have to have
a "plane" situation
to be one of the people that has this car.
You have to ask somebody,
one of your friends, and say,
"What's your plane situation?"
It took some time,
but people understood that the substance
of the car is really worth and justifies
the price of over a million.
It is completely unnecessary,
but, I mean, our car is not made
for transportation from A to B.
Our car is an A to A car.
It is like you buy beautiful clothes.
It's like you want to go for the best.
What the Veyron does,
giving the customer the possibility
of driving in a speed category
where he has not been
with his supercars before.
Obviously, left something to desire
for the other manufacturers.
Other players in this arena,
they actually are very thankful to us
that we opened this field,
this field of cars
of above a price tag of a million.
And for them, this also opens a market
and opens the possibility
to build ultra sports cars.
The Koenigsegg headquarters occupies
a base once used by the Swedish Air Force.
Runways from which fighter pilots
once took to the skies
patrolling Sweden's
sovereign perimeter in jets
mainly built by Saab
are still across the property.
The guys here, they tried to, um,
stop the Germans from flying here,
helping their aircrafts from U.S.
and from England.
And this first division,
uh, they always start early in the morning
when the mist was still there.
And everybody just heard and stopped.
And they heard them land.
They couldn't see them.
So they said, "They must be ghosts."
So that's, uh...
It's taken up as the division badge.
They came to us with great pride
and showed us their ghost symbol
and asked us, "Would you do us the honor
to put this on your cars?
It would be a shame for this to die
just because we have to shut down.
And you're doing something very different,
but it's still kind of extreme,
fighter jet-like kind of creature
so we would be very happy
if you would put this on your car."
So we said, with great honor,
we accepted their symbol,
and ever since, we've been putting a ghost
on each car we build.
[Christian] For every car we build
in that factory will have a ghost.
If we build cars elsewhere,
we will not put the ghost on the cars
because they're not in that premises.
So we're out at the Koenigsegg runway,
which has been very instrumental for us
in the creation of our cars
and what we do.
So our factory's actually a former
fighter jet squadron hangar.
And, uh, here,
we can go 24/7 any day, any time,
to test whatever we want to test
with very little planning.
But as soon as we come up with an idea
for an engine tweak, a gearbox tweak,
brake pads, brake discs, uh, aerodynamics,
uh, whatever, really,
we can just go out and test.
And that's quite unusual
even for large car manufacturers
to have that opportunity,
and that has really shaped
what we're doing
and it's the reason why our cars
can be so extreme as they are,
as we, anytime,
can go out and test drastically.
While the Koenigsegg team has yet
to finish their first One:1 hypercar,
one of the biggest names
in the global automotive market
is already in production
with a hypercar of their own.
Porsche's legacy of high performance cars
spans six decades.
But as the first mover
in unproven territory,
Porsche is shouldering
a big technological risk,
a hybrid electric hypercar.
At a factory in Stuttgart, Germany,
Porsche has planned a run of 918 cars
built at a rate of four per day.
In the hypercar market,
that quantity is unprecedented.
Are these big, risky decisions or not?
When we get to the big car companies,
the proper car companies,
the Porsche, McLaren
and the Ferrari, that's different.
The Porsche is the riskiest
because the Porsche is using
more complicated technologies.
It's a much more complicated
calibration device
and it's coming
from a brand that requires
a higher level of finish
and development, let's say.
I'm not demeaning the other two,
but the Porsche has to meet
all the standards of durability
of a Boxster.
There's lots of rich people
in the world now,
but to sell 918
when there's another two hypercars,
three hypercars on sale
at the same time is a real gamble.
Nine hundred and eighteen cars,
nearly triple what Porsche's
closest rivals have planned to build,
and each one with a price tag
of just under $1 million.
And they would go on to sell
every single one.
Here at the Formula 1 circuit
in Austin, Texas,
Porsche factory driver Patrick Long
is behind the wheel
of a 918 Spyder for the first time.
Yeah, the beauty of, uh, this 918
is that you're dealing
with a lot of aerodynamic downforce
so that initial attack on the brake
is similar to the race car
and you're able to do that,
uh, with some added help
from ABS, um, and hybrid charging,
um, that generation of electricity
really helps in stopping the car.
The most stunning feature
is its packaging density.
It's the same size as a Carrera GT.
It has four-wheel steering,
all-wheel drive,
a very elaborate multistage hybrid system
with a crazy battery.
But you can't get a postage stamp
under the skin anywhere
because every millimeter
is filled with something.
The man behind the 918 project
is Dr. Frank Walliser,
who was able to take the 918 from concept
to production car in only four years.
Frank Walliser, what a great guy.
Always smiling,
under massive pressure in 918,
massive pressure.
You know, Porsche,
in fact, people were saying
it was a project
that wasn't that loved internally.
It caused massive strife.
It was expensive.
Did they want to make it?
Should it have been a hybrid?
They were under huge pressure,
and Frank marshaled
the whole thing brilliantly.
We really started with the development
in, let me say, October of 2010.
And we had, um,
around 200 people together,
um, starting on the project,
working on everything.
We had, uh, a highly motivated team
that had a clear target.
We wanna make the best
super sports car of the world.
When I think about the 918,
I think it was perhaps
the most technically complicated car
that will ever be built.
To get everything in
and in a beautiful enveloping shape
that's also air efficient, that you've got
room for the struts, it's insane.
The thing is insane.
Porsche always starts with racing, right?
So Porsche starts
with what works on a racetrack.
What can we learn on the racetrack
that we can apply to the road cars
and what, in some cases,
do we learn from the road cars
that we can apply to the racetrack?
We could really carry over
a lot of technology
from racing now to a street car
and definitely will come
from this street car
then to other street cars thereon.
And it just makes it interesting
and, uh...
Yeah, important for us.
It's an important car for Porsche.
But what's happened is as they developed
these hybrid packages,
they found so much more
performance from them.
And they found a way
of augmenting torque,
of creating a new way
of building performance cars.
And I think the discovery process
has been enlightening.
You know,
watching Frank Walliser of Porsche
go through his battles visually
as I met him over the three-year period,
you know, he started out going,
"What do I do with this electricity?"
And then, at the very end,
he's confidently saying,
"This car is faster around a track
because it's a hybrid."
Okay, competition is always nice.
Uh, it shows you
it's the best what we can get.
You know who's best
and, uh, its objective.
And, uh, I think with our car,
with the layout of the car,
considering the fuel consumption,
the performance in day to day usability,
it's definitely the best package.
The P1 just feels like
it was just plunked on here
from another planet to me,
and I love that.
I just stood behind it at night,
with light shining in the back of it.
It's just completely porous
and it's tiny and it's small,
and I think so much of that appeals.
I think you need to see
the effect this has on a crowd of tourists
as they come out of the Yas Marina Hotel
to understand
how important the motorcar is
in our lives.
This is the ultimate
expression of a motorcar.
Even if you don't like cars
or are not interested in them,
when you see that shape,
you're drawn to it.
These are magnetic objects
that alongside things like space shuttles
and very fast fighter jets,
represent the ultimate expression
of what human beings can do
with the materials
that we drag out of the ground.
We obviously add, uh, the power and torque
from the electric motor
to give it additional,
you know, head-on performance.
But where the car is totally transformed
is by using the hybrid power,
the electric motor power to torque fill.
The only thing that comes close
is a Formula 1 car.
[engine revving]
[tires screech]
[narrator] McLaren developed the P1
at its cutting edge technology center
in southeast England.
Designed by world famous
architect Norman Foster,
the MTC is home
to McLaren's Formula 1 team,
which is based just a few steps away
from where McLaren's road cars
are designed and built.
Company boss Ron Dennis is said to have
a particular eye for detail.
And so McLaren cars
reflect the sensibility of the place
in which they're built.
This production line
is the P1 production line,
and at the moment, we're building
the P1 production cars, the 375 cars,
and also the P1 GTRs.
So we're making a track variant
of the car
for customers to play
to their heart's content on the circuit.
It really is about
the, um, best technology.
Our target for the P1
is to produce the best drivers' car,
the best technology
that was available on the day.
The McLaren P1 is a savage automobile.
It has the brightest response
of any of the three cars.
It has the most, uh...
Even though LaFerrari doesn't have a seat
and you're sitting in the tub,
the, uh, P1 is, I would say probably
has the quickest reaction time,
but it's mostly just light.
It feels like a titanium foil
or something.
I mean, it's just an amazing car.
So P1 is about ultimate performance,
ultimate drivability,
ultimate driver engagement.
Obviously, the price tag is high.
That enables you to really work
with technology
and put that new technology
into these vehicles.
The fact you have two driver modes
in the P1,
the fact you have a comfort mode
for road driving.
With the press of a button,
the car lowers by 50 millimeters.
The aerodynamics,
the wing raises by 300 millimeters,
and there you get a car
focused for the track.
We were sold out before a customer
had actually driven the car.
Independently, three OEMs
decided performance hybrids
were the right thing to do in the ultimate
segment in this time period,
which is quite incredible.
I actually think each car is better
because the other people
were doing the same thing.
This current batch
of ultimate segment cars
has been a great point in history. Yeah.
I think the three manufacturers
coming out together,
presenting these cars, it's great.
The question is, when are we gonna get
that next step?
And it's probably gonna be
eight to ten years time.
It's gonna be when we get that next batch
of hypercars coming out.
The question is, what is the technology?
What is going to be the differentiator
for those batch of cars?
One thing about hypercars is it's not only
about the cars and the technology.
And we can nerd out on them all we want,
but it's about the performance
people wanna know about.
Which one is faster than the other?
The Nurburgring is basically
the whole history of motorsports
on one single road.
I mean, it was built in the '20s
in the Eifel mountains. Um...
It's the most demanding racetrack
in the world.
It's 22 kilometers, 144 corners.
Um, it's the ultimate test
of any car, really.
I mean,
because it tests every part of the car.
is the only constant, uh, context
of measurement capability of cars
in the history of the automobile.
It's the only place that manufacturers
have gone consistently
over time to test vehicles.
The Nurburgring is, of course,
an amazing track in Germany
in that, amazing in that it's long
and it has an incredibly storied history.
But it's become much more than that.
It almost has become the soul
of the auto enthusiast.
It is one of the last tracks
that's truly dangerous
that we still see commonly used.
The curbs are really high
and you have to know which curbs
you can hit, which you can't.
It's gonna unsettle the car
very quickly.
The tarmac is rougher
in some sections than the others,
so you want to have a suspension
that is loose enough to take that,
but stiff enough to keep the body,
you know, really level.
There's sections of the track
where you might have rain
and another section
where it's sunny and warm.
All of these things come together
to make a single lap in the Nurburgring
almost a race in and of itself.
Some of it's video games.
Some of it is a self-fulfilling prophecy
where certain manufacturers
had success there
and were touting the number
and then more would and more would
and it became the benchmark.
You know, they say Nurburgring tested,
and you see the cars being tested there
because there are people
with video cameras
just sort of hanging around the track
on industry days.
But what's happening now is that,
you know, people really, really wanna know
which of the hypercars is fastest.
You have four cars that are all
competing with each other,
with the LaFerrari, the P1,
the 918 and now the One:1.
Everyone wants to say that their solution
is the fastest thing around there,
Now, the 918's the only one
that's published a time.
So right now, we know
that Porsche is about at seven minutes,
so that's the time to beat.
No hypercar maker wants to be slower
than seven minutes at this point.
You know, McLaren's out there now
and they haven't given a lap time yet.
And everybody in the world
is waiting for McLaren
to, like, you know, say whether
or not they beat Porsche.
I mean, it's really created
so much drama in the car world.
[narrator] But while the enthusiasts
and automotive press
are waiting for McLaren's lap time,
Christian von Koenigsegg is back in Sweden
working to get the first One:1 finished.
Even though the car's not done yet,
its purpose is to be
the fastest car ever made.
And that means it must tackle
the Nurburgring with an official lap time.
Nurburgring is definitely
on the agenda, so that's coming,
I think, sometime, midsummer,
end of summer,
we'll get into that seriously.
[man] And do you actually start testing
in the summer there?
That's the plan, yes, to start tests
in the summer in Nurburgring.
[man] Cool. Do you want to say anything
about lap times now or anything?
- No. [laughs]
- [man chuckles]
I have no idea.
Nurburgring is definitely
a very interesting track to test at
and, uh, I don't see
why we shouldn't be the fastest.
We should be the fastest.
- That's what our calculations tell us.
- [man] Cool.
So we'll see.
And when Christian
first came up with the idea,
it was just, you know, we just--
Okay, let's do it.
And, uh, yeah, and now we're standing here
and the car is, uh...
Yeah, it's getting ready,
so it's gonna be great.
We have a lot of testing, uh, to do.
They're gonna be thousands
of kilometers on tracks,
um, finding the perfect setting.
I mean, the idea is, of course,
we wouldn't be here
if we would've been aiming
for second position.
Uh, then we could have gone home
many years ago.
So, of course,
we're aiming to be the quickest
around the Nurburgring
for street legal production cars.
And I mean, even if you haven't been there
with the Agera R,
we are very confident that even that car,
uh, will set a very good lap time.
Uh, and even though this is a limited
edition, uh, it's still a production car,
and that will be even quicker.
These hypercars
are amazingly engineered.
They're breaking new ground.
They're trying new things.
It's experimentation. It's engineering.
It's computer modeling.
All of those things go
into just shaving a hair,
a hair's bit of time off
of that Nurburgring record
or off of that, uh, zero to 60 time.
For over a decade,
Dan Greenawalt has been on a mission
to take the cars that only
a few thousand people in the world own
and make them accessible to the masses
via video game consoles
- like Microsoft Xbox.
- [Dan] So this is actually a laser scan.
There's millions of points
of data in here.
Even though it looks like it was modeled,
this is actually just a laser scan.
He's the creative director
of Turn 10 Studios,
the maker of Forza Motorsport.
And in their small offices
outside Seattle, Washington,
the team is working
to accurately replicate and simulate
the driving performance characteristics
of these hypercars.
We've really been trying
to establish a vision
for car culture and gaming culture
and be on the vanguard
of what those two things mean
and what they're gonna be
in the future.
So new media,
which is video games and Facebook
and Twitter and everything else,
has really changed how car culture works.
And some people lament it.
You know, the magazines
are kind of going away,
but new things have emerged.
There's a lot of things that have come up
that are filling the void.
But what's really speaking
to a group of players
or a group of car enthusiasts
that are becoming car enthusiasts?
What makes them into car enthusiasts?
Is it racing? It's hard to watch racing.
It's hard to even get it
in United States.
But I see it as the responsibility
of games like ours, a franchise like ours,
to get a younger generation into cars,
to replenish our ranks as enthusiasts.
There's a hand-in-hand relationship there
that I think video games
are taking the spot
of a lot of the magazines.
Where, what was on the cover
of the magazine?
What's on the cover of the video game?
What was the highlight story?
What's the highlight race?
Now, you're getting to interact.
You're getting to experience it.
But moreover, today's generation,
you're getting to create
your own media out of it.
You get to be your own magazine.
You can paint the car.
You can put videos on Twitch.
You can have people watching your--
Subscribing to your channel on YouTube.
It becomes an ecosystem
where the group fuels itself,
and that's why I'm not too pessimistic
about the future of automotive
when it comes to the next generation.
And as a result,
the car companies have fundamentally
changed their relationship to video games.
They now see us as an essential way
of communicating to a younger customer.
They've empowered us to actually
stoke passion on a new generation.
[narrator] The Geneva show
is less than two weeks away.
Christian and his team at Koenigsegg
are pulling another all-nighter
to get the One:1 show car ready in time
for its very first public appearance.
No one but the team
has ever laid eyes on it.
It has to be perfect.
The sub-assemblies,
we have front and rear bumper.
That's the sub-assemblies
and polishing area.
The roof, as well, has had polishing.
- It's been done over there.
- Yeah, of course.
- And in some--
- Interior...
Interior is, uh, in sub-assembly as well.
But some panels
are starting to come out now,
and we are finishing
the electrics tomorrow.
And after that,
we can put in the interior.
We were running a little bit late.
We started a bit late with this car,
so we have to push hard now in the end
to actually get the car done.
This is, for me, the most, uh, hard one.
I've been working really hard
with this, uh, new car here.
And, uh, this is even harder
than when we showed off
the Agera first time.
One week to go
with three weeks work to do,
so people just stay here working,
sleeping a few hours at home
or coming and going
or just pulling 24-hour shifts.
So it's really super dedicated people
that brings all their energy
and love into this to get it done.
Geneva is, for us,
the most important event every year.
It's the most international,
prestigious car show
on the planet from my perspective.
It's a small show but, uh...
In the size, it's somehow small,
but everyone is there.
If you're not there,
you know, not in the industry.
Like, one or two days earlier,
uh, it looks like this is never gonna
happen, but we're really used to that
because it's the same every year
when we do a new project for Geneva.
It just...
Everything kind of just comes together
at the last point in time.
And it's happening today again
and it looks really great, and I'm...
I think everyone is feeling good about it.
It's just working out well.
He's the guy that thinks
that nothing is impossible,
and that's how he is working.
It's the same as working here
as working for Christian.
It's not for everyone.
Uh, he puts a lot of pressure.
Uh, not pressure in a bad way,
but pressure
as in he has high expectations
with the people he works with.
Uh, of course, because the product
needs to meet a very high standard.
That spirit goes into the people
who works here and, uh, into me,
and it's really fun
because he's always motivating.
[speaks in Swedish]
I think we chose...
I think we chose this present shape here
exactly what it has to be
because we get flush there and then...
[jacks clattering]
And, uh, people
may not always think that way
or not just a toy or a thing you buy,
you actually buy a story,
a dream that we try to create.
But that's just so emotional
and the car looks just...
I wanna get in and drive it.
That's all I can say.
It just gives this fantastic, uh, feedback
and it's ready to go kind of thing.
I know what's gone into it.
I know it's so for real.
It's just going to...
It's just going to shine.
That's all I can say.
[car revs]
If you have the power
to influence your own work,
that is very motivating to people.
And I think that's what happens here.
Breaking new grounds
and doing the impossible all the time.
And, um, that's because he truly believes
they can do it.
And then, when someone believes in you,
you can do it.
All roads to the hypercar lead here,
to this glittering center of global wealth
on the western shore of Lake Geneva,
a city of royals and celebrities
and the very, very rich.
It's here the auto industry puts on
its most exotic face every year.
It's where Italian design houses parade
their automotive haute couture.
The Geneva Motor Show is the one
motor show that you have to go to.
Uh, it is compact and small
and anything that's relevant is there.
And car manufacturers
will delay the launch of a car
often to make it happen at Geneva.
The Geneva Motor Show is where you go
if you want to find
the auto industry's most exciting,
most outrageous and rarest of birds.
- How are you?
- I'm in the house.
- Good to see you again.
- Oh, yeah.
- Are you running?
- Yeah.
[Christian] It's a very interesting
place here because it's, um...
Everyone kind of lowers their guard,
in a sense.
They're showing off
their product like we are doing,
but there's also an opportunity to meet up
and talk in a fairly casual way.
And, uh, it's more
of an even playing field.
I mean, we're a tiny,
tiny manufacturer from Sweden,
but we'll get to talk to the big boys
and the execs at the big companies,
and they treat us with respect,
which is really nice for us.
And, uh, I guess they think
we're kind of an interesting flair
at a place like this as well.
So a lot of interesting stuff
is going on here,
apart from showing off cars.
There's also mingling
and meeting contacts and so on.
I'd like to congratulate you,
doing the One:1.
- It's just a fantastic car.
- Thank you so much.
- Brilliant. Well done.
- So let's see.
There they have the super charger.
Have a quick look.
I really like Tesla. I have a Model S.
It's, uh, definitely
one of my favorite cars.
They've done a fantastic job,
but, uh, kind of, just pushing forward
the EV awareness
and the technology
and what you get for your money.
I mean, even though they're expensive,
they're a great value for money.
No one is even close to supplying
what they're supplying presently.
Actually, we can stop just quickly here.
So it's kind of like a door,
but it's not a door. It's just panel.
This is just insane.
A Ferrari V8 trike or something.
And you have these intake tracks
in your face.
Imagine the sound of that. [laughs]
Oh, did you see that cool thing
down at RUF Porsche,
this concrete thing
with all the model cars?
- No.
- You need to shoot that. Super cool.
This thing caught my eye.
I really like this thing.
I wanted one in my living room.
It's so cool.
All these model cars casted
into this concrete block.
Just something about it.
I don't know exactly what it is, but...
The Geneva show is a triumphant moment
for Christian von Koenigsegg
and the One:1.
And there's something else
to celebrate as well.
Koenigsegg's entire run of cars
has already sold out, sight unseen.
The enthusiasm amongst
the world's hypercar buyers
bolsters Christian's optimism
for the car and for his company.
A strong showing
at the Nurburgring later in the year
will only add to the One:1 mystique,
but only a few feet away,
a longstanding rival looms large.
Its multimillion dollar display booth
projects one of the world's
most powerful brands.
A name that has always been synonymous
with the highest caliber of sports car...
[man] LaFerrari
is about holistic driver experience.
Not about zero to 60, although it crushes.
Not about top speed, although it's 217.
Uh, not about cornering, although
it pulls a staggeringly casual 2Gs.
[Chris] The roads around Maranello
were not great.
There really are very few good roads.
There's that one Ponte Samone road
that we've used for years
and I think I've driven
every single corner sideways
and I've probably nearly crashed
on every single corner.
So we drove the LaFerrari there
and after about quarter of an hour,
it was clearly apparent
that that was not the canvas
on which you could paint
any of the performance.
It was just too much
to really enjoy yourself.
You have a great company
with a great history
and, uh, about 8,000
of the smartest people in Italy
working at the campus there at Ferrari.
And only the best and the best of them
got promoted to LaFerrari.
There's a mixture of emotions
when you come to a place like Maranello
because we have heritage.
In fact, we have unparalleled heritage.
This is the home of fast cars.
It's the home of, um, the supercar.
It's the home of the hypercar.
This is supercar valley,
so within a 20 mile radius,
we have Pagani,
we have Lamborghini, we have--
We used to have Bugatti
and many others that have tried
and failed to compete with the red one,
which remains the daddy of them all.
Um, so we have history and heritage,
but also we have this
very forward-looking sense
that they're trying
to take a type of motoring
that perhaps is unacceptable to people,
that perhaps need to change
and they're making new technologies
to take that forward.
[Neil] What comes out of Ferrari
is so technically refined and reified,
you know, so, uh, cost unconstrained
that when you put it all together
as they have,
it's just a superb driving experience
and there's a real, as I say,
it's a real honor. It's like being...
My job is like being the art critic
in Florence, you know, in the 15th century
because everybody
is fucking great, right?
You know, everybody's a genius and, uh...
I mean, there's no shit anywhere,
right? Every car is great.
- [man] Awesome.
- Now you should ask me about the Pagani.
If you had to imagine in your mind
the autocratic, charismatic creator
of probably the most impressive
hypercar brand
to emerge on its own
in the last 30 years,
you couldn't actually make up
Horacio Pagani.
He's perfect.
[speaking in Italian]
I find inspiration everywhere.
I'm curious by nature,
so I observe things
and I come up with an idea
even inspired by a button.
Nature is highly inspiring.
You know, he made his bones in,
I think, military supply and then bikes.
Really, you know, frankly, he didn't even
study carbon composites that long.
I mean, he had a ten-month internship
at Lamborghini ages ago,
but the guy's self-taught.
Total autodidact.
A guy who doesn't do e-mail,
doesn't do CAD drawings,
doesn't speak English,
which is the universal
language of engineering.
He's the Italian Argentinean
who says he doesn't speak English,
but understands everything you say
and can speak English perfectly
but chooses not to. I love that.
[speaking in Italian]
Beauty and technical research.
In our particular case, at Pagani,
the search for beauty
goes above and beyond,
because we believe
that automobiles can be works of art.
In fact, I do not wish
to trivialize the word "art",
but I believe that the work
of my designer colleagues,
of my artisan colleagues,
of those who work with their hands,
is a true artistic expression.
And I believe that in our own way,
we aim to follow in
the footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci,
showing that art and science
can go hand in hand.
There's a creative energy to him
that comes out in his car
especially when you go all the way
to the Huayra.
[speaking in Italian]
When you spend one and a half million euro
to buy yourself a Pagani,
or you spend up to three or four million
euro to buy yourself a Pagani,
and, in some places with very high taxes,
even more than that,
we cannot say that it is a rational act.
In my opinion, it's something
completely irrational, so...
If you stop to think about it, you say:
"Goodness, with what a Huayra costs,
I could buy 30 or 40, let's say...
rational cars".
Instead the Pagani client
acts strictly on an emotional level.
[speaking in Italian]
We will always be builders of dreams,
builders who aim to please
the type of client
who wants a tailor-made suit.
Isn't he a mystery?
Isn't he an enigmatic figure?
He's the living,
breathing expression of his cars.
He's tangible and I love that.
He is the ultimate hypercar
business owner.
You know, he's the man.
[speaking in Italian]
I think it is important that youngsters,
whether they have a car or not,
understand that dreams and passion...
that the energy
given by dreams and passion,
can be useful every day.
So you must keep
believing in your intuition,
in what you do
and in doing it with passion.
This is a thought
coming from an average guy
who started with nothing.
There's this yin and yang.
There's this push and pull
between engineering and artistry.
And I think when you look
at Koenigsegg and Pagani,
you've got a bit of a opposite
in some ways
that Pagani is really this artistry
at its finest
and Koenigsegg's
really engineering focused.
[speaking in Italian]
And then there's Koenigsegg,
a guy with a great passion...
who made a very powerful and fast car.
So there is a group of his clients
who love
having such a powerful
and well-engineered car.
So every car, as I've already said,
has its own market niche.
Back in Sweden, it's business as usual.
The Koenigsegg team is on the runway
testing cars for customer delivery.
After two years of development,
the One:1 is finally ready
to stretch its legs.
[Christian] Well, right now, we have five
of our One:1s in the same room
so they're kind of going out
a little bit at once.
We've been building them
parallel to our testing program
where we've had our test car
running for almost a year now.
And we're just
at the finalization stages of that,
so we've already delivered one
to the customer
and the other ones
are ready to go out the door.
So it's an exciting moment.
I hope we don't see as many of them here
at the same time again
because it's getting crowded, so...
September 2014,
Koenigsegg goes out to the Nurburgring
and, um, they're testing
a lot of the components
that are going into the One:1,
um, they've put into an Agera test car.
We were there for, uh, almost three weeks
and did a lot of miles
and got up to good speed.
And things go wrong.
Things can go wrong.
One corner just, you know,
messed up can cause tragedy,
and that's kind of what happened
with Koenigsegg.
Yeah, we went off the track
at relatively high speed,
but everyone was okay.
A little bit shaken up.
The car was a little bit damaged.
Uh, but we checked the car afterwards,
technically it looked all fine.
Uh, our test driver said, yeah, it was--
Could've been oil slick--
It could've been something...
The track, as a whole, felt slipperier.
Well, we don't know for sure
exactly what happened,
uh, from the incident. I mean,
the actual thing that caused it,
uh, because, yeah, on the, uh,
industry board, you have limited...
You know, you can't video
as much and all that.
Uh, but so there are a few different
things that could have been the cause.
Uh, but we focus on the new challenge.
So, uh, we'll see.
You know, there is pressure to do this.
I mean, these guys
are under pressure to get that lap time
and not only to test the car
and to test the components of it,
but to get the lap time,
to make a good showing out there.
We're very keen to get back on the ring
with this car
because, uh, when the weather gets better,
we're gonna be there,
really, to see what the car can do,
uh, officially.
But another tragedy will soon
make Christian rethink his ambition
to break a Nurburgring record.
I often feel there's something
to the danger of driving
that defines a lot of things.
[Dan] I think some of the Nurburgring
is that it's really dangerous. [laughs]
It's not like other tracks.
And we still have, you know, Le Mans.
There's still deaths occasionally there.
And other FIA tracks.
But the Nurburgring is dangerous
on a level
that you just don't see popularized
or publicized quite as much.
March of 2015,
a fatal crash during a race
at the Nurburgring.
The death seems to be
a final straw for officials,
ushering a series of unprecedented
restrictions at the track.
[Christian over phone]
When we started getting info
like yesterday
or the day before that, uh...
uh, there are speed restrictions
on this area called the Flugplatz
where this, I don't know if you
saw this, some GT-R
crashed out in the audience
a couple of months ago in a GT race.
So they're restricting that area
to 250km per hour,
and we knew that for a while,
but that's not a big issue.
We can live with that.
And then, there is another area
called Schwedenkreuz or something
which is restricted to 200, 215.
We could also live with that.
But then, we started hearing
that long straight
is restricted to 250 kilometers per hour
and that's where
we can go 400 kilometers per hour.
So that's a big restriction for us,
uh, but we said okay,
maybe we can get around that
or we'll see how fast we can go.
And then, they said, we're--
They're not...
No one is allowed to go
for all-out records anymore this year.
So, uh, all of those things together
kind of put a lid on it today.
So we're kind of scrambling
to get everything out
and get ready and they said,
"Hang on. What are we doing here?"
If we're not allowed to,
what are we doing?
So, uh, yeah, so that's where we are,
basically, suddenly.
[narrator] For the One:1,
the ban on hot laps at the Nurburgring
now makes an attempt
at a lap record impossible.
[Christian] We've already kind of done
a record at Suzuka
and we have to keep on going
and taking record at all
the other tracks
we're allowed to take records at.
Disappointed, but still confident,
Koenigsegg sets his sights elsewhere.
We can try to go back to Spa again.
We didn't even try to go
for a record there.
We can drive probably
four or five seconds faster
than what we did already.
[electronic music plays]
I have a very close relationship
with Christian,
and he knows that I make the decision
what's safe to do or not.
So he's just gonna be,
"Do whatever you feel comfortable with.
Go as quickly as you can, of course."
But he knows that I do the balancing
between pushing boundaries
and not putting cars at risk.
Because anyone can go out
and be super quick,
but what's the risk?
You can take, you know,
world champion of something,
say, go and do, you know,
a lap record attempt.
And he might make it
and he'll probably be quicker than I am,
but he maybe will not make that at all.
And the question is,
is it worth it if you make it? Yes.
Is it worth it if you don't make it? No.
an hour west of the Nurburgring,
a racetrack built
in the same motorsports era.
Spa is smaller than the Nurburgring,
but it challenges drivers
with high speeds and blind corners.
[Robert] It's been a long process
and, I mean, it's...
We're never done
because as Christian says,
perfection is a moving target.
So there will always be new things.
I will always figure out something new,
the suspension or the aero or something.
So there's not really a goal for it.
We just want to make it
as good as possible
in the given timeframe.
If the Koenigsegg One:1
were to set a lap record at Spa,
it would truly be in a class by itself.
But Spa has its own dangers
and its own rules and regulations.
[Robert over radio]
I just went red.
[indistinct radio chatter]
There was a red flag in every corner.
There are marshals standing
halfway out on the track
waving yellow and red flags, so...
Okay, well, we'll have to check
what is the problem.
What was going on at the end there?
Yeah, they put marshals
in the middle of the track.
Yeah, and there was red flags
all over the track.
In every single post,
there was a red flag
and there were red lights.
By the time I got to the end
of the straight first time,
the whole track lit up red.
[man sighs]
And they had marshals physically
on the track to prevent me from going.
I mean, what we're doing
with hypercars or now megacars
or call them whatever you like,
I always ask myself,
what am I doing for humanity?
I mean, how are these,
let's say, "luxury,"
super expensive sporting goods
or whatever they are,
how do they influence everyday lives
of humankind in a broader sense?
And I think it does, actually.
Uh, well, number one thing is,
of course, uh,
everyone thinks I'm living my dream,
which I agree,
and I think that is important thing
to show that it is possible,
that it's important to dream and
to realize your dream that really works.
That is one very important part of it.
But also, the technology we develop, uh...
We've seen many things already
trickle down into more normal cars.
Combustion engine philosophies,
how it interacts with the transmission
and the clutch and all of these things
that are really on the edge
in our industry,
is trickling down to more normal cars.
It's like a...
Yeah, the Bugatti Veyron had one
of the first dual clutch transmissions.
Now you're finding it in kind of
every Volkswagen around the world,
more or less.
So, uh, that is just happening
and it's one of the few industries
where that's going quite quickly
from high end to low end.
Christian is an inventor, I would say.
And that's his passion.
That's what he lives and breathes,
to invent new things.
And at the moment,
he's focused on race cars.
But it could well be anything.
Hypercars are built by people, um,
where there's a sort of cult
of personality around that person.
I mean, whether it's Enzo Ferrari
built the Ferraris.
Ferruccio Lamborghini
wanted to best Ferrari, right?
He... There was a rivalry. Um...
Guys like Horacio Pagani
and Christian von Koenigsegg come along
and they put their names
on the cars for a reason,
because they're personal, but it...
This is where the ego part
kind of comes in where it's...
They want to bend the world to their will
to create something that is just...
Um, not only the highest expression
that they can come up with,
but the coolest thing
that they've probably ever dreamed of.
And that they can actually
put it together and fabricate it,
you know, is kind of an amazing thing
for a car guy
or just for a kid who grew up
wishing that they could do that.
I get the feeling
that Christian's that guy.
I think he knows what he wants.
He wants to experiment with technologies.
He wants to display what he can do
and he wants to sell it to people,
he wants to go really, really fast.
In the end, having a bloke who wants to go
really, really fast
is a fantastic basis
for making a hypercar company.
So, what is a hypercar?
If we believe those who build,
buy and obsess over them,
a hypercar is, in automotive form,
a vision for the future today.
So what is the future for the hypercar?
Like others, Christian von Koenigsegg
is betting on electric propulsion.
His next hypercar
will be called the Regera,
and he'll push technology
and horsepower even further
using both an internal combustion engine
and an electric motor.
Where is it going?
We're moving away
from fossil fuels inevitably.
BP, a couple of weeks ago,
went out and said it reckoned
there was 58 years of oil
left in the ground.
So, okay, I don't believe
in peak oil theory,
but, you know, we are reaching a point
where extracting it is costing too much.
We have to change.
Human beings, the human race
has always responded
to times of profound change.
That's when we do things. We...
If you tell us we ought to do something
to mitigate against a risk in the future,
and we'll be lazy
and we won't do anything.
But if you tell us we have to change,
then we will.
That's why at times of world war
and conflict,
we tend to invent things much faster
and build things much faster
because we have to do things.
We have to respond.
So I think this gradual process is okay,
but I think it will ramp up fairly soon.
Once the oil becomes too expensive
to get out of the ground,
then you're gonna see the electrification
of the motor car. It's inevitable.
Engineers are smart.
We're gonna keep figuring out ways
to make cars go faster.
My body can't take a lot of the stuff
that these cars can do now,
and at some point, Lewis Hamilton's body
is not going to be able to take the stuff
that these cars can do.
That's the place we're heading to,
and I think it's exactly that idea
that kind of comes into our head
that what, it's what makes
hypercars so fascinating.
A car can't do that. It can't do that.
And then, it does.
So the hypercar is the most, you know,
important manifestation
of this democratizing force.
It's the ultimate manifestation
of freedom, technology and art.
It is the apex of all these ideas
in one statement
of what is possible, however irrelevant
that item, that thing is.
It is its meaning
transcends its irrelevance.
It's about being something
that you're not.
And what you're not is a...
You know, 250-mile-an-hour beast
that can kind of storm across a landscape
and, um, do superhuman things.
And that leaves only one question:
Will humanity's desire for speed endure?
It is just an anomaly of human evolution,
temporary, a fad?
Or is it our desire for speed
that makes us human?
If someone who didn't know
anything about cars
asks me why hypercars matter,
the only possible answer
is, like jazz, if you have to ask...