The 1,185 HP Koenigsegg CC850 is One Hell of a Birthday Present with a Mind-Boggling Transmission

It has a gated manual! Well, sort of

Koenigsegg CC850
(Images: Koenigsegg)
  • It’s the 20th anniversary of Koenigsegg’s first car this year — and founder Christian von Koenigsegg’s 50th birthday.
  • To celebrate, the CC850 debuted at The Quail as a nod to the original CC8S.
  • This car has one of the strangest transmissions you’ve likely ever seen that functions as a 6-speed manual or a 9-speed automatic.
  • Like 2014’s ONE:1, the Koenigsegg CC850’s 5.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 produces 1,185 hp on gasoline, or 1,385 hp on E85 fuel.
  • Only 50 CC850s will go into production.

It’s a milestone year for Koenigsegg, and this is one remarkable car to celebrate it.

Christian von Koenigsegg has been responsible for some of the world’s craziest hypercars since he founded his namesake company back in 1994. He celebrates his 50th birthday this year, and it’s also the 20th anniversary of the Swedish automaker’s first car, the CC8S. Today’s reveal during Monterey Car Week reinvents that original car, but adds in modern tech and, crucially, a lot more power.

Not that the CC8S was a slouch: Koenigsegg‘s first crack at a supercar put out 655 horsepower. This time around, though, the CC850’s twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V-8 manages 1,185 horsepower on normal gasoline. It’s even more potent on E85, where the output climbs to 1,385 horsepower, with 1,022 lb-ft of torque. It’s not quite as powerful as the Jesko, on which this car is based, but Christian von Koenigsegg noted that this car has smaller, more responsive turbos (with less lag).

Now, the way it gets all that power to the ground is fascinating, to say the least. It’s called the ‘Engage Shift System’, and it’s a mix between a manual and an automatic transmission, of sorts.

This unit is based on the Jesko’s shift-by-wire Light Speed Transmission, with seven clutches and nine gear ratios to play with. Unlike the Jesko’s paddle-operated affair, though, this has a gated shifter and an actual clutch pedal. So, you can drive it like a normal automatic by sliding the lever into ‘D’, or you can use the clutch to row your way through six forward gears. You still have to balance your inputs when taking off using the clutch, but after that the shifter will tell the transmission which gear you want when you’re driving in manual mode.

It’s an interesting best-of-both-worlds approach, and either way you’ll be piloting a serious speed machine. The Koenigsegg CC850 weighs just 3,053 pounds thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber, and the car also features adaptive suspension that can adjust the ride height to suit your needs, either on the track or on the road.

Only 50 of these special edition cars are going into production. There’s no word on pricing, but since Koenigsegg is known for extremely expensive hypercars…expect whatever number to have a “million” behind it.