In a copycat industry the concept of a sui generis vehicle is nonexistent. Everything is born from another. Except for the Koenigsegg Gemera, that is: the world’s first (and only) mid-engine, four-seater coupé megacar—what the brand is dubbing the “world’s first Mega-GT.” The mere idea is so ludicrous, so farfetched, that only a literal visionary (and arguable lunatic) would have the gall to even attempt to manifest it from hazy daydream sketch to wrought carbon fiber.
“The idea basically came about probably in 2004,” Koenigsegg tells us. “My wife and I had our first son in 2001, and I noticed that I couldn’t take the family out in a two-seater. So I started thinking: Is there a way to have the sensation of a mid-engine two seater—which is totally different than a front-engine car—and still have space for four full grownups? Without the compromise you have in other GT cars where you cram them in the back…. I just felt there has got to be a way to have this Koenigsegg DNA in a four seater.”
To make an unprecedented vehicle like this possible, the Gemera required not just one quantum breakthrough, but two. First, a powerplant dilemma had to be solved: engineering an internal combustion engine that was powerful enough to qualify as a supercar, yet diminutive enough to still fit behind four passengers. The three-cylinder TFG engine is somehow small enough to shoehorn behind four adults, yet still balance mass properly (and leave room for a trunk).
The Koenigsegg Direct Drive (KDD) system marries that TFG to an electric powertrain with three motors (two rear, one up front) that all directly drive the single-gear transmission. This setup provides otherworldly power (combined 1,677 hp and 2,580 lb-ft of torque) and acceleration (0-60 mph in under two seconds), requiring only a small 800V battery that sheds significant weight over pure EV powertrains, and offers nearly 600 miles on a single tank (with full charge). All while comfortably seating four adults.
The second quantum leap is figuring out how to enter and egress four passengers gracefully, using only two doors. That requires a stupendously long portal that somehow won’t take out vehicles in neighboring zip codes when opened. This is where the Gemera’s B-pillar-less architecture marries with Koenigsegg’s signature dihedral synchro-helix door—a clever mechanism that swings the two-meterlong doors out and then upwards.
“What [CEO Christian von] Koenigsegg likes to say is it’s a have your cake and eat-it-too kind of car. There’s absolutely no compromises,” notes Sasha Selipanov, lead designer of the Gemera. “It’s pretty much the fastest thing you can possibly have, four two-meter-tall people fit inside, there’s four heated and cooled cupholders, Netflix. You name it man, every single thing you can imagine—that’s what makes it a Mega-GT.”
A meteoric star in automotive design, Selipanov first made a name in the field when his design was handpicked for the Bugatti Chiron from an open competition in the VW Group, and joined Koenigsegg last October to complete the entire exterior surfacing of the Gemera— a unicorn of a vehicle with no predecessor to emulate or even riff off of. What they achieved in a dizzying three months is nothing short of miraculous.
The Gemera does not appear like a fatherless bastard one-off, or an exquisite corpse of composite vehicles, but rather feels fully baked out of the oven. Elegant, minimalist and well balanced, the Gemera boasts exceptional proportions when its parameters should render it a monstrosity.
“The main contribution I hope I had in this project is making it fit into the lineage of Koenigsegg,” explains Selipanov. “Make it a beautiful car without any asterisk, where you have to say It’s beautiful for a four seater. No, it’s beautiful. Period.”