Data could also be made to be damaged, however the legal guidelines of physics aren’t even speculated to bend. Which makes it all of the weirder that the Koenigsegg Agera RS simply set a brand new manufacturing automotive pace report, hitting 277.9 mph. That’s, to make use of the engineering time period, insane. It pushes the bounds of aerodynamics, suspension, engine energy, and tire rubber. It appears inconceivable.
Koenigsegg, a tiny Swedish supercar outfit, set the brand new mark this weekend on a closed part of public street in Nevada. In two runs (in reverse instructions, to issue out issues like wind), it averaged a prime pace that handily beats the earlier report held by the Bugatti Veyron Tremendous Sport, at 267.81 mph. (Additionally vying for the report is the Hennessey Venom GT that hit 270.49 mph in 2014, however solely in a single path, and sparked questions on what number of automobiles you need to construct to qualify as a manufacturing automotive.)
Guinness World Data hasn’t formally sanctioned the run simply but, however Koenigsegg has declared victory:
Certain, different “automobiles” go quicker, just like the Bloodhound SSC aiming for four-digit speeds. However that factor is powered by a fighter jet engine—and finally a rocket. The Agera RS is uncommon and costly, however it’s the type of automobile (some) individuals should buy, and drive on public roads. You would take it to the grocery store, in case your butler acquired sick or one thing. And it drives so quick, the white dashed traces within the middle of the street blur right into a stable line. You may prime 200 mph earlier than shifting into seventh gear.
The query, then, is how that is doable. Koenigsegg hasn’t revealed a lot in the way in which of particulars, however for any excessive pace run, it could have adopted a typical recipe. The first step: add energy. Air resistance goes up by the sq. of pace, and the oomph you have to overcome it will increase with the dice of pace. These exponential will increase imply you want a ridiculous quantity of energy simply to maintain transferring forwards, not to mention speed up. Koenigsegg’s reply: a 5-liter V8 engine good for greater than 1,300 horsepower.
Translating that energy into ahead movement requires tires to push towards the bottom. However at excessive speeds (like these approaching 300 mph) tires don’t at all times grip. They scrabble and slip, rotating about 5 % greater than they should. That not solely means some energy goes to waste, however the tires get floor down spinning towards the asphalt. “You simply eat up the rubber,” says Joe Katz, a professor of aerospace at San Diego State College, who has labored for Indycar and Method 1 groups. Michelin engineers reportedly watched the information fastidiously to verify their rubber was as much as the job.
When you stand up to hurry, dealing with turns into an issue. The automotive’s middle of gravity can change because it gulps down the heavy liquid gas from the fuel tank. The Nevada street Koenigsegg used appears to be like clean sufficient, however even a small bump might be sufficient to flip the automotive at over 200 mph. “In case you hit one thing, and raise the entrance, you may get airborne nearly immediately,” says Katz. The reply is downforce, manipulating the air to push all 4 tires into the bottom. However even hypercars demand moderation: Design for an excessive amount of downforce, and at these gnarly speeds, the air can push the automotive decrease and decrease, maybe to the bounds of its suspension. That makes the trip tremendous arduous and bumpy. “I presume these guys tailor-made the bottom power accordingly,” says Katz. Race automotive engineers do the identical, however they must compromise. They need plenty of downforce for corners, however not an excessive amount of for the straights. By utilizing a street with no bends and going for full-on pace, Koenigsegg’s engineers had a neater time.
The simplest a part of the Agera RS’s pace run? Braking. At over 200 mph, even excessive efficiency brakes are close to ineffective. However that is when air resistance goes from enemy to ally: Simply come off the fuel, and let the environment convey down the pace.
OK, so the Swedes did not break, and even bend, the legal guidelines of physics. And meaning it is only a matter of time earlier than the intelligent engineers at locations like Bugatti and Hennessey discover a solution to prime 277.9 mph. The Koenigsegg workforce is aware of this. Sometime, perhaps quickly, they will lose their pace crown—and must combat for it again. However proper now, they’re having fun with their second, and celebrating.