The Koenigsegg Jesko looks eye-meltingly epic

Koenigsegg and outlandish design typically come together, but even that didn't quite prepare us for sort of whiplash generated by the head-turning Jesko. The Swedish automaker's latest hypercar, the Jesko promises to be its most extreme to-date but also, unexpectedly, could be its most straightforward to drive.

Right now there's just this one pre-series production version, with Koenigsegg finishing the car in Tang Orange Pearl with silver and carbon-fiber accents. It's "a visual homage" to the automaker's original CCR color palette, Koenigsegg says, and a mighty striking one too.

Of course, you need more than eye-searing paint to be considered a hypercar, and sure enough the Jesko should satisfy there, too. Billed as the fastest Koenigsegg ever when it broke cover in early 2020, it'll have a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 capable of a whopping 1,600 horsepower and 1,106 lb-ft of torque. There'll be two different versions of the car, depending on your priorities.

The "regular" Koenigsegg Jesko, as this orange model is an example of, will be oriented to track use. It has a huge double-profile boomerang-shaped rear wing for downforce, along with the automaker's deepest and longest front splitter so far.

The Jesko Absolut, meanwhile, will be focused on speed. It'll smooth out the bodywork, including deleting the rear wing, in the name of aerodynamic slipperiness, cutting downforce and drag considerably. Two rear hood fins will ensure high-speed stability, Koenigsegg promises, and the Absolut will be both longer and have different wheels to its track sibling.

"We are very excited to showcase this pre-series Jesko in conjunction with the start of production of the 125 Jesko and Jesko Absolut customer cars," Christian von Koenigsegg, CEO and founder of the company, said today. "As part of our gradual expansion, the Jesko's pre-assembly begins at an extended 10,000 square meter facility."

One key element is the new Koenigsegg Light Speed Transmission, a patented update to the automaker's gearbox. It promises to be the world's fastest shifting transmission, Koenigsegg says, combining nine forward gears and seven wet, multidisc clutches. By simultaneously opening and closing those clutches, the Jesko can upshift or downshift without interrupting power.

Along with the V8 engine and the 9-speed transmission it's paired with, Koenigsegg has also focused on how to make the Jesko feel as responsive as possible. That means an active triplex damper system on the front suspension, active aerodynamics, and a custom electronic stability system.

"The Jesko feels very natural to drive," Markus Lundh, prototype driver, says of the car. "Because of its seamless shifting, whether up or down, everything just happens much faster. There are no delays, it is very responsive and behaves exactly the way you want it to. For a car of its size and power, it is very agile in the way it reacts to steering and does not spin out even with sudden movements at full throttle."

Koenigsegg being Koenigsegg, there are some unusual details. Most obvious of those is the SmartCluster instrumentation, a digital panel behind the carbon-fiber steering wheel, which rotates the graphics as you steer.

The first Jesko customer cars are expected to be delivered in spring 2022, Koenigsegg says. Sadly, if you were hoping to add one to your driveway, there's bad news: all 125 Jesko and Jesko Absolut cars have been sold already, reportedly at $3m apiece.