Inside Koenigsegg – the future of combustion

Koenigsegg Website

How does this sound?

30% more torque.
30% more power.
30% less fuel consumption.
50% less emissions.

Not bad, eh? That’s what Christian von Koenigsegg forecasts will be achievable when Cargine’s pneumatic valve technology finally takes off.

I won’t say any more for the moment. Just watch the video below. This is the 7th video of the Inside Koenigsegg Series and for the tech-heads, it’s quiet exciting.


Cargine was prominent back when Christian was leading a group trying to buy Saab Automobile in 2009. There was talk back then of the $600m EIB loan they were trying to secure being used in part to finance the further development of this system. It’s four years later and the system is still finishing development, so I’m guessing some of that EIB money would have been very welcome.

I visited Koenigsegg in 2010 and spent a wonderful day getting a look around their facility. Part of that tour included a drive in their Cargine 9-5.

Cargine Saab 9-5The picture to the right shows the top end of the engine in the car I drove. As you can tell, it’s very different from the one you just saw in the video. Basically, if the current generation of Cargine is Windows 7 or 8, the version I got to drive was Windows 3.1. Here’s what I said about it back then:

I drove the 9-5 they had on site, pictured above with an early incarnation of the system. It’s now moved ahead since that system was fitted. The car drove extremely well, with just a little jerkiness when you lifted the throttle. This jerkiness, however, was not related to the Cargine system itself, but to the ground-up engine software they wrote (in a hurry) so that they could run the car without cams.

Removing the camshaft from the mechanical equation means energy losses are reduced, resulting in more power making it through the combustion cycle unhindered. Normal driving was very smooth, with the car easily able to carry speed in high gears with very low revs.

It was an amazing feeling to drive the future.

Christian’s allegory of playing the piano is most fitting. Instead of hitting the keyboard with a broomstick (i.e. a camshaft), engineers using Cargine will finally be able to play the instrument with their fingers. The possibilities that opens up really are mind-boggling.


You can see Episode 1 of this series (Carbon Fibre) here.

You can see Episode 2 of this series (Triplex Suspension) here.

You can see Episode 3 of this series (Perfect Paint) here.

You can see Episode 4 of this series (Interior Surfacing) here.

You can see Episode 5 of this series (Test Drive) here.

You can see Episode 6 of this series (The Brain) here.

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  1. Watching this video I kept wondering: what if Koenigsegg had bought Saab? Would it have worked out? Would the ingenuity of Christian and his team be transfered to Saabs product? Would be very interesting to say te least. But for now this series of videos is one of the most exciting series lately about the car industry.

  2. This is, indeed, exciting to see. While many have visited the pneumatic valve system in the past, CVK’s iteration looks and feels most convincing in every aspect. What a great job to have – to want it, think it, make it, and see it come alive. Sublime.

  3. It is somewhat frustrating to see a system with such environmental impact (not to mention the fun impact) not end up in millions of engines, where it could really safe fuel in measurable amounts, but in a super sports car hardly anybody can afford. A bit like with cylindre shut-off which, after a short appearance in the S-class, iirc, is now apparently used in the Bentley V8 only.

    1. Christian has said in earlier videos that he expects that advances they are designing will eventually make their way back into the more normal automotive industry. I expect they plan to license some of their technology to others as another source of income for Koenigsegg. Hopefully this will happen sooner, not later, as I cannot afford an Agera R. 🙂

    2. Sorry I didn’t get around to replying earlier. Cargine isn’t just a Koenigsegg thing. Christian is on the board and Ksegg might have part ownership, too, but it’s a technology that they’ll be looking to sell to other OEM’s. The big problem is that it’s such a revolutionary development that it’ll take a little while (even after it’s fully production ready) for companies to adopt it. This system means someone’s going to have to develop a whole new engine from the ground up to incorporate it. It completely changes much of how the engine operates and therefore will require a whole new engine design for companies to make best use of it.

  4. 30% more torque.
    30% more power.
    30% less fuel consumption.
    50% less emissions.

    Yes, please! 🙂 Once again, completely amazing engineering and technology.

  5. Christian is so meticulous and yet he make it the engineering seam so effortless. I love this whole series as this is without a doubt my favorite hypercar.