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Old 02-15-2019, 07:24 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Default How Koenigsegg Made a Better Ford V-8

The Swedish company's naturally aspirated V-8 has humble beginnings, but has become something extraordinary.

Link for photos( eye candy)

How Koenigsegg Made a Better Ford V-8
The Swedish company's naturally aspirated V-8 has humble beginnings, but has become something extraordinary.


Koenigsegg revealed a 600 horsepower naturally aspirated engine at the Geneva Motor Show last year, but something about it looked very familiar. It is well known that Koenigsegg used the Ford Modular motor in their early years, so it wasn't surprising to find that portions of the new engine resemble modern Ford V-8s.

The surprise came after digging into the engine and talking with Koenigsegg to see just how much development they had done and how little it resembles the Ford engine the company started with. Their first application of the Ford engine was in 2002 in the CC8S, where it was 4.7 liters and supercharged. At the time, it made sense to use an existing engine, but Christian von Koenigsegg wasn’t satisfied. He decided to pursue some changes and upgrades.

Improving the performance of the Modular motor proved to be tricky. Tuning it for high power turned it into an unreliable and dirty engine that had to run on race gas, so they went back to the drawing board. The first redesign resulted in something that was almost entirely new. Koenigsegg started by reinforcing the block and implementing a new crankcase gas recirculation system, followed by all new pistons, connecting rods and camshafts. The lubrication system was converted to dry sump and the pistons got a new oil cooling system. The main features that remained from the Ford engine were the 90-degree angle and the bore spacing.

Koenigsegg ended up making so many changes to the block over time that they had to abandon Ford's and start casting their own. They added things like stiffening ribs and chose Grainer & Worrall in the United Kingdom to make the new block out of aluminum. The engineering firm has extensive experience in everything from F1 engine castings to CGI blocks like Ford's EcoBoost V-6.

Koenigsegg takes the raw castings from Grainer & Worrall and bores them, installs cylinder liners, and hones them in house. This process is similar to what some race teams do when using OEM engines. For example, when NASCAR teams receive raw casting from their respective OEMs, they then machine and modify them to meet their performance goals.

If you examine the Koenigsegg block, it's apparent that bore spacing and head bolt location are still shared with the Ford. That means a Ford cylinder head could technically still be mounted. However, it likely wouldn’t work out of the box without modifications to the valvetrain, since Koenigsegg's bottom end is built to rev higher than most of the Ford Modular engines.

Can see the seal here

I asked Koenigsegg about the rear main seal cover which originally brought my attention to the similarities that still remain. According to Christian von Koenigsegg himself, the cover is similar but they’ve made modifications, like modifying the seal area, to suit the needs of their upgraded engine. There are a few other items which are noticeably Ford-like on the engine, such as the camshaft position sensor. However, even those sensors only share the mounting style. They have been replaced by units that operate in a different range in order to match the higher RPM of the new engine.

All of these changes have resulted in an engine that is heavily evolved from the original Ford block. The upgrades have been so drastic that they were able to achieve a novel combustion chamber design that provides for a 35 Bar Brake Mean Effective Pressure (BMEP) in certain variants of the engine without having to use race fuel. If you're not familiar, BMEP is a tool that is used to measure how efficient an engine is at making torque at a certain displacement. It's calculated by multiplying torque with a calculation factor and dividing by the displacement. For perspective, a modern turbocharged engine like you might find in a Jetta will have a BMEP value in the 16 to 23 Bar range, something like a McLaren P1 is at 24 Bar, and an F1 engine might be at 70 Bar.

For our McLaren P1 example, we would calculate BMEP by multiplying its 531 lb-ft of torque by the 150.8 calculation factor and dividing by its 232 cubic inch displacement to give us a figure of 345 psi. If we divide that by 14.5 we get a final result of 23.8 Bar for the BMEP. In comparison, the Koenigsegg One:1 produces 1011 lb-ft from its 5.0L twin-turbo engine. Multiplying that by the 150.8 calculation factor and dividing it by its 305 cubic inches of displacement gives us a figure of 500 psi. If we divide by 14.5 we get a final BMEP result of 34.5.

These figures are impressive not only because they exceed other road car engines by so much, but because they can do it without race gas and can pass emissions. Part of the reason that they were able to make all their engine design choices work is because they designed their own engine computer and have made choices for more granular fuel control, like running two fuel injectors per cylinder.

An interesting side point is that even though they made all these exotic changes to build their engines, the naturally aspirated versions of their motors actually use a very common ignition coil from NGK, the same one found in the Lexus RC F. Even though they are spending an immense amount of engineering effort on these engines, they know when to choose a commodity product that allows them to focus on the important parts


The amount of shared parts between the Ford Modular engine and the most recent Koenigsegg engines is minimal. The first iteration of the Koenigsegg engine, as seen on the CCX, shared about 20 to 25 percent of its parts with the Ford engines, but the most recent variants have been upgraded so much that they only share about five percent. Examining the parts shows that just about every component is unique. Although there are similar engines in the Ford performance catalog, there is no way to replicate something even close to the Koenigsegg engine with off-the-shelf parts.

They been able to offer multiple variants of their engine including naturally aspirated versions that are a little less complex then their twin-turbocharged counterparts. The Koenigsegg 5.0L naturally aspirated engine shows just how far they’ve come in development. They are now able to build an engine that produces 600 horsepower at 8000 RPM. That figure is 50 more than the supercharged 5.4L that Ford used in the 2004-2006 GT. Ford’s own iteration of that V-8 that also displaces five liters only makes a maximum of 480 horsepower. The exotic flat plane crank 5.2 liter Voodoo engine in the GT350 and GT350R also falls short, even though it makes a healthy 526 horsepower.

One thing that appears to have stayed the same through the years is the bellhousing bolt pattern. If someone were able to get their hands on any of these Koenigsegg engines and controllers they could theoretically swap them into something like a 2004-2006 Ford GT.

Imagine how that engine would feel connected to a manual gearbox in that supercar? It'd be magic.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:44 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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You gotta keep in mind a few things here.

Koenigsegg is a small company with no volume and no money compared to say Bugatti/VW. Even the big boys don't get many resources for small volume products like this. Most suppliers won't bother talking to you if you doing BMW M level volumes, much less these kinds of nearly one off projects.

The other thing is, all the highlighting about it passing emissions... I mean yeah it's better than your neighbor's catless STi. And there's something to be said for an 1100hp car that gets 13mpg on the EPA city cycle to pass everything else. It looks like they bypass exhaust flow to the turbos during cold start (similar to electric wastegate but maybe more involved).

Make no mistake about it though, they take advantages of small manufacturer loopholes. So for example, read the certification document on EPA's website and you will see on page 10, section 5.3 , that it doesn't meet cold start hydocarbon emissions, but they purchase credits. The fleet average has to be 0.3 grams, but they are at 0.5 grams to an individual vehicle standard of 0.6 . So the vehicle passes, but they as an OEM fail. There's nothing really "wrong" with that, I just get annoyed by greenwashing hype.

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