Zeekr to challenge hypercar-elite with $140.000 sports variant of 001

Christian Koenigsegg, the founder, and CEO of the Swedish hypercar manufacturer bearing his name, producing some of the world’s most expensive sportscars, recently admitted he’s constantly looking for “a reason for electric hypercars to exist” as EVs are closing in on performances. And now Zeekr gives him and the whole hypercar-elite another reason to worry.

On Thursday, the Swedish-Chinese sister brand of Volvo and Lynk & Co announced that it would launch a hypercar version of its Zeekr 001 shooting brake at around one million Chinese yuan or 140.000 dollars. That’s three times more than the 001 base RWD model offered today but more than 12 times less than the four-seater hybrid Koenigsegg Gemera, at $1,7 million.

Ultimate driving experience

The Zeekr 001 FR, as it is called, is to break the monopoly of traditional luxury supercar manufacturers depending on price levels ten times higher. It is to give consumers the ultimate driving experience in the pure electric, smart era, Zeekr said.

The 001 FR will be unveiled at the Zeekr tech days within a few weeks, but no further details were given. According to the Reuters press agency, ‘a person with direct knowledge of the matter’ said Zeekr aims to deliver the first batch of cars already this year.

Tesla S Plaid

When Christian Koenigsegg presented his concerns about how to differentiate hypercars from other sports cars to Top Gear Magazine last year, he was referring to the Tesla S Plaid in particular.

“It’s a challenge for all extreme car brands. There are ways. I don’t think anyone has yet nailed the huge differentiation between a Tesla Model S Plaid or Porsche Taycan Turbo. I think they are so close in performance and range to a hyper EV that it’s a bit discomforting.”

The Tesla Model S and X Plaid use the most potent driveline from Tesla, with a tri-motor assembly developing 1 020 hp and allowing the Model S to accelerate to 100 km/hour in 2,1 seconds. The heavier Model X needs 2,6 seconds. They are the quickest-accelerating passenger cars to date.

Track Package

The Model S Plaid hits a top speed of 322 km/hour (200 mph) and has a WLTP range of 600 km. Model X hits 262 km/hour and reaches 543 km on a single charge. Tesla offers a specific Track Package for the Plaid, at 15 to 20 000 dollars on top of the car’s purchase price of $116 000.

With that package come goodies such as improved brakes, new 21-inch wheels, track-ready tires, and a modified firmware that unlocks the car’s 200-mile-per-hour top speed. Tesla talks about aluminum forged wheels, track-ready tires and brake fluid, new carbon-silicon carbide rotors, and one-piece forged calipers with a high-performance pace, among others.

No specific details yet

Zeek will likely do similar things with carbon fiber used for the car’s body structure and lightweight high-performance forged wheels and carbon-ceramic premium brake discs. What kind of power output Zeekr envisions is not unveiled yet.

Today’s Zeekr 001 – as we could experience test-driving it on Swedish roads – has already quite impressive credentials comparable with top-German premium brands. The Zeekr 001 Privilege, the top model,  combines active air suspension and electronically controlled dampers to deliver a cushion-soft comfort drive upon the sporty agility you might expect on a racing track.

It has two electric motors generating 200 kW (272 hp) and 343 Nm of instant torque each. Rocket-fast acceleration from 0 to 100 km in merely 3,8 seconds without the need for launch control. But not as fast as the Tesla Plaid yet. Wait and see what Zeekr will toss off for its FR hypercar.



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