Modern Koenigseggs feature V8 engines built in-house by the Swedish car manufacturer but in the company’s early days, it used modified Ford Modular V8s. That wasn’t always going to be the case.
In a video published by Drivetribe, it is revealed that Koenigsegg almost used a Subaru flat-six Formula 1 engine in its production vehicles.
Word that Subaru actually designed and built a Formula 1 engine may be news to some people but it’s true. Between 1989 and 1990, the Japanese car manufacturer built a 3.5-liter boxer-12 engine dubbed the 1235 for the Coloni team in F1. The engine was extremely unreliable and not fit for use in an F1 car as it was so wide that it got in the way of the venturi tunnels used by the cars to produce downforce. After a brief stint in the World Sportscar Championship (also unsuccessful), the engine was killed off.
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At roughly the same time, Koenigsegg was developing its first prototype and Christian von Koenigsegg actually purchased the rights to the Subaru engine. It pumped out approximately 580 hp thanks to an enlargement to 3.8-liters and was fitted into the carmaker’s original CC prototype.
“The whole engine block was under the center of the rear axle, which gave us a super-low center of gravity,” von Koenigsegg said of the setup.
However, there were limitations to the Subaru engine and it could only support about 750 hp. The decision was made not to pursue bringing it into production and with the company’s current twin-turbo V8 producing upwards of 1600 hp, we think that was probably a wise decision.