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Koenigsegg issue statement after huge 4.4 mil supercar crash
By Matthew Hansen • 21/07/2016
Koenigsegg issue lengthy statement into Nürburgring crash
Following their surprise large crash at the Nürburgring Nordschleife earlier this week, Koenigsegg have issued a statement going into further detail into what took place in the moments prior to the inevitable crash bang wallop of car on armco. Blame has been appointed to an ABS wheel sensor signal issue.
“The vehicle has since returned to Ängelholm and upon examination of both the car and the on-board telemetry, we have been able to deduce the following; the One:1 experienced front axle brake lock-up at approximately 170 km/h on a section of the track known as Fuchsröhre before hitting the fence at Adenauer Forst at approximately 110 km/h. The impact with the fence launched the car into the air for an estimated 22 meters while it turned 180 degrees before it landed on its left rear wheel and pivoted to land parallel with the fence. The airbags, fuel shut-off and other safety systems all deployed as they were designed to do,” said Koenigsegg.
“There was a small fire in the rear section of the car due to contact between the carbonfibre rear panels and the exhaust upon landing. This fire was extinguished by the driver using a fire extinguisher that was located inside the car.
“The accident has been traced to a fault with the front left ABS wheel sensor signal.”
Firstly, two big sets of thumbs up to Koenigsegg — despite the firey clapped-out mess that's prompted all this talk. Thumb one for the fact that they're endeavouring to push the envelope to new levels in the first place, and thumb two for displaying so much transparency in the wake of a crash that many other manufacturers would insist on sweeping under the carpet faster than you can say “driver error.” Warning, things are about to get nerdy.
“Data analysis shows that the dashboard ABS warning light was triggered as soon as the ABS wheel sensor malfunction occurred,” add Koenigsegg.
“The small yellow ABS warning light is located centrally in the dashboard and difficult to see for the driver when he is wearing helmet and concentrating on high-speed driving around the circuit. The driver doesn’t necessarily notice any difference in the braking feel as long as he is not near the ABS braking zone, i.e. hard enough that it would have triggered the ABS system.
“Whilst the ABS warning was activated well in advance of lock-up, data analysis shows that the driver’s brake application at Fuchsröhre was the first brake application in the ABS zone. Our ABS system, like most, includes a back-up feature where the rear wheels are allowed to continue rotating in the event of an ABS fault that results in the front wheels locking up. Letting the rear wheels rotate instead of locking up together with the front wheels prevents the car from rotating. Instead, the car will continue in a straight line. The system worked to specification, as can be seen by the straight skid marks left by the front tires on the track prior to the car colliding with the fence.
“Our engineers spent several hours on Wednesday, July 20th, replicating the fault using a similar car at our factory test track. The left front wheel ABS sensor was disconnected and ABS-level braking force was applied. We found results that were entirely consistent with those experienced by the One:1 at the Nürburgring.
“While the One:1 sustained severe damage to its exterior panels and sub-frames, the carbon monocoque chassis and airbag restraint system performed according to design specifications and protected the driver well. Examination of the vehicle at our factory in Ängelholm shows that there were no fuel leaks, no oil leaks and no hydraulic fluid leaks whatsoever, which is positively reassuring, given the force of the impact.
“The carbon monocoque chassis has been examined at our factory in Ängelholm (photographed today, above). The monocoque is intact and will form the basis for the rebuild of the car in the near future, together with the engine, gearbox and many other systems. Both doors were fully operational, opening and closing in their original positions. The removable roof is fully intact and properly aligned. [...] The monocoque is intact and will form the basis for the rebuild of the car in the near future, together with the engine, gearbox and many other systems.”
So, in short, Koenigsegg have been over every element of the incident with the finest of tooth combs, and — coolest of all — they're going to come back to the Green Hell.
“This incident will not stop us from continuing our intensive testing at the Nürburgring, but it will halt it for some time as the team behind the effort will focus on rebuilding this car before going back again. Today it is a bit hard to say exactly how long that will take but we will do it as efficiently as possible. Will we be back this year? That is also hard to say at this point, but we won’t say a definite ‘no’.”