Last year the Koenigsegg CCX tried to kill the Stig, so this year when Top Gear was testing the biofuel Koenigsegg CCXR, they decided to let the Koenigsegg engineers do the driving while they took pictures for the magazine. Because they’d all be safer that way right?
Well, not exactly. Top Gear ended up in the passenger seat of what happend to be one of the many crashes in Top Gear history.
As Peter Grunert recalls…
1. We were travelling faster than I was comfortable with at that moment, on that road. 120mph is a conservative estimate of our speed at the point of first impact.
2. The engineer who was driving may well have forgotten that he had unbolted the rear venturi only moments before, to assist with the process of fitting camera equipment to the underside of the car at a location we were expecting to arrive at only a little further up the road. I really can’t say. What I can say is that the venturi would have been good for 100kg of rear downforce at the speed we were travelling at.
3. After accelerating hard up a long straight, the driver turned into a potentially open but partially blind right hander.
4. The largest traffic cone known to man had been left on the inside of the corner; a six-foot high lump of orange plastic with a solid, square-edged, extremely heavy base. We hit it.
5. There was a loud crunch from beneath the right-hand front corner of the car. One of the exotic, lightweight wheels with magnesium spokes bolted to a carbon-fibre rim had completely shattered, almost certainly at this point.
6. The car span once, and suddenly. I still had time to ponder.
7. Our trajectory took us towards a ditch. I imagined my face being ripped right off if the front of the car dug in and we flipped over. This was the worst of several bad moments. Like the venturi, the roof had been removed earlier.
8. The car bounced against the edge of the ditch and back out into the middle of the road, spinning violently four times again before heading back for the same ditch only further up the road. It skidded along on its flat underbelly like a plastic sledge before coming to a stop with the wheels straddling the ditch, facing the right way, not having hit an oncoming car, not having turned over. The structure of its carbon-fibre chassis tub remained perfectly intact. Behind us were the longest tyre marks I have ever seen: 265 metres of pirouetting rubber.
9. The underside was a mess, all four corners were shattered and the wheel had long since fallen apart but really, the state of the car belied just what carnage could have resulted.
10. A muck-spreader had just passed through the field we landed in. As a result, and only because of this, we now smelled of shit.
The sad part is the car was worth to be more than the £606,000 price tag suggested.