Each year the Salon Privé week brings together a selection of the world's finest and most desirable cars, neatly displayed on the lawns of Blenheim Palace. Classic cars worth more than the average four-bed detached house sit alongside band new hypercars from the likes of Bugatti, Lamborghini and McLaren, which incidentally are also worth more than most people's mortgage.
Whilst EVs and 'green' cars haven't traditionally taken up much space on the finely manicured Oxfordshire grass, as with most motor shows they're gaining with every passing year. At this year's event, one of the main attractions will be the chance to see the Koenigsegg Gemera in the flesh for the first time.
The Gemera is being touted as the world's first 'mega GT'. Think of it as having all the power and performance of one of the new generation of hypercars, but with four seats and ISOFIX anchorage points so you can scare infants.
And scare them you will, as thanks to an innovative (or 'non-traditional’ according to Koenigsegg) PHEV powertrain, the Gemera has 1700bhp and 2581lb-ft of encouragement. It can also travel for up to 30 miles without producing any tailpipe emissions thanks to a 16.6kWh battery, and when the internal combustion engine does kick in, it can run on carbon neutral E95 ethanol.
The Gemera's engine (which Koenigsegg calls the Tiny Friendly Giant – TFG) is a 2.0-litre, 3.0-cylinder twin-turbo unit which is good for 600bhp and 443lb-ft of torque. And no, we didn't get that wrong; it has the most powerful engine of its type ever put into a production car. It does this thanks to a mixture of a large cylinder bore and long piston stroke, significant boost pressure of 28psi, and the ability to hang onto revs, hitting the limiter at 8500rpm.
An added benefit of this engine is that its diminutive size keeps the weight down to just 70kg – which is lightweight whichever way you cut it.
On the rear axle, alongside the TFG, are two 500bhp electric motors which deal with one wheel each via a single-speed direct drive transmission, allowing for instantaneous torque vectoring. The TFG itself has an electric motor-come-generator bolted directly to it, which is good for another 400bhp, and combined, they send their power to the front wheels.
Whilst this all adds up to 2000bhp, as with many hybrid powertrains the total maximum power is slightly lower – at 1700bhp in this case – due to the limitations of the electronics and the point at which each drive unit hits its sweet spot. The Gemera can run exclusively as front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or any variation thereof, depending on the demands placed upon the drivetrain.
Like other electric hypercars the Gemera's 16.6kWh battery and associated electronics run at 800 volts.
In a word, startling. Despite its ability to carry four adults and luggage, or the aforementioned infants, the Koenigsegg Gemera follows in the Swedish brand's tradition of going very, very fast. It'll crack 62mph in 1.9 seconds and continue on to a top speed of 249mph. Koenigsegg says that the Gemera will reach 248mph in “record-matching pace”, but doesn't actually clarify which record(s) it's talking about (we’re thinking it’s the Bugatti Chiron). It'll hit 186mph on electric power alone, in case you're wondering...
Either way, it'll be brisk.
The 15th edition of the show runs from 22-26 September, though the first day is a closed media and VIP affair. Each day has a particular element to it, so the 23rd is the Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance, 24th the Salon Privé Ladies’ Day, 25th the Salon Privé Masters and on the final day, Salon Privé Classic & Supercar featuring The Salon Privé Club Trophy. For tickets head on over to their website.