By on March 24, 2016

Koenigsegg One:1

I tend live my life by a rather loose set of rules and codes, but there are a few maxims to which I always adhere. The first and foremost of them? When Alex Roy invites you to something, you go. No questions asked. Put on your best scarf and show up. Something interesting is bound to happen.

Therefore, when I received an invitation from Alex to attend the New York Premiere of APEX: The Story of the Hypercar, I made sure to be in attendance.

APEX has been a passion project for J.F. Musial and his company, TangentVector, for several years. The title is self-explanatory—Musial and team, including Christian Schnedler, Tom Morningstar, Josh Vietze, and Will Barber, set out to tell the tale of five “hypercars”: the Pagani Huayra, Porsche 918 Spyder, Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and the Koenigsegg One:1, so named because of its ridiculous 1:1 horsepower-to-kilogram ratio.

But while passing mention is given to the others, the film is truly the story of Christian Von Koenigsegg and his mission to build the fastest street-legal car in the world. To be given this pass into the world of the brilliant, obsessive mind of Von Koenigsegg is a rare luxury, and it’s one that Musial took quite seriously. It would be easy to turn such a film into an advertorial for the small automaker, but there is objectivity and honesty throughout the film.

Musial is aided in his storytelling by the brilliant cinematography of Morningstar, who paints a visual picture unlike anything we’ve ever seen outside of Top Gear, and I suspect that he did it with significantly less budget. To see APEX is to be placed in the driver’s seat of these unattainable cars on some of the world’s most legendary circuits, including Spa, Yas Marina, and, yes, the Nordschleife. One gets a sense of not only the beauty, but also the raw power and the danger of these mythical beasts.

Equally important to the pretty pictures are the words spoken by the hosts of the show, including Mike Spinell, Travis Okulski, Chris Harris, Dan Neil, and Roy, himself. Harris is particularly comfortable in front of the camera, and he makes much of the technical jargon seem accessible to the common man when he discusses it in his delightful English lilt. While Spinelli is given writing credits on the film, it’s clear that each host is speaking directly to the audience in his preferred style, with Roy saving one of his bon mots to close out the story. Narration is splendidly done by Zachary Levi, which made this father-of-two feel as though I were listening to Flynn Rider tell me about stratospherically-priced automobiles.

That’s not to say the film is without its flaws. Musial was obviously limited in his access by some of the automakers, most notably at Ferrari. One grows tired of Harris’ turning every corner on the track into a Formula D event. We get it, dude. Dan Neil, who appears to have done most of his filming at the Catalina Wine Mixer, is his typical “Hooray For Everything!” self.

But these are minor, insignificant annoyances in comparison to the sheer fascination that is induced by the rest of the movie. To see the dichotomy of Von Koenigsegg and Pagani on screen is particularly compelling — Christian, the technician, versus Horacio, the artisan. The diverse paths at which each of these companies arrive at the zenith of speed are captivating, and Musial and team do a wonderful job illustrating them.

As nearly the entire audience celebrated the accomplishment of the film along with the stars at Pravda, a subterranean Russian-themed bar in which Mr. Roy has a small ownership stake, it was obvious that this film was not created to be a moneymaker. It was created by a group of men who share a passion for the automobile, and after you watch the film, you’ll share in that passion.

Bark’s film rating is 4 out of 5 bones, and I recommend that you take the opportunity to see the film when it is released on iTunes on March 29th. If you can invite Mr. Roy to your house to watch it with you, that’s even better. Just turn up the volume and the resolution and prepare to be immersed in a lifestyle and technical marvel that is the stuff of dreams.

(Photo credit: Bark M./The Truth About Cars)

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19 Comments on “TTAC Goes To The Movies: APEX: The Story Of The Hypercar...”


  • avatar

    The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport exceeds 300 MPH.

    Not interested in the Koenignngignenegesegsssnigseg

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Why choose? You need both, and a Pagani to match your Italian loafers.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Hypercars are sooo 2000 and late.

      I’m being serious here. Top Gear UK is largely responsible for making hypercars & supercars passe & borderline-to-full-blown douchism.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree with you – but it’s necessary for sales volume.

        Build a car with AWD, automatic trasmission, computer torque vectoring and plenty of safety features that allow any rich douche and their momma to drive it – including loud, foul mouthed attentionwh0res – and then sell just enough to stay in business while making a profit.

        Oprah, Nikki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Ronda Rousey…

        Anyone with a few million can get one – in BRIGHT PINK with GOLD RIMS.

        Nevermind it’s top speed, handling or anything else they bother to advertise.

        Never mind it’s nurburgring time trials.

        It’s got gold rims and eyelashes over the headlights!

        The 302 MPH top speed on my gold chromed Chiron Super Sport is just a bonus.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      The Chiron does not exceed 261 (VW engineers claim it has enough engine to go faster though, 4 chopped up Golf Turbo engines has to be good for something), but neither does the Koenigsegg, because they can’t find good enough tires…
      If you want to go 300 you need some decent American hilbilly stuff, with an aluminum Hemi derivative.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Glad somebody else noticed CH’s drift abuse. The value of his reviews is in the insights he provides on the cars themselves… which is not at all enhanced by lurid drifts. He and Ken Block have pretty much killed drifting for me.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      The difference is, when watching a review of a car you would like to see how well it handles and drifting doesn’t show you anything but the fact you can get the tail out. Ken Block does the videos for entertainment value. No one cares if his car could take a corner in the proper go fast attitude.

      Top Gear is guilty of the “Oh look, I can power slide” but at least they give it to a proper driver to get a relative idea how they handle.

      I am sure Bark’s older brother can drift just fine, but in a review I would rather see him drive it in proper anger.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    There’s a Koenigsegg dealership in my area, in Walnut Creek, CA. I’ll have to swing by for a test drive one of these days.

    Do they do trade-ins?

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I’ll have to check this out.

    do they get into who designs their engines now? I recall they got their start with Ford Modular V8s boosted to insane levels.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      They design their own engine now, and have it cast by an F1 supplier. They used Ford racing blocks 10 years ago:

      http://koenigsegg.com/ama1-with-cvk-part-3-racing-and-technology/

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Bark, you come off a little 29yr old Nick Carraway bright eyed optimist at Nero’s orgy here. Tallest skyscraper ever, fastest car ever… anyone else hear that “balloon about to pop’ squeaking noise?

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    When Alex Roy does anything, you give him the finger, because he’s a reckless, self-aggrandizing idiot.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    I think I’m going to take this opportunity to go a bit “Jack Baruth” on you.

    I realise that USD $1 million hypercars are nothing special now.

    I would like to perhaps compare to how it was 20-25yrs ago. And I think its something that this film should compare, yet I dont think it does. And its an allegory about wealth inequality.

    The McLaren F1 is perhaps the greatest of that kind, ever. At the time it was just under a million dollars and they only managed to sell 100 of them… and only 2/3rds were true road cars. The market just didnt feel for a million dollar car, I suppose there was a recession at the time too?

    Now companies selling 400 of the million dollar cars and they could sell more if there didnt have an artifical “limited edition” run.

    I suppose Top Gear has sort of killed the spark about these. I mean watching fat old conservative British guy wax lyrical about a car only his type can afford has its limits I guess. Plus the internet is awash with more detail than anyone would ever care about.

    I’ve actually gone the other way. I find cars from India and China fascinating. What do we do when someone tries to make a car for $7,000 us and still call it a car and not an Elio.


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