The Koenigsegg CC850, which made its debut during the 2022 edition of Monterey Car Week in August, is a re-imagining of the Swedish company’s first production car, and among its many standout features is a transmission that is unlike any other.
The Koenigsegg Jesko’s 9-speed Light Speed Transmission is used in the CC850; however, it has been upgraded with something called an Engage Shifter System (ESS) that allows the automatic transmission to be converted into a 6-speed manual transmission (it still maintains the full automatic mode with nine gears, though). The film, titled “Engineering Explained,” offers a comprehensive look into the revised manual for the Koenigsegg.
To begin, there are the observable mechanical variations. However, unlike traditional manual transmissions, the clutch pedal on an ESS gearbox is operated by wire, and the ESS gearbox contains seven clutches rather than just one. Because these clutches are in charge of gear selection, shifter forks and synchros are no longer necessary. Additionally, it does not have a flywheel, which means that the engine is connected straight to the transmission.
The clutches are dispersed throughout the two shafts of the machine. When the transmission is in automated mode, one clutch on each shaft is engaged, which allows all nine forward gears to be engaged without the requirement of what would otherwise be an extremely intricate shift mechanism. This allows the power to be transmitted to the back wheels. A by-wire mechanism operates the shifter, just as it does the clutch.
It is possible to manually shift the transmission in the CC850 by sliding a shift lever via gates, just like in traditional manual gearboxes. At the same time, tapping the clutch pedal will release all seven clutches. Even with this advancement, engagement still requires two clutches; however, in this configuration, the first clutch is controlled by a position sensor located on the shifter, and the second clutch is controlled by the pressure that is applied to the clutch pedal.
The ratio that is associated with each gear number can also shift depending on the mode in which the vehicle is being driven. For instance, when you select the track mode, the transmission will begin with the ratio of the second gear as first, but once you get moving, it will flip to the ratio of the third gear. This efficiently reduces the ratio spread, and it does so without requiring the physical switching of gears.
When it comes to reverse, the behavior of the vehicle differs depending on whether it is being driven in manual or automated mode. When shifting into manual mode, the driver depresses the clutch pedal; when shifting into automated mode, they do not. Because reverse is located right above drive in the sequence of gear selection, the transmission is able to determine when the vehicle is operating in the automatic mode.
Even though the clutch pedal is controlled electronically and does not have a direct mechanical link to any of the several real clutches, its design emulates the sensation of an analog left pedal as closely as possible. This sensation is reproduced by software, with the help of parameters taken from an old-fashioned manual. Even stalling out is possible, much like with a conventional manual transmission.
That means you get the ease of an automatic and the feel of a manual in one transmission, and according to Koenigsegg, this new transmission is also lighter than a traditional manual transmission. The reduction from nine available gears in automatic mode to six gears available in manual mode may result in significant gaps between ratios; however, this issue is mitigated by the more compact ratio set that is utilized in track mode. Customers don’t appear to be concerned about any possible drawbacks, and Koenigsegg has already declared that it will increase production of the CC850 in order to keep up with overwhelming demand.