The 2020 Geneva Motor Show that wasn’t didn’t stop several major automakers from debuting key new products the week the consequential European auto show would have taken place. Koenigsegg may not qualify as a “major” car company, but it sure is fun to watch, and its first ever four-passenger car, the Gemera, certainly lifted our spirits during the canceled Geneva show. How could a supercar with a 592-hp twin-turbocharged three-cylinder engine assisted by three electric motors (for a total of 1,677 horsepower!) not bring a smile to your face?
In short, the Gemera is probably going to be insane, and after having had the chance to speak with the man behind its design, we now know how Koenigsegg arrived at the car’s surprisingly subdued appearance. Sasha Selipanov’s lengthy career has seen stints at Volkswagen, Bugatti, and most recently, at Koenigsegg. The Gemera is one of the first cars he worked on at his most recent gig, and given its fantastic mechanical specs, the styling is unconventional but hardly eyeball torching. That isn’t by accident, we learned.
“I tend to make aggressive looking cars. They have a ton of ‘I wanna burn your village’ in them,” Selipanov says in reference to the way he designs cars. But when it came to the Gemera, company founder Christian Von Koenigsegg asked him specifically not to burn down any villages (this time).
“There was a conscious effort, on my part, to not over-aggresify the face,” he said when talking about the Gemera. “Ultimately, it is an aquatic kind of being . . . Christian’s early cars were very much dolphins. I tried to not make this one into a shark, but I think some skarkiness ended up contaminating the dolphin DNA.”
Dolphins and sharks are pretty quick, and in that sleek grey paint we can see exactly what Selipanov talking about—especially in the Gemera’s profile view. He also mentioned that the Gemera looks like a true Koenigsegg with its swept back windshield, deep set a-pillars, and sloping roofline. For a company that’s never designed a car with more than two seats before, Koenigsegg and specifically Selipanov did a great job making the long-ish, four-seat Gemera fit into that lineage while conveying a certain whiff of a mature grand-tourer. So, now when somebody asks you why the Gemera’s styling isn’t as boundary pushing as its powertrain, you know.