On Assignment Photoessay: Koenigsegg, part II

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg

In the previous post I brought you the results of the aerial shoot for Koenigsegg; today’s long series of images is the second part covering the story of the making – behind the scenes at the factory. Almost everything is made in-house, and a tour of the compact but comprehensive facility will yield everything from CNC machines turning engine blocks, to people laying up complex carbon wheels, to a paint shop, alignment jigs, leather stitching and cutting, wiring and electronics and everything between. Even though the cars are astronomically expensive – EUR2m and up from what I understand – I actually wonder how Christian can still make money given the amount of specialised labor involved, and the length of time required to complete one car – they make fewer than 30 per year. The attention to detail is quite mind boggling – if you order a clear coated car, for instance, it’s not merely the epoxy matrix of the carbon that’s polished, but a dozen layers of clear lacquer applied by hand over the top, polished between each application, and each carbon panel’s seams must line up perfectly: and be symmetric on both sides of the car. Today is really a celebration of non plus ultra – both in the subject, and in using the H6D-100c to shoot it. Note: lighting looks natural, but is really a careful balance between ambient and a single Broncolor Siros 800L triggered wirelessly, and mounted on a voice activated light stand*. Enjoy! MT

*A tall assistant.

A big thank you to Koenigsegg for support and logistics. This series was shot with a Hasselblad H6D-100c, 50 and 100mm lenses, and a single Broncolor Siros 800L balanced against ambient. Postprocessing was completed using the Monochrome Masterclass Workflow.

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Christian von Koenigsegg, chief of quality control

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Complex rear subframe assembly

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Adding fluids

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Engines are also made in house

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Completed rear subframes awaiting mating

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Layup of a carbon wheel rim

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Checking the carbon

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Bagging carbon before cooking

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Flash trimming

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Paintwork

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Completed intake ducts awaiting installation

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Test fit

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Windscreen and gasket installation

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
That’s not dust on the upper panel – it’s a metallic finish in the clear coat…

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Rear clam adjustment

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Regera assembly

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Partially completed Regera rear

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg
Oh, the temptation…

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg

Behind the scenes at Koenigsegg

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Ultraprints from this series are available on request here

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More info on Hasselblad cameras and lenses can be found here.

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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved

Comments

  1. Really beautiful pictures, I love them!

  2. I like this set more than the last one. This one feels more personal and intimate, and the factory workers seem to care a lot about the craft that goes in to building these cars.

  3. Too bad it is the last hurrah for this type of car for the general public. These cars are only made for the 1% ers who either will put them away for a hopeful financial gain or drive them on club type closed tracks with $ 50,000 initiation fees. Owning an older Ferrari myself, I find that the roads in North East America do not allow me to drive this car as it should be driven. Add constant traffic and ever more sophisticated radars and cameras to the mix and I find myself admiring my car more as a fine art sculpture in my museum ( garage). Sadly, in a few years ( 20? ), we may not be able to drive on public roads because we will be considered reckless compared to self driving cars. As it stands, very few people can now drive a 5 speed. Just like my generation never mastered the “art” of double clutching. Progress yes but the fun factor is gone. Give me the early 1960s in France with no speed limits! Actually, my wife’s Porsche Boxster may be the best compromise of a fun sports car to drive!

    • Funny you should mention this. I’m looking for a fun manual myself that’s enjoyable to drive at normal speeds…and with what’s available in my country, coming up very very short. It certainly feels at times that three pedals is probably going the way of film…

      I’d say it’s more like the 0.01% who can own a Koenigsegg though – with prices starting in the millions…

    • Christian, luckily there’s someone here who bucks the trend – he sprints and hillclimbs a BAC Mono and Lamborghinis whilst flipping them for profit.

  4. Philip.O says:

    as usual, outstanding photographs!

  5. Loving the “no photography” sign in ‘Layup of a carbon wheel rim’. Enjoyed the whole series, but loving that!

  6. Junaid Rahim says:

    Dang those engine and assembly shots. I tend to concur that making money out of that venture must be tough – they do not have the scale that Ferrari have. Amazing engineering (and makes you appreciate the price….).

  7. Brett Patching says:

    This series is wonderful Ming. The clinical assembly environment, carbon shapes and component assemblies look so good in black and white.

  8. What a great collection of shots Ming. Excellent use of accent lighting. #17 is my personal favorite.

  9. very impressive compositions. I have would have thoughts that opportunities would be scarced in that type of environment, but you proved once more than creativity and discipline have no limits. Many thanks

  10. Brilliant! …but could you tidy up your name (top left) so that it’s in the black frame please? Sorry I’m severely OCD 😉

  11. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Torn in half – I can’t figure which craftsman to admire the most – the guy behind the camera or the guy behind the car !!!!! Great shots, and fascinating article – thanks for the posting, Ming !!

  12. Stephen says:

    Brilliant.Love your vision and especially your handling of black and white

  13. Terence says:

    Those carbon fibre, engine and curves are heavenly

  14. Such humanity in the world of work !
    Bravo !!!

  15. As always exceptional photographs and extremely sharp.

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