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The most horses in one litre – which car has the best hp/l ratio?

Posted October 29, 2019

Making an extremely powerful engine is a rather complicated task. You could make a huge engine with massive displacement numbers, but that kind of unit would simply be impractical – you couldn’t even fit it into a car. That is why it is horsepower per litre that is the most important measurement of power.

Do you know which engine of currently manufactured car has the best hp/l ratio?

Koenigsegg Jesko’s 5 litre V8 produces the most horsepower per litre. Image credit: Matti Blume via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

It is the 5 litre V8 in Koenigsegg Jesko. This absolutely amazing hypercar made its debut  at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. In the long history of the Swedish automotive manufacturer Koenigsegg it is replacing Agera. Jesko will be produced in limited number – only 125 will be made and all of them have been sold already. Koenigsegg will start making Jesko next year and will make 40-50 cars per year. Then, hopefully, we should see an RS version, but even before than, Jesko has the most power-efficient engine in the world.

That 5 litre V8, which is basically upgraded unit from the Agera range, produces 1,280 hp (955 kW) when running on petrol or 1,600 hp (1,193 kW) when drinking E85. This means that it is pushing 320 hp per litre. Can you imagine that? Think of Volkswagen Up! or Ford Fiesta with 1 litre engines and imagine them having 320 horses.

Koenigsegg Jesko was introduced at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Image credit: Matti Blume via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

This incredible number has been achieved with a help of a new 180-degree flat-plane crankshaft that saves 5 kg and pushes the redline back from 8,250 rpm to 8,500 rpm. Koenigsegg also improved the arrangement of turbos.

The two turbochargers of the Jesko engine are fed from a 20 litre carbon fibre air tank, which pushes 20 bar of pressure. This eliminates the turbolag and, of course, makes power delivery more linear. At the same time, turbos can be bigger and the engine can produce more power. The multipoint fuel injection system with pressure sensors for each cylinder help as well.

Koenigsegg Jesko might be the fastest car in the world, but we may never know that. Image credit: Alexander Migl via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

That 5 litre V8 in Koenigsegg Jesko is mated to an an in-house developed 9-speed multi-clutch transmission called the “Light Speed Transmission”. As cheesy as that sounds, it has seven clutches allowing the driver to jump to any gear without disturbing the ratio. This should make for instantaneous gear changes, making Jesko unbelievably quick.

Koenigsegg claims that Jesko could do more than 483 km/h in low-drag configuration. Checking this claim might be impossible, as the best place to test the top speed of that caliber is Testgelände Ehra-Lessien, which belongs to Volkswagen.

Koenigsegg Jesko has a simply unbelievable engine. 320 hp per litre is a remarkable achievement. Bugatti Chiron has an 8 litre W16 engine, producing 1,479 hp (185 hp/l). But we will have to wait and see which car will come on top in comparative tests.

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