I’ve never been a huge fan of Pagani. It’s not that their cars are bad, or un-exciting. Sometimes an automotive brand just doesn’t resonate with everyone, and for me, Pagani has always fallen into that category. Sure, I’d love to drive one, but there’s an absence of Pagani posters from the walls in my life.
However, I’ve recently given more thought to the Pagani brand. After an episode of the legendary TopGear series where Richard Hammond test drives the Huayra, I started to wonder if I had been somehow duped by mainstream car culture. Had I been subtley been persuaded to think, ‘Pagani just seems odd, and off-kilter compared to the big brands’? After much soul searching, the answer I arrived at, was an emphatic ‘YES!’
Pronounced ‘Hu-why-rah’, the car was named after the after an ancient god of wind, who commanded breezes, winds, and blizzards as his invasion forces. With such a legendary name, Pagani obviously knew that it would be a challenge to design a worthy successor to the Zonda.
The Pagani Huayra was purpose built for speed and excellence. With a Mercedes-AMG M158 V12 Twin-Turbo engine making a whopping 730hp, there’s an amazing amount of power available through the 7-speed sequential gearbox. And, there’s two different ways to shift: paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel, and a standard feeling gear lever mounted between the driver and passenger seat, where a stick-shift typically is placed. If you choose the more traditional gear lever, you’ll enjoy a satisfying click with each gear change.
Handling the Huayra around a track is like something out of the future. Pagani has done a fantastic job combining technologies to make the car handle well. Weight distribution is 44 front / 56 rear, which helps balance the car. To stabilize the car further, there’s an ingenious set of aero flaps that deploy in both the front and rear of the car to add downforce and essentially push the car where you intend it to take it. To keep ridgidity of the car as stiff as possible, they make the body of the car out of a special material called ‘Carbotanium’, which (you guessed it) is made out of carbon fiber with titanium woven in to increase the strength of the material. On top of all of this, Pagani has poured over the suspension setup to be sure you can still have a little sideways fun in the Huayra.
The styling is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of Pagani’s machines. The exterior takes cues from LeMans, and other racing series. The Huayra sports F1 style side mirrors, quad-tipped exhaust packed together high on the rear-center of the car, wheels that almost seem like they’ve been tweaked with the power, projector style lighting, and a body that reminds me of fighter jets.
The interior is where the details really shine. It almost has a sense of Steampunk styling. With unique styling choices, and uncommon combinations of materials, it’s an experience every time you get in the car. The quality stitched leather, polished metal and touches of the carbotanium throughout the interior. But, it’s not just the materials themselves, it’s the way they’ve been designed. The extra bevels, inlays, the oval eye-like shapes, and a general sense of what the someone in the 1900 might have designed for the future if they had our technology. It’s really quite astounding.
What do you think?
At over $1 million US dollars, this isn’t a car you’d come across every day. No this is truly something spectacular and original. The Huayra is laden with so many unique and satisfying details, that it’s a shame I’ve been duped all these years. Have you been duped? Are you a life-long lover of Pagani? Or, do you think Pagani cars are nothing special. I, for one, and glad I’ve come to my senses, and realized the grandness of Pagani. I think I’ll have to order a new poster soon.
All Photos Copyright Pagani