This is the Pagani Huayra, the Italian firm’s one million euro hypercar replacement for the Zonda, which has been shown at the Geneva motor show.
Known in development as the C9, the Huayra – a ‘god of wind’ and pronounced ‘Wirer’ with a heavy Spanish accent – has taken Pagani seven years to develop and, according to company boss Horacio Pagani, offers a different flavour of supercar to the Zonda.
Continuing Pagani’s alliance with Mercedes’ AMG department, the Huayra is powered by a bi-turbo 6.0-litre V12. Pagani will sell two versions of the Huayra: the standard engine with 700bhp and 664lb ft, and a Sport version with 730bhp and 811lb ft. While the block is shared with Mercedes’ own SL65 Black Series, Pagani commissioned AMG to reduce turbo lag and improve the throttle progression, resulting in new heads, pistons, manifolds and turbos.
Currently Pagani is being quite coy about the Huayra’s performance, but is claiming to have seen 230mph, and Zero to 62mph in 3.3sec in testing. Helping to manage the inevitable slip is a three-stage Bosch traction control system.
The Huayra uses a mandatory seven-speed paddle-shift gearbox, built for Pagani by UK race specialist XTRAC. To reduce the length of the drivetrain the gearbox is mounted transversely behind the engine.
Kerbweight has been kept to 1350kg (dry), despite the fact the Huayra is larger than the Zonda and carries more safety equipment. Which along with the forced induction ensures the Huayra is homologated for the US - the first time a Pagani has done so.
Another first are the enormous gullwing doors, like the rest of the body constructed from carbonfibre. While the tub is carbon-titanium, the titanium allowing the material to flex just slightly in the event of an impact rather than shattering, but without compromising the strength.
Pagani claim the overall body is designed to act like an aircraft wing, changing its shape to manage the airflow over it to best effect. It does so, using four moveable aerodynamic flaps, one at each corner of the car. Each independently and automatically operated. These not only tailor downforce as required for acceleration and braking but also work across the car to add grip during cornering.
In addition, the front ride height is adjustable, not only for garage/ramp access at low speeds but also to actively manage the airflow under the car at speed. And under hard braking the ride height (controlled by the dampers) increases to negate dive.
The interior is instantly recognisable as a Pagani, but has designed to be more comfortable and useable on longer journeys, with more cabin space plus a touch screen sat-nav and Bluetooth.
The Huayra also marks a step-change for Pagani. If it can find enough suitably wealthy customers the Huayra will double annual production and take Pagani into the US and Chinese markets. To facilitate that growth Pagani plans to start construction of a new, larger factory during 2011.Jamie CorstorphineFactfile
Price: 1,000,000 euro; 0-62mph: 3.3sec; Engine: V12, 5980cc, petrol; Layout: Mid, longitudinal, RWD; Power: 700bhp at 6300rpm; Torque: 664lb ft at 2500-4250rpm; Gearbox: 7-spd automated manual; Weight: 1350kg (dry); Suspension: Double wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar (f&r); Brakes: 380mm carbon-ceramic discs (f&r); Length: 4605mm; Width: 2036mm; Height: 1169mm; Tyres: 225/35 ZR19 (f), 335/30 ZR20 (r) Pirelli PZeros
Tech at a glanceAerodynamic flapsThese operate independently, powered by electric motors the front two operate through 0-30deg, the rears 0-40deg.Fuel tankThe fuel tank to positioned between the cabin and the engine, but to reduce the possibility of damage in an accident it is protected by a safety cell constructed using Kevlar and ballistic materials.Front brakesThe carbon-cermaic brakes are effectively the same used on the Zonda R, but with a different compound pad. In order to improve response from low temperatures 50deg air is fed from the intercooler (mounted in the nose) along carbon-fibre channels and through the front hubs.SeatsTo ensure compliance with US regulations the seats contain four sensors to calculate the force required for the multi-stage airbags.Suspension componentsDeveloped from those used on the Zonda R, the double wishbones are forged from AvionAl. Incorporated into the wheel hub assemblies are cooling ducts that connect directly to the support brackets, extending the reliability and lifespan of the bearings.Gearbox Weighing 96kg, the seven-speed synchromesh gearbox has Comfort and Sport modes. Its transverse mounting not only helps with weight distribution but also reduces the chance of damage in a rear end collision.See all the latest Pagani reviews, news and video