Currently reading: Update: Pagani EVs likely with tech breakthrough
The firm has clarified that electric cars remain likely in the future – although only when there is the technology to support them

Pagani remains committed to the development of electric cars, but they will be launched only when customer demand dictates and the technology allows for a "fun-to-drive-and-own" car. 

A Pagani spokesman clarified comments made by company boss Horacio Pagani at the recent Milan Monza motor show, where it was said that after kicking off development in 2018 for electric cars, the company has yet to find a solution that allows for a hypercar that would be considered fit to wear the Pagani badge. However, they do still remain in development. 

Horacio Pagani thinks that current EVs are too heavy and lack emotion, and that most of the energy they use is not sustainably produced.

He also believes that the climate impact of supercars is so small that their use of an internal combustion engine, however big, is in a broad context largely irrelevant, and more must be done to make all cars and fuels more sustainable, from internal combustion engines to the way lithium is mined for electric cars. 

“In 2018, I created a team working on fully electric cars,” he told Autocar.

98 Horacio pagani

This team’s primary responsibility was looking at global homologation for Pagani to create such cars, particularly for the US, and for safety, both of which could be delivered. However, “in four years, we never found interest in the supercar market” for an EV, said Pagani, and customers were as yet not asking for such cars. 

The spokesman said that development remained very much alive ("it is wrong to say the EV plans are scrapped - it's the opposite") even though at this stage "we have never received any requests [from customers] so far" for an electric car, and "with the current technology, they are heavy and not really associated with stirring emotions". 

Any Pagani model has to be "true to the philosophy of being light, safe and emotional, and fun to drive and own", the spokesman added.

Pagani’s studies also show that it would need to use a 600kg battery in an EV, which is more than half the Huayra R’s total weight (1070kg).

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To that end, the EV team at Pagani is continuing to work with partners in "selecting upcoming technologies - not today's technology, but tomorrow's technology that will get to the philosophy of light, safe and emotional". 

“The challenge is to make an EV that gives good emotion like a normal ICE. Pagani isn’t going to do something just with good performance, as you can do this [now], but to give emotion to the driver.

“The idea should be to make a lightweight car, but this is the biggest challenge. The dream would be a 1300kg EV, but this isn’t possible [with current technology].”

96 V12 engine

Horacio Pagani also wants to promote greater sustainability across the industry, and for the true impact for low-volume, low-mileage cars such as his to be considered: “At the moment, 90% of energy is produced without renewables. It’s silly to think that only a few supercars [in the world] with ICEs can have a negative impact on the climate when 90% of energy is produced in a bad way.”

On this point, the spokesman added: "The impact of the Pagani fleet is negligible. We know that mining and sourcing raw materials for battery production has a heavy impact on the environment as well. We have a full commitment to make cars as sustainable as we can, whether internal combustion or electric. But we are mindful of the broader picture, and we want to create awareness of [what] the world needs to do to be more sustainable."

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Mercedes-Benz provides the marque with its V12 engine and other key systems, and Horacio Pagani said his firm has access to this technology if it needs it.

He believes that Mercedes continues to be an ideal partner and enjoys working with the German giant.

“Mercedes is a big company, but you can still sit in front of a few people who decide, speak to them and be listened to,” he said.

He added that the style and visual drama of his cars remains hugely significant – as does making them approachable to drive. “If you work only on the dynamics, all the cars end up the same,” he said. “Spend time on the fashion and the style and you get something wonderful.

97 Pagani huayra r side profile

“Our target is to make the cars easy to drive. Gentlemen drivers are able to drive the Huayra R very easily.”

Other philosophies include providing exceptional customer service, enabling buyers to take their car on track and ensuring that it remains accessible on the road – something Pagani believes Ferrari does best of all.

Also important is making Pagani cars easy to live with, exemplified by the 10,000km service intervals on the engine, despite it being a V12 revving all the way to 9000rpm.

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“We don’t want extreme cars,” said Horacio Pagani. “We want easy cars that aren’t nerve-racking for gentlemen drivers.”

Horacio Pagani is also proud of the residual values of his cars, the company having built 450 or so examples of the Zonda and Huayra over the past two decades.

“Some Zondas are now 10 times the initial price,” he said. “The Cinque is now 20 times.”

95 Pagani c10 front quarter

The firm's waiting list has for the past decade remained at around three years, and it has already found buyers for the first 100 examples of the new Pagani C10, which it will unveil in September. “These have all been sold even before it has been revealed,” said Horacio Pagani.

He added, however, that he never gets complacent about demand and remains respectful of market conditions that could affect his company, because many of its customers work in financial services.

“We’re a success, but a lot can happen suddenly,” he said. “There’s a difference between success at the moment and foresight of the future.”

To that end, he invests a huge amount in R&D, typically around 20% of revenue.

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“We’re one of the top companies that invests in the future. We usually invest 20%. Last year, it was 14%,” he said. “It’s like a race: you can stop, but when it restarts, you’re at the back. Even if you have no new car, you’re investing.”

Pagani currently builds around one car per week, up from around one car per month a decade ago.

What’s in Horacio Pagani’s garage?


Horacio Pagani is about as big a car enthusiast as you could imagine, having grown up in Argentina idolising Formula 1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio, who eventually became his friend and introduced him to Mercedes-Benz.

Pagani spent many years at Lamborghini, joining as a teenager after moving to Italy. Before launching his own firm, he became an early innovator with carbonfibre – an area he continues to pursue today through a subsidiary company.

What is this car lover’s all-time favourite, then?

“It’s a 1963 Jaguar E-Type Roadster,” said Pagani. “That’s my favourite car.”

And of modern times?

“The Ford GT is the most beautiful of the recent cars.”

What about other car makers?

“I like Porsche; I like going to their events. I just love cars. I have a Ferrari F12tdf, and my jewel is a Ferrari 275 GTB. It’s chassis number one, which they used for homologation.”

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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289 14 July 2022

Of course, Pagani is quite right. EV Hypercars completely lack charisma or emotion, and their 'green' credentials are totally questionable.

I cant think of a more pointless vehicle than aEV Pagani.

On the other hand whilst he is right to say that the annual mileage on his vehicles is minimal, they are usually part of a rich mans collection - say 40+ vehicles, which singularly cover small mileages, total up to the same annual mileage as you and I, in one/two vehicles - only at single figure mpg.

This is therefore totally unfair that you and I have to toe the government line and drive a tarted-up milkfloat, so that a rich man can keep his way of life completely intact and unaffected.

Andrew1 14 July 2022
Or, to put it differently, they can't make a sport EV. Marketing BS.