The Pagani Huayra is the all-new supercar which replaces the legendary Pagani Zonda that blew our minds and stole our hearts back in 1999. Named after a warm south American wind, the “Why-rah” represents the culmination of seven years hard graft by the 57 employees at Pagani, the project having begun as long ago as 2005.
As Michelangelo once declared; “Beauty is in the details.” And in the Huayra’s case the details are exquisite, even if they have taken a while to make perfect.
Powered by a 6.0-litre, twin-turbo V12 that’s made bespoke for Pagani by Mercedes-AMG, the rear-wheel-drive Huarya is one of the world’s fastest, most advanced, and arguably most exclusive supercars. Just 20 were made at the company’s tiny factory in Modena in 2012, after which production reached the heady heights of 40 cars per year from 2013 – once the new five-times bigger factory has been built, just around the corner from the old one.
Pagani can't be accused of resting on their well deserved laurels, and have the Huayra BC in the pipeline which consists of a carbonfibre and titanium monocoque, but also they have fettled with the 6.0-litre V12 as well, with the BC punching out 739bhp - a cool 19bhp more than the standard car. Pagani also insists that the BC shares only its roof panel with the Huayra with which it shares its name.
In the flesh the Pagani Huarya is breathtakingly beautiful from pretty much every angle, inside and out, and on the road it’s utterly exciting to drive. The highlights include its acceleration (ludicrous), traction (amazing), steering (old school wonderful), braking (immense) and its grip mid corner, all of which are in Bugatti Veyron-plus category. Genuinely.
In truth, however, the Huarya is nothing like a Veyron to drive. It’s a far more intense car than the Bugatti in every dimension; noisier, edgier, more agile – much more agile – and instantly more exciting on the road.
You need to think very hard indeed about how sharp you’re feeling before pressing the button that turns the ESP and TC systems off, even though the traction is phenomenal considering there’s 720bhp and 737lb ft under your right foot, the latter available as a flat peak between 2250-4500rpm.
What makes the Pagani Huarya so venomous, apart from its monumental outputs? Because at 1350kg (dry) it weighs an entire Caterham Seven less than a Veyron, which means its power and torque to weight ratios are in a very similar league. And then, of course, you must dial in the not inconsequential fact that the Pagani is rear, not four-wheel-drive.