The Pagani Huayra: Automotive porn

I recently joined Pinterest as part of my venture into the growing world of Social Media and last weekend, I thought I’d browse through my section on “Extreme Cars” while sipping my morning coffee and rested on a picture of the Pagani Huayra. As I began to read more about it, I came to a quick conclusion. It’s the closest thing I’ve seen yet to automotive porn.

It seems that with every Concept Car launched throught the tunnels of the Auto Shows we get bigger, better and faster. Automotive manufacturers are literally falling all over themselves to produce a vehicle more extreme than their nearest competitor’s last model launch. Not all companies do this, but certainly those aimed at that section of the population with the endlessly deep pockets, it’s become a street fight. With the Huayra, Pagani came to win.

Frankly, I’d never heard of Pagani until this week. If I had, I didn’t remember it. The company, of course, is Italian, and is a toddler in terms of car manufacturing. It was formed in 1992 by Horacio Pagani, an Argentinian cut from the same cloth as Juan Fangio, who worked for Lamborghini on composite materials. Pagani drew his inspiration from the designs of Leonardo Da Vinci which is clear from this car’s appearance. Pagani has only ever made two vehicles. The Zonda, and now The Huayra which is Incan for “God of The Winds”.

The engine is a 6.0L twin turbo V12 made by Mercedes AMG producing around 700HP. A seven speed automated stick transmission gets you to 235mph in complete control as the gear changes can be done either with the tabs on the steering wheel, or with the shift lever. Obviously, a car as fast as this one is, needs to be able to stop fast and the Huayra can go from 300km/h to 0km/h in under 300ft via the Brembo carbo-ceramic discs. All I can say is don’t forget to put the seat belt on when you get in this thing! The handling is dramatic as the car hugs the road around the tightest of corners using the side wings and the air brakes in back. The car is made of Carbotanium which is an alloy of carbon and titanium, stronger than carbon fiber. Each part of the car has an elegant story behind it on how it was lovingly put together by 13th Century Italian monks. I’m kidding but I’m sure you catch my drift. Don’t think about driving this beast to the store or even close to railroad tracks, yet the builders haven’t made it to just sit in the garage, collect dust and get polished once a week. The car is built to drive, and to drive it hard, takes little effort.

The sound from the engine was designed by Pagani to imitate that of a jet engine and works famously in achieving that sensation. I’ve always felt personally that the driver is at the mercy of the designer’s imagination with these types of cars causing the actual driver experience to be compromised by some childish whim of some spectacled boffin back at the factory, but with the Huayra, that simply isn’t the case. Every detail inside and out is designed and built with the driver experience front and center.

The Huayra has just been released as street legal for the US market and was given a huge boost this week when the boys over at Top Gear UK reviewed it for their season opening show. They described the Huayra as “savage”, but the team also gave it a glowing review as a true “Supercar”. It broke the Top Gear track record of 1:13.8 which makes it the “Fastest Production Car” on the road, which doesn’t surprise me at all given what this vehicle has under the hood. Surprisingly, a cool $1.3m is all it takes to drive one of these home to the missus which is relatively “inexpensive” for a vehicle like this.

Pagani have surpassed even the Zonda with this gem of a ride, and for me, there’s no doubt that if ever someone had wanted to cross “The Batmobile” with “The Time Machine” (from the 1960 movie starring Rod Taylor), the Pagani Huayra would be it.

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