After all the leaks of last weekend, Pagani have understandably decided to unveil the new Huayra ahead of schedule and forego the charade of teasing us in the run up to the Geneva Auto Salon. So, here is the Pagani Huayra, successor to the Zonda and the second model to bear the name of its creator, Horacio Pagani.
The Huayra is powered by an AMG Mercedes biturbo V12 engine of 5980 cc in capacity, producing 690 bhp and a heady 1000 Nm of torque. With a dry weight of just 1350 kg that makes the Huayra easily one of the fastest cars in the world.
The concept was born in 2003, the year of the introduction of the Zonda S Roadster. At this time supercars such as the Bugatti Veyron, Porsche Carrera GT, Ferrari Enzo, and Mercedes McLaren SLR were making headlines and Pagani took the opportunity to examine the future of the Zonda and what a ‘new’ Pagani would be like. Since the original design of the Zonda was done in the early 90s Pagini’s first thought was that it was now an obsolete project and they should imagine the car in a totally different form, dimension, dynamics and technology – all without losing the essence of their unique approach.
Huayra, is derived from the name Aymara Huayra Tata, god of wind, which controls the breezes, the winds and hurricanes that affect the mountains, ravines and slopes of the Andean cordillera. Not exactly the simplest of names to remember (or spell correctly), but that’s part of the allure of a supercar. The shape of the Huayra is inspired by the wind – delicate and ethereal, yet capable of eroding the most resistant materials, giving them the forms that we recognize in nature.
The styling of the car has clearly been a labour of love for its designer, Horacio Pagani, evolving over the last 7 years from hundreds of drawings, scale models and eight two-size models. The bi-xenon headlights, a heritage of the Zonda R and LED daytime running lights are harmoniously integrated into the elliptical shape of the front mouth. The integrated rear bumper diffuser dominated by an elliptical frame that surrounds and enhances the four tailpipes, is a symbol of continuity and a characteristic feature mark of the of the Zonda.
The Huayra is made of more than 4000 components (engine and gearbox not included). To create these and put them together requires creativity, patience and a great deal of passion. Horacio Pagani, founder and chief designer says, “In defining the size, I immediately thought of a car that would be longer than the Zonda, a track increased by 70 mm, a cabin position shifted 40 mm to the back and even more spacious. The silhouette should be soft, easy to read and form itself from lean and sleek lines that have a clear beginning and an end.”
The all-new monocoque of the Huayra is built in carbon-titanium, with gull-wing doors that include the main portion of the roof. The development of Pagani’s new supercar focused on the application of advanced composite materials and technologies first tested on the Zonda R – including double wishbones forged from AvionAl, to achieve the highest levels of rigidity combined with maximum lightness.
The constant quest for weight reduction has led to an ingenious combination of aesthetic and structural solutions, one example comes from the air conditioning cooling pipes, which were integrated into the monocoque structure reducing the requirement for additional components. The result of this weight reduction programme is summed up in the Huayra’s dry weight of 1350 kg, which makes it one of the lightest in the supercar segment.
The AMG Mercedes engine provides the heart of Huayra. The 5980 cc V12 engine has been developed to meet not only its technical and quality targets, but also to provide the car with its dual character. The calm and harmony that are perceived when driving one of finest GT cars is interrupted when the driver calls upon the Huayra to unleash its near 700 hp of power and 1000 Nm of torque, at which point the light breeze becomes a hurricane.
The turbines are designed to offer immediate response to minimal inputs, giving the driver complete control over the power at any speed. The two radiators positioned at the sides of the front mouth ensure the best cooling efficiency for the intercoolers, which are located above the cylinder head. This cooling system at low temperature is designed to operate in adverse conditions and was tested during development in Death Valley at temperatures well above 50 degrees centigrade.
The titanium exhaust system has been engineered by MHG-Fahrzeugtechnik and is a direct application of the technologies found on a racing car. The hydro-formed junctions have been developed to reduce the pressure and ensure a free flow of exhaust gases, and although Titanium is less effective at silencing it offers better reliability for those exhaust parts most exposed to high temperatures.
The full exhaust system weighs less than 10 kg and has been developed to ensure the maximum sound translates into a harmonious and deep roar, accompanied by the hiss generated by the Huayra’s aircraft-like intakes.
As soon as the doors close the Huayra transports its occupants to a new dimension, a world of meaning, to satisfy and surprise the sight, smell, touch and emotion. All the primary driving controls are located on the steering wheel. The paddles are mounted directly on the wheel itself so you can change without taking your hands off the steering wheel.
The seats provide comfort for long journeys but also excellent lateral support, given the enormous lateral forces that the car is able to develop.
The aluminium centre panel was inspired by the most sophisticated Swiss watches and includes a central multi-function display that shows information relevant driving in sport mode and a trip computer when you select Comfort mode. The aluminium centre console is machined from a single block of metal and inspired by the keys of a clarinet, with push buttons for controlling the heating and air conditioning.
The central touch-screen multimedia system is the heart of the vehicle for the control of audio functions, satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone and other secondary functions.
On the road
Over the past four years Pagani have conducted tests with prototypes covering over 500,000 kilometres. Before entering the U.S. market the development will have reached one million kilometres. Each prototype was assigned to a specific development task: Mercedes-AMG used one for the study of driving and one for the reduction of emissions of the engines, and a third car has been permanently located at Bosch Engineering where engineers have developed the ABS and stability control systems, while another vehicle has been dedicated to the development the Huayra’s dynamic behaviour.
Pirelli has created a very progressive tyre for the Huayra – 225/35 ZR19 (front) and 335/30 ZR20 (rear) – with a exceptional grip in all situations and low rolling resistance. Every aspect of safety was treated not only to comply with the highest standards of the United States but also taking into account the dynamics by which most accidents with high performance rear engined cars can occur.
Horacio Pagani goes on to say, “While developing the C9 (Huayra) we witnessed the evolution of the different models of the Zonda and it showed us that the Zonda wasn’t obsolete as I had originally feared. The Zonda R has been a key laboratory for the Huayra. The team was able to work on many projects at the same time driving on different tracks that occasionally came to meet by sharing engineering concepts, materials, safety and scientific or design studies.”