In today’s automotive climate, it can be a tough business surviving as a small independent manufacturer. However, Italian exotic manufacturer Pagani has done pretty well for itself with the Zonda.
Over the past decade, the company has significantly increased production and entered new markets. All cars have a shelf life though, even supercars like the Zonda. Introduced in 1999, the time has clearly come for a replacement, and the new car is dubbed Huayra.
The Huayra remains clearly recognizable as a Pagani. The car has been redesigned though, with a new front end that retains the dual-headlight setup. It becomes smother and has a new fascia that manages to make it look more bulbous and heavy-looking. We can’t say we’re fans – to our eyes it is a step backward.
The primary reason to buy a Pagani isn’t likely to be styling though – the Zonda didn’t win many design awards.
Elsewhere the look is one of increased refinement, with a smoother body and more aerodynamic lines. The look is one that appears to have spent some time in the wind-tunnel. The interior is also a significant upgrade, with a new technology package and design.
The basis of the Huayra is a carbon-titanium monocoque. The car uses a variety of advanced composites to achieve high levels of rigidity and lightness. With carbon fiber body panels, the Huayra checks in at just 2,976 pounds, far lighter than any of its other supercar rivals. That ends up being the car’s secret weapon.
One of the car’s unique features is active aerodynamics. The Huayra has four flaps that adjust and vary their angles position responding to data from yaw and pitch sensor data, as well as lateral acceleration, steering angle and throttle position.
Pagani says “the result is that the machine constantly change its shape, from time to time to ensure the minimum friction coefficient and the maximum downforce.”
Utilizing advanced crash testing, Huayra also meets all safety standards in the United States and Europe. The car has a safety cell made of different composites and what Pagani dubs “ballistics.”
Like the Zonda, motivation comes from Mercedes-Benz AMG, utilizing a 6.0-liter 12-cylinder biturbo engine. It isn’t just an off-the shelf AMG engine though; it was tailored to Pagani’s exacting specifications for duty in the Huayra.
The engine makes 700 horsepower and puts out 738 pound feet of torque. That is powering an aerodynamic vehicle that weighs just under 3,000 pounds. It should make for superlative performance. The AMG engine is mated to a 7-speed sequential gearbox made by racing firm Xtrac, who all was the supplier for the Zonda R.
That’s it for now as far as specifications – 0-60 numbers and other good stuff is being saved for later. For now, what do you think of the Huayra?