Pagani’s Official North American Debut

The appearance of Pagani supercars on American shores inched closer to reality last Thursday evening when the new Huayra (pronounced WHY-ruh) made its North American debut at the Art Center College of Design.  En route to a slew of appearances at next week’s Pebble Beach car events, the Huayra first stopped for a press conference at the renowned Pasadena design school, whose transportation design department has produced some of today’s top names in automotive styling, including Frank Stephenson, J Mays, Chris Bangle, and Ken Okuyama.

After an introduction by transportation design chair Stewart Reed that included announcement of Pagani’s gift to the school of a new $20,000 scholarship, Horacio Pagani (above) took the podium to explain his company’s slow-growth strategy and the resulting Huayra, which seems specifically slated for the American market.  Named for a tribal South American god of wind, the Huayra boasts an entirely new architecture that features no holdover components from the outgoing Zonda.  The mid/rear-engine hypercar is powered by a twin-turbocharged AMG M158 V-12 motor whose displacement of 5,980 cc develops a whopping 700 horsepower and 737 lb-ft of torque, good for an unofficial estimate of 3.2 seconds from standstill to 60 mph.  Normally, the torque figure would result in some quickly shredded tires, thus Pagani’s deal with Pirelli to provide fat, specially calibrated P Zero tires for the 19” front wheels and 20” rears.  The car is anchored by carbon ceramic Brembos.

The Huayra’s hyperbolic exterior is forged from carbon titanium, a new carbon fiber upgrade of sorts that Pagani claims is being used for the first time in car production.  The strong lightweight material helps the Huayra achieve a purported class-leading curb weight of only 2,976 lbs, roughly 66 lbs less than a Ferrari 458 Italia.  The material’s use in the Huayra’s monocoque frame also sufficiently maintains rigidity to allow for massive gullwing doors, which surely eliminate any structural support potentially offered by the roof.

Matching the car’s impressive outward appearance, the interior is equally flashy, with a bevy of polished aluminum for the shifter mechanism of the car’s 7-speed sequential transmission, as well as copious wheel-mounted buttons and switchgear.  A place on the waitlist can be secured through the first two outlets of Pagani’s US dealership network, the Auto Gallery in Beverly Hills and British Motor Cars in San Francisco.  Expect an msrp of roughly 825,000 euros, a current exchange of about $1,169,417.  Deliveries are loosely slated to begin in late 2012 or early 2013.

Interior photos and press conference photo © by Mike Daly.  All other images courtesy of Pagani Automobili.