2012 Pagani Huayra Supercar Revealed

By Chris Haak

The Pagani Zonda, one of the rarest and most sought-after supercars in history, has finally been supplanted.  It’s OK, though, because the new sheriff in town happens to also be made by Pagani.  Meet the new Huayra (pronounced “WHY-ra”), a car that was in development for seven years before going under the spotlights and making its world debut.

Just as the Zonda was perhaps the gold standard of supercars (in spite of not boasting the over-the-top horsepower and price numbers like the Bugatti Veyron), the new Huayra gives more of everything the Zonda stood for, including design.  Not that the design of the Zonda was anything to sneeze about; that car certainly had its fans, including among us here.

The Huayra, which according to the company is named after Aymara Huayra Tata, the “god of wind, which controls the breezes, the winds and hurricanes that affect the mountains, ravines and slopes of the Andean cordillera,” sounds like it’s going to offer breathtaking performance for the lucky souls given the opportunity to drive one, let alone own one.  During the Zonda’s 12-year production run, just over 100 cars were produced.  Pagani produced Zondas, often customized at the request of their wealthy buyers, at a rate of about 15-18 per year, or about 1 1/2 cars per month.  That’s what I call exclusivity.

Like the Zonda, the Huayra is powered by an V12 sourced from Mercedes-Benz tuner AMG.  The 6.0 liter, 60-degree biturbo V12 will produce at least 700 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque.  Though sourced from AMG, it’s not shared with any Mercedes-Benz or AMG vehicle; instead, the engine from the SL65 Black Series, but with Pagani-specific heads, turbos, pistons, and exhaust manifolds.  That’s the base model; the Sport model will boast 730 horsepower and a whopping 811 lb-ft of torque.  These impressive power numbers are asked to haul around a car built of a carbon-titanium monocoque, weighing just 2,976 pounds.  That means a zero to sixty time of about 3.3 seconds; not the fastest to hit that mark (even a new GT-R with launch control can top that), but impressive nonetheless.  The car’s 230 mile per hour top speed is nothing to sneeze at, either.

The Huayra’s light weight should considerably help handling and fuel efficiency (at least to the degree that a 700 horsepower V12 can be considered fuel efficient) in addition to the 3.3-second zero to sixty time.  The car is rear wheel drive and power is sent to the wheels via a sequential manual gearbox.

Outside, the car boasts several recognizable design features, such as the quad bi-xenon headlamps, but has also added active aerodynamics features.  Early Zonda models were not known for their ability to slip through the air, so tricks such as • The Huayra includes active aerodynamics; motorized flaps at each corner of the car operate independently of each other. The purpose of the flaps is to increase aerodynamic downforce for acceleration, braking and cornering.  The rear is similar in design to the Zonda’s, but the car’s profile especially seems to flow well together.

That being said, the Huayra’s proportions show a very exotic car-like long rear, short front, befitting its rear-mid engine placement.  The photos of the engine with the cover removed is amazing, with its coil-over shocks, anodized aluminum parts, and exposed carbon fiber.

We haven’t even mentioned the interior, which is clad in exposed carbon fiber, polished aluminum and attractive leather, and has an appearance as exotic as any concept car.  A modern multifunction display controls audio, navigation, and communications functionality.

The Huayra was developed to meet US safety and emissions standards, so save your $1.37 million and get on the list.  I’m sure it’s a heck of a ride.

Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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