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Pagani Huayra supercar has a steampunk interior that would impress even Dio Eraclea (video)

Tim Stevens
January 26, 2011

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After a number of leaks and teases Pagani has unleashed its Zonda successor to the world, and it's the Huayra, a name that we're still having trouble spelling reliably but know that it's pronounced "hoo-aii-ra." Compared to the company's current offering this new model has a relatively understated design, designed to "shape the wind" rather than tear it a new one like the Zonda does. That said, the Huayra still shares key elements that make it unmistakably Pagani -- headlights, short nose, and a decided pear shape that could make J.Lo blush. Sure, the nose is a bit questionable, making this look a smidge like a Fisker Karma to us, but it's the interior that really has us intrigued. Click on through for more.

Gallery: Pagani Huayra supercar | 41 Photos

PaganiPagani says the inside "transports the occupants to a new dimension," and indeed it looks like something straight out of Last Exile or some other bit of steampunkery -- a bit like a Spyker but a little less out there. In the center is a multi-function display that promises to integrate performance information when the car is switched to sport mode, but the rest of the time will give you satellite navigation and other infotainment features, talking to your phone over Bluetooth. That's the centerpiece of the dash, but we're most fascinated by the machined aluminum details everywhere -- check out the exposed mechanicals of the shifter.

In the back is a Mercedes-AMG sourced twin-turbo V12 delivering an amazing 700 horsepower and 740pound-feet of torque. That, mated to a vehicle that weighs just 2,976lbs, should equate to electrifying acceleration. Of course, power is nothing without control, and if our eyes don't deceive us the car actually can deploy either of its two front or rear spoilers higher or lower to help it carve through the corners. Basically, it's a vectoring air brake system, a little like what KITT had, and that's pretty awesome. No word on price or availability, but we'd start saving now.

Update: CNET says it's £850,000. Why retire when you can drive to work in style?

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Pagani Huayra

Ancient legends of the Aymara tell us of Huayra Tata, god of wind, who commands the breezes,
winds, and blizzards that invade the mountains, cliffs and hills of the Andean highlands. It is
told that Huayra Tata resides deep in the high peaks and valleys, abandoning them only to
demonstrate his power to his wife, Pachamama, goddess of mother earth. With his power
Huayra Tata was able to lift the waters from lake Titicaca and rain them down on the fertile
Pachamama. When Huayra Tata sleeps, the waters and rivers lay quiet.

But the calm before the storm is about to be interrupted...


The eternity of the element air. Gentle and refined, yet the strength of the wind it is able to
erode even the toughest of materials giving birth to distinctive shapes known in nature. Elegant
and muscular the Huayra merges the past, present and future in a timeless interpretation of
automotive art.

The styling of the car was perfected over the course of 5 years to find each line's beginning
and end. During this study, eight scale models were created, as well as two 1:1 models, each
an evolution of the previous in a never ending quest to perfect the form and refining the

The bi-xenon headlamps are just one of the many precious gifts from the Zonda R, and LED
daytime running lights are seamlessly integrated in the elliptical shape of the design. The rear
bumper integrates with the diffuser and is dominated by an elliptical frame that surrounds the
four central exhaust outlets, now becoming a characteristic Pagani element.


The new central monocoque on the Huayra is an entirely new design made from carbon-
titanium. However, with the gull wing doors cutting deep into the roof, much research was
focused on achieving the highest levels of rigidity through the application of new advanced
composite materials and technologies first tested on the Zonda R. The fuel tank is located
integrally in the best protected area of the monocoque, behind the driver, reinforced by safety
cell made of different composite and ballistic materials. The front and rear CrMo subframes
offer an exceptional rigidity-to-weight ratio to allowing the suspensions to work at their best
while incorporating an advanced energy absorbing crash structure, ready to protect the occupants
in the unlikely event of an impact.

The never ending quest for weight reduction resulted also into the combination of structural
and non-structural or aesthetical elements. An example is the integration of all ventilation air
ducts into the monocoque's structure, making the use of additional parts and ducts unnecessary.

The result of this attention to detail is a vehicle weighing 1.350 kg making the Huayra the
lightest sportscar in its class.


Mercedes-AMG provides the heart for the Huayra. The 60 degree 12 cylinder turbocharged
engine with a displacement of 5980 cm3 has been developed not just to meet the strictest
technical and quality requirements, but also to give the car its many faces.

The calm and harmony of driving one of the world's most refined GT car is interrupted when
the driver calls upon the Huayra to unleash its 700 horsepower and 1000 Nm of torque. The
turbos have been studied to offer immediate response to the slightest throttle input, giving
the driver full control over the engine at any rpm and preventing unwanted delays in the delivery
of power.

The engine's systems have been designed and tested to stand up to the most adverse conditions
of temperature and performance. The Huayra has been subjected to the highs of Death Valley
and the lows of the Arctic Circle. The two lateral radiators are positioned in the front to
guarantee the best cooling efficiency of the intercoolers placed over the cylinder heads. Dry
sump lubrication ensures an optimal oil feed to the engine even when the car is subjected to
the most extreme lateral accelerations. It also regulates the oil flow so that only the necessary
amount of lubricant is actually pumped into the engine from the external oil tank, reducing
the friction caused by an excessive volume of lubricant inside the engine sump. An oil/water
heat exchanger reduces warm-up times by heating the engine lubricant during cold start and
keeps engine coolant and lubricant levels at steady operational temperatures. Extensive weight
saving programs led to ingenious yet simple solutions. In order to reduce hoses and connections
as much as possible is built directly to the engine. The intercooler covers serve as expansion
tanks to the low temperature circuit and the engine coolant circuit. The vertical fins contribute
to the cooling of the tanks.

The M158 engine is homologated to meet the strictest environmental regulations, EU5 and
LEV2. Despite the increase of power compared to the other Mercedes-AMG V12 engines
developed for Pagani, CO2 emissions as well as the fuel consumption have been reduced, to
make the Huayra class leading amongst 12 cylinder sports cars with values that are respective
of much smaller vehicles in the market. The two stage fuel supply system features two
microprocessor controlled pumps feeding fuel to the engine with the second pump only
activated when necessary, thus reducing the energy required to run the fuel pumps and
eliminates the waste of excessive fuel being transported and heated in the fuel lines. This
efficiency combined with a large 85 liter fuel tank ensure Huayra's grand touring ability.

As an homage to the decennial tradition of Mercedes-AMG in building world class sports car
engines, the M158 displays the historic AMG emblem on the intake manifold alongside the
name of the technician that assembled the engine by hand at the Mercedes-AMG headquarters
in Affalterbach, Germany.

The Titanium exhaust system has been engineered by MHG-Fahrzeugtechnik and is a direct
application of race proven technologies on a high performance road car and the complete
exhaust weighs less than 10 kg. Hydroformed junctions are used to reduce backpressure and
guarantee a free flow of the exhaust gasses. Titanium guarantees a low weight in the muffler
area while Inconel guarantees reliability on the parts of the exhaust more exposed to high
temperatures. Careful attention has been paid to the tuning of its sound, which has led to a
harmonic rumble at idle speeds with a hint of the power that lies hidden at low speed and a
deep thunderous growl of motor and air, reminiscent of an airplane, at high speeds.


The power and prodigious torque generated by Huayra's V12 are transferred to the wheels
through a transverse sequential seven speed gearbox and a dual plate clutch and the complete
gearbox weighs only 96 kg. Keeping the weight of the rear overhang as low as possible has
been a priority as we aim for a neutral behavior at the limit. A further benefit of this layout is
a better behavior of the car during a rear impact. A dual clutch system was evaluated but
ultimately not selected as it would have increased the weight by approximately 70kg, thus
negating any minor improvement in shift-time.

Xtrac already supplied the gearbox for the Zonda R and so it was the natural choice for the
development of a new high performance gearbox. Xtrac's expertise in motorsports was obvious
throughout the design and material selection processes that resulted in the strongest and
lightest gearbox possible suitable for road use, with a synchromesh box that offers comfort
levels a race car gearbox will never be able to offer.

The suspension geometry has been designed to further enhance the sure-footed nature already
present in the Zonda on the longer wheelbase Huayra. The individual suspension made with
forged AvionAl double A-arms have been tested extensively on the Zonda R programme.
Incorporated into the wheel hub assemblies are cooling ducts that connect directly to the
support brackets, thus extending the reliability and lifespan of the bearings. Pushrod operated
adjustable Öhlins shock absorbers keep everything under control and have been optimized for
the dynamic requirements of the vehicle.

"Power is nothing without control..."

Pirelli say "Power is nothing without control" and to assure complete control for the driver
Pirelli has developed the bespoke P Zero tires, specifically for the Huayra. The Pirelli engineers
were faced with a demanding task, combining road holding for excitement behind the steering
wheel and lower rolling resistance to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. These P
Zero tires are built in a dedicated MIRS™ (Modular Integrated Robotized System) facility,
dedicated to the production of ultrahigh performance tires and are at the forefront of what
is technically possible, suited to top speeds above 370 kph as well as to lateral forces exceeding
1,5 G.


The aerodynamic concept of the Huayra is that of a wing. The vehicle can modify the properties
of this wing by varying the front ride height, which can be adjusted dynamically, and by adjusting
the 4 control flaps on each of the four corners of the car. The goal is to have a neutral vehicle
behavior under all conditions and control body roll via aerodynamic means. The behavior of
the flaps is managed by a dedicated control unit that is fed information from the ABS and ECU,
which pass information about the car's speed, yaw rate, lateral acceleration, steering angle
and throttle position.

The system improves aerodynamic efficiency in a variety of driving conditions, where a low
drag coefficient is not the determining factor. During braking, for example, the rear flaps and
the front suspension are raised to counteract the weight transfer and balance the weight
distribution between front and rear axles, allowing a better use of the rear brake force.

Another vital design tenant for the Huayra project was to ensure clean airflow over the body
of the car. The shape of the two engine air intakes behind the occupants shoulders are a tribute
to the supersonic aircraft of the late 1950s and 1960s, but also allow the motor breath without
disrupting the flow. The intake for the gearbox radiator is located between the engine bay
window and the carbon clamshell of the rear bonnet, which provides an excellent airflow to
the radiator without having a substantial impact on aerodynamic drag. This decision also led
to the omission of a rear wing, replaced by the movable flaps.

The flow of air through the car was also carefully studied. The radiators are angled to contribute
downforce and provide the best flow for hot air to be extracted. Air from the central radiator
is extracted by vents on the front bonnet and trough the front wheelhouses. Air from the side
radiators is channeled to ducts cooling the brake discs and wheel hubs. This air blows onto
the brakes at a temperature of approximately 50°C warming the brakes up when cold and
improving the first bite significantly. Lateral air outlets behind the front wheels generate a
negative pressure inside the wheelhouse providing efficient extraction to lower the drag
coefficient and generate downforce on the front.

In addition to the downforce generated by the flaps and body, two high negative pressure
areas were designed into the shape of the underbody and the diffuser at the rear, thus enhancing
the aerodynamic stability and guaranteeing the Huayra downforce under all circumstances.


As soon as the doors are closed the Huayra transports the occupants to a new dimension; a
world that pleases and surprises the senses. Having everything at arm's length is not close
enough for a vehicle with the capabilities of the Huayra. Consequently, the driver will find all
primary functions directly on the steering wheel. The gearshift paddles are mounted directly
to the steering wheel so the driver never needs to take his hands off the steering wheel. The
seats provide both the comfort to make long trips enjoyable as well as the lateral support
required when the g-forces build up on extreme driving.

A Pagani is able to present drivers with state of the art solutions while still drawing on the rich
history that precedes it. The ever present emphasis is on a living breathing being rather than
a digital one. This can be seen in everything from the leather latches to the toggle switches,
but this ethos finds its purest expression in the mechanical aluminum gearlever assembly, a
monument to the art of the manual gearshift; progress that does not deny the past. The
aluminum dashboard takes inspiration from the most complex swiss watch designs and includes
a central Multi-Function Display displaying performance relevant information when SPORT
mode is engaged and a trip computer when the COMFORT mode is activated. The aluminum
center console is machined from one solid block of aluminum and features a clarinet style array
of mechanical switches controlling the HVAC system. The high definition central touchscreen
is the heart of the vehicle infotainment system, controlling audio functions, satellite navigation,
secondary vehicle functions and Bluetooth phone.

On the road

To this date five prototypes have been built which have been conducting road tests for the past
4 years. Currently, over half a million kilometers have been covered by our prototypes and
before entering the US market we will have reached one million test kilometers.

Each prototype has been assigned to a specific development task. At Mercedes-AMG one is
used to develop drivability, and another is used for emission development. One car is operated
constantly by Bosch Engineering for the application of ABS and advanced stability and
performance enhancement systems. Still another vehicle is used for gearbox testing, and general
vehicle dynamics development.


The car complies to the strictest European and American standards in term of safety and
pollution regulations. Several studies were conducted to determine the most frequent types
of crashes involving high performance cars. The results of these studies have let us to develop
specific safety measures not required by law but to guarantee an enhanced protection for the
occupants. Several cars have been used to perform these tests.

Technical data:


Mercedes-AMG M158 V12 twin-Turbo

displacement: 5980 cc

power: >700cv

torque: >1.000 Nm


transverse sequential seven speed gearbox

AMT robotyzed system with driving programs


length: 4605mm

height: 1169mm

car's body width: 2036mm

car's width with rear mirrors: 2356mm

dry weight: 1.350 kg (*)

weight distribution: 44% front 56% rear

* changing according to the model

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