The fraternity of supercars manufacturers has been a very exclusive group. It's a group that is run mostly be two italian companies, Ferrari and Lamborghini. But within the last decade, a new member has joined the fray: Pagani. And to be a part of that exclusive fraternity, you need to make a super car that hits all three p's: passion, panache, and pantomime. Sure, you can make a car that has outright speed, can handle a corner more than decently and looks good all at the same time. But to be part of the group, you need a set of intangibles. And Pagani did just that with their first car, the Zonda.
Pagani has already unveiled their follow-up car, the Huayra (pronounced wire-rah), back in Feburary. But this past week, they celebrated its North American debut with an celebratory event. The car would be shown for the first time ever on the North American continent.
The event took place at Art Center College of Design, which is nestled in the beautiful Pasadena, California hillside.
Present for the evening's proceedings was Mr. Pagani himself, Horacia Pagani.
Mr. Pagani is so proud of his latest creation that he has adorned the car with his own signature.
It's strange to think that the newest member of the super car fraternity is now the most insane and crazy of the three.
The new Huayra is a moving work of art.
I'm not going to get into complete detail about the car as Jonathan Moore did a more than fantastic job doing so a previously.
Every single inch and corner of the car is like a brilliant piece of sculpture which is part of a much bigger sculpture.
Think of Auguste Rodin's "Gates of Hell" and you might get the idea.
The detail that's been put into the car is utterly astounding. Nice his almost sculpture like piece which is the sun visor mount. What my camera and what the small resolution of this photo could not catch was that there were little Pagani badges on each sun visor mount.
The meticulous detail even extends to the center locks for each wheel. The centerlocks looks like something that came out of a steampunk comic book.
The steampunk theme didn't stop just at the centerlocks, but also extended to the gear shifter, shift knob, center console, and e-brake handle.
The craftsmanship on each seat makes me not want to sit on it but instead just stare and marvel at it…
…but after seeing the details of each seat, then looking at it as a whole, you get the feeling to actually want to sit on it. Luxurious is the word that comes into mind when looking at the seats as a whole.
These are the rear speakers. They sit directly behind each seat. Utterly beautiful.
The gauge dials. I'll just leave this one here.
Pagani banners were placed generously throughout the event,
Mr. Pagani signed a few copies of a photo of the Huayra which was shot by the photography students at the Art Center.
Seeing how the event was centered around an Italian car, Italian fashion tastes was an theme which was hard to ignore throughout the event.
Though, there were a few American guests that kept things very American….
A car like the Huayra attracts a lot of attention as is, but when the front hood and engine cover is opened, everyone streams in for a view.
I don't blame the crowds. The attention to detail is exquisite and requires a lot of time just to appreciate it all.
Luckily, there was an open bar for those willing to wait for their time to peek at the car.
There was also food being prepped for after Mr. Pagani's speech. At times, the event felt more like a late-summer outdoor wedding than an event centered around an automobile.
After a few fruit infused sparkling waters, I had my chance to take some quality time to really look at the car.
The beating heart of the car. It's a 700HP built by Mercedes-AMG bespoke for Pagani. The 6.0L twin-turbo V12 was modified at the request of Mr. Pagani to reduce turbo lag and improve response. Let's not forget to point out that the engine covers are a thing of beauty as well.
There's no actual trunk for this car but what it does have is space for a set of Pagani luggage.
Mr. Pagani glossed over some last minute details with his associates before his speech.
As the evening progress and more and more guests arrived, they occupied their time getting acquainted with the open bar and to each other.
But wait, what's that in the back sitting on the lawn?
Why yes, its the Pagani Zonda R, the most insane car Pagani has built to date.
It is a celebration of all things carbon fiber and is the Zonda's last hurrah.
Like many of us, my only experience with the Zonda R was only vicariously through Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear. I've personally never seen a Zonda in person before this event, let alone the R. The carbon fiber weave is absolutely exquisite.
And the ceramic coated headers and four exhausts is a work of art.
I was not the only one ogling and trying to not get drool on the carbon fiber.
When you have a car that looks this nutty and laps the Nurburgring with a time of 6 minutes and 47 seconds, crowds will be a natural part of its existence.
Before I knew it, the evenings main event took place.
Mr. Pagani took to the podium and proceeded to talk about the Huayra and the car's introduction to the North American market.
After Mr. Pagani's speech, he posed with the Huayra for a few shots for the press corps…
…met with all the VIPs that were in attendance…
…and sat inside his creation as he posed for some more photos for the press.
The instant he sat into the Huayra, the his media professionalism slipped away and you can see a change in his demeanor. He looked like a child which was set loose in a toy store –a toy store with which he created from the ground up.
After Mr. Pagani slipped away from the crowd, all the guests and the press dove in to take a few last minute looks at the car and to talk to Pagani officials.
The next time this car will be seen in the States is in a few weeks time in Monterey, California, at the Pebble Beach Concours.
As the guests, VIP and the press corps finished up, they made their way down the lawn for a rather whimsical and elegant bite to eat.
All in all, it's hard to complain when your evening is filled with free flowing drinks and two of the most exotic and exclusive super cars in the world.
Now here's the important part, where do I sign up for one, Mr. Pagani?