Pagani Tour: The Next Step
The before

The reason that a couple of weeks ago Rod, Bryn and I found ourselves stepping into the Pagani HQ just outside Modena…

… pushing through those glass doors, all started a few months prior in Japan of all places. The opening of the first Pagani dealership in the land of the rising sun led me to have a chat with the hypercar maker’s PR manager, Luca Venturi. Turns out Luca is quite the petrolhead himself and a reader of Speedhunters, so when he mentioned that we should come over to see how they are expanding the factory for the Huayra’s production, well let’s just say that is one invitation you aren’t going to turn down.


Throw in the mention of a possible drive of the car itself, and we couldn’t wait for the time to arrive. But we’ll get to that part of our Italian adventure at a later date, now it’s time to get our nerd hats on and take a stroll through one of the most talked about manufacturers around. What Horacio Pagani has achieved in just little over a decade is simply beyond impressive. Driven by passion and an unstoppable determination to make his own supercar a reality, he put all he had into his vision and it very much paid off. His first baby, the Zonda, has become a legend and a collector’s piece revered by those lucky enough to have the means to indulge themselves. Rod and I visited Pagani back in 2009 as a first look, but since then so much has evolved. They have launched the Zonda’s replacement – the mighty Huayra – and in the process begun a set of steps that will eventually further establish the company with an even mightier footprint.


Our day began at the HQ, the old factory if you will, where Mr. Pagani and most of his staff still have their offices. For the time being these premises will continue to be run alongside the new recently opened production line, which is just a couple of minutes drive away. The reason we started off here is because…


… behind that unsuspecting access door from the showroom into the back of the establishment takes you into what was once the main build room. Here, up to three Zondas were being built at the same time, however now this space has become an extension of the carbon fiber production studio.


This is where carefully cut sheets of prepreg fiber are carefully laid down over the carbon fiber moulds, all set down at specific angles to each other, layered at times with slightly differing weaves to create specific types of carbon for different areas of the chassis or body. Pagani continues to invest a lot into composites R&D and on top of the carbon-titanium weave we originally saw back in ’09 they have invented and patented a few others, all with their own specific uses and qualities. It instantly becomes obvious that this isn’t a company that has rested on its laurels, building and refining their cars with the belief that nothing is ever perfect and that there is always room for improvement and evolution.


Once the carbon is laid down it is then vacuum-sealed inside these bags, wrapped around a special absorbent layer that soaks up the excess resin that will leak out during the ‘cooking’ procedure.


Silver carbon? This is also used around the exhaust outlets as it has a slightly higher tolerance to heat.


Meticulous attention to detail is what defines Pagani – one of the biggest aspects of that is the choice of materials and the way they’re integrated into the final product. There are no trim pieces in a Huayra. If something has to be aluminum it will be milled out of a billet; it has to stand out for its quality, its interaction with the driver down to a tactile level. Above is a perfect example, the two halves of the Huayra’s center console…


… or the hubs which despite not being a part you would see often…


… are give the same attention to detail as bits and pieces that an owner would be in contact with every time he drove the car. It doesn’t matter if you don’t see this sort of quality, knowing it’s there will make the whole experience of owning a Pagani that more special.


Of course for owners that want to stand out a little more you are be able to customize a variety of aspects of your car, much like this assortment of aluminum parts anodized in purple for the one of a kind Zonda 760LH, owned by a customer who goes by the name of Lewis Hamilton.


After salivating profusely at things like Pagani-engraved titanium nuts and bolts it was over into the next room where the autoclaves are located. This is where, day in and day out, the loaded carbon fiber moulds we saw before are cooked under heat and pressure to create…


… the parts that will be sent over to the new production line.


Customer cars are also looked after here, given anything from a quick check over or repaired and updated as needed. This Zonda had been completely stripped down and was in the process of being rebuilt and refreshed back to showroom perfection. From here Luca took us a few hundred meters away…

New horizons

… to see the new establishment, or at least the first part of what will eventually become the main production line of the all-new Pagani factory. From the outside you could never guess the automotive jewels that are being created under its unsuspecting appearance, but like his cars, Horacio has rather big plans for his new factory. Given the rather impressive number of orders they have received for the Huayra – which stand at circa 120 the last I heard – the need to expand was a must. Part of a very big investment, this new factory will allow Pagani to boost its production to about 40 cars a year allowing them to cut waiting times as much as possible, keeping customers even happier.


Next to the main factory building this old concrete warehouse will soon be demolished and in its place a modern face for the Pagani brand resurrected. It will double up as a showroom and display area as well as a place for the administrative office, design studio and some areas of the production line.


Once all completed this is what it will look like.


Here you can see what the showroom will look like from the outside…


… and the inside. All the design has been done by Horacio Pagani himself. He wouldn’t have had it any other way – Pagani and its cars have to be his vision down to the smallest of details. Let’s have a look inside…


… and see how it’s all growing. It’s hard not to instantly be bewitched. All those details I mentioned before, all those parts that make up these special cars, they are all neatly stacked and being put together around you and then, then you step into the Huayra production line. I literally dropped my camera bag and just stared in awe…


… slowly walking past every car. Mind blown!


Seeing the Huayra being built and ready to roll off the production line, you quickly begin to understand why people out there are willing to drop 1.3 million Euros on one of these cars. They may all be the same model, but each is bespoke, tailored to each owner’s requirements and they ooze presence unlike very few cars out there.


I really fell for this flat metallic silver example, sporting glossy contrasting carbon details (of course it’s all carbon!)…


… and a beautifully appointed interior clad with the sweetest leather, emanating a scent of pure luxury. The coolest thing is, this car is heading straight to Japan, ready to be delivered to its customer. It would be very cool if in the future I will come across it!


While I snapped away, our mighty leader Rod, was Instagramming away, sharing some of the #JoyOfMachine we were all experiencing that warm afternoon in Modena. I’m sure you guys also felt it if you were looking at our IG feed!


This car had just been completed that day, a stunning example finished off in a translucent blue that allowed the underlying carbon fibers to be visible. Funnily enough this was a new purchase from a gentleman who already owns a Huayra, one more to add to his collection if you will. By the end of this factory tour I hope that you too will understand why people buy more than one Pagani.


The same blue was also used in the interior along with white leather. Bellissima!


Moving up the production line I came across cars that were in varying stages of production; here you can see one that was almost there, still wearing the rubber protectors for each of the body panels.


Its interior was completed however and Bryn, seemed to approve.

Step by step

But let’s trace this Huayra build process right to the start. It all kicks off with these rather nice trolleys…


… onto which the main sections of the car are placed upon, like the main monocoque tub above. From here a variety of jobs are undertaken, from laying down the wiring loom and sensors, to the fitment of various components.


In another area of the factory, carbon fiber parts, once removed from their mould, are brought to these airtight ventilation rooms.


Here the carbon is checked over, sanded down, impurities removed and sent off to paint.


This door had just been completed, all ready to go, but not before the rubber seals were fitted around the glass opening.


More buffing and machining of a rear bumper being done here. These guys are all well trained at spotting any potential imperfection that would result in an inconsistent finish. Quality control is crucial when trying to achieve what can only be described as perfection.


There’s that door ready to be test fitted to a chassis before being sent off to the paint shop.


The whole front structure of the Huayra, impressively enough, is bolted onto the main tub with only four bolts. The hand-welded aluminum frame that holds each component in place is extremely strong and has been designed to take all of the severity of a frontal crash should the worst happen. But here is the thing that blew me away. In the twenty or so crash tests that Pagani have had to do to meet various homologation regulations around the world, they have only ever used one main tub. Even with the most stringent and brutal of tests it has only been the frontal structure that has taken the damage. The monocoque and its mounts took no damage and never has the front windscreen cracked. So it turns out the Huayra is not only one of the fastest cars in the world, it’s also one of the safest!


This is where we can really begin to nerd out. Check out the Öhlins dampers…


… and the forged aluminum alloy suspension arms that actuate them…


… all mounted up to those hubs that we saw earlier on.


Pagani has teamed up with Brembo for the Huayra’s stoppers, developing six-pot calipers and carbon ceramic floating discs to take all the abuse an owner would dare give his pride and joy.


High quality Hella projectors are used on the Huayra’s front light assembly, the main units the same bi-xenon items that a lot of LMP cars employ. In fact Singer uses the same projectors on those stunning 964-based 911s they build out in California.


And here they are fitted into their aluminum and carbon enclosures.


With the front of the car done, it’s time to get started on the rear section and before anything is bolted in place, the engineers building the Huayra will need to go out to this area of the factory …


… and collect one of these units specially delivered from AMG in Germany.


The 5980 cc M158 twin turbo V12 is a unique engine built especially for Pagani by the master craftsmen at AMG. This engine is a stressed member of the Huayra’s chassis and is sent to Pagani ready to be installed, and already run in and power checked to guarantee that every single unit delivers the 730hp and 1000Nm (737 lb/ft)  that’s claimed on the specs.


The engine runs Borg Warner EFR turbochargers, big enough to supply that explosive power and torque delivery but small enough to not create any perceivable turbo lag. With 3 liters and six cylinders per bank you can imagine these turbos have no problem spooling up and reaching peak boost shortly thereafter. You can see that they also have an integrated Compression Recirculation Valve (BOV to you and me) to stop compressor surge when you back off the throttle, further minimizing lag.


The M158 uses charge coolers to cool the intake charge, the simplest solution with an engine mounted centrally in a chassis. These are then fitted with gold anodized heat sink covers that match the engine cover beneath.


The engine is then bolted onto this work of art, the X-Trac seven-speed transaxle transmission.


Pagani did test a dual clutch transmission during the Huayra’s development but it turned out to be far too heavy at around 220 kg. That’s the last place Horacio Pagani wanted to place that much weight so they approached X-Trac in the UK to come up with something that would work, yet at the same time meet strict weight limits. This whole seven-speed sequential unit hits the scales at a barely believable 90 kg and has a transverse layout to keep the weight as far inwards and towards the center of the car as possible.


With the engine and transmission in place the Huayra’s rear end begins to look more and more visibly tantalizing!


The hand welded inconel exhausts are fitted into place, each of the silencers and four tail pipes carefully protected by Pagani branded soft covers.


Like every other detail back there, it’s a little work of art all by itself.


Only on F1 cars do you see this level of quality, not to mention the choice of metal!


With everything in place, the suspension links and dampers are all bolted into place…


… each component standing out due to its gold anodized finish. It makes looking and admiring the car all that more pleasurable!

Using technology

Behind the scenes, each step of the build is supplied with parts automatically laid out thanks to an automated shelving system.


Depending on what step of the production each car may be in, it can all be quickly requested through the touch screen interface and in a matter of seconds…


… picked up from the warehouse section…


… and served up in neatly laid out trays that slide out.


From here, components are placed on a trolley…


… each compartment holding the necessary part and other components to complete the step. It’s a big investment but one that has allowed even more time to be shaved off the production of a car.


There are of course still a lot of steps that take their time; here a beautiful tear drop carbon mirror is being bonded onto its aluminum mount, and once finished will be laid out…


… to dry and cure along with other components that have been finished off by hand…


… before being picked up and fitted to one of the cars.


And so, over the course of a month the Huayra goes from a selection of beautifully built and constructed components…


… to the finished, ready to be delivered, completed car.


Oh and these are the keys to go along with that special purchase! Two per car, just in case you lose one!


On an adjacent area of the production line I spotted some familiar looking body panels…


… and a little solitary production area where a Zonda is being built.


The X-Trac sequential transmission sort of gives it away… this is one of the final Revolución that are being built.


With its AMG M120 engine, six liters of naturally aspirated fury capable of delivering 800hp at 8,000 rpm. I could look at this all day long.


And so there you have it, the first step of Pagani’s next big step. I guess when things are all set up and completed we will have another excuse to drop by and say hello. Hopefully by that time a few hotter versions of the Huayra will already have been released!


Later that night we returned back to the old premises to shoot the last car in this little special trio you see here…


… and for me to get some alone time with “the gold car”…


… I would get the chance to drive the following day.


I have never been so nervous nor had so many thoughts go through my brain in preparation for a drive. Moments like these don’t come around very often so I spent quite some time sitting quietly in that beautiful cockpit, playing with the switches and just looking around in anticipation…

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino

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simply amazeing!  love to live in these times!  keep up that work of yours. Create Peace.


Dino, that Zonda body part you see laying on the ground is not a Zonda R or Revolucion. It has got a turn signal and DRL cutouts, which is not available on the mad race car.


The Pagani cars are a true work of art! And the components... Unbelievable. This is a dream visit... with a dream drive, in the gold Pagani Huayra! Priceless...


WOW! Simply  Amazing Cars and such a nice facility. The attention to detail on these productions cars is up there with dedicated show builds. I think that any further Pagani articles should come with a NSFW warning, pure porn!


I absolutely love it. Great coverage, great shots.


@turbo beams AE86 :)


jay8393 Ah, that's where Pagani will impress you. They continue to update the Zonda so customers can keep it up to date, which includes DLRs and little alterations. That's right, the cowl is off a 760 I believe but some parts behind it are for the Revolución that was being built. Good eye you have there! :)


SeBaBunea Yes it was an incredible experience and the access we got was even more incredible. Pagani and all its staff absolutely rule!


BrockHarvison LOL, yes the level of detail is as good as it gets. X-rates stuff indeed haha


majys Thank you majys


speedhunters_dino With each article about Pagani I read, the more I want to visit the factory and meet Mr. Pagani. I wouldn't mind paying millions to buy one, even if I can't drive it. His creations are work of arts that wouldn't looks out of place at an art museum. I simply love the Zonda Cinque. Thanks to NFS Hot Pursuit, it replaced the old Ferrari Enzo as my new dream car.


Man I love in-depth tours of the amazing engineering, quality and passion in how amazing cars are built. Love these features!
Personally for me, i think the only options regarding paint for the Huayra should only be flat colours. Reflections caused by glossy paint are too distracting. Flat paint shows the car's beautiful lines the best, and nothing else is reflected to the eyes except for the beauty of the car itself.


You'll like the Huarya feature we have coming then, their demo is in flat gold!


very very interesting to see all the production steps and details of such an impressive car!  thx


That sounds like a new type of coffee drink from NZ


koko san My pleasure to share all of this with you guys:)


SparkyR_1 Yes but there is also the argument that a flat color would cover up all those perfectly and symmetrically laid carbon fibers...  Still after lots of reflection I think I am pretty sure how I would spec up my Huayra. All I need now is 1.3 million Euros. Anyone care to sponsor me? :D


Gold would be vulgar! Well I think the Huayra is the only car worthy enough to be in (flat) gold. Looking forward to it!


Mind you (although not a NZ brand) those Nespresso capsules would make quite the colour palette.


Hey that's actually a rather very good point. What made the Zonda appealing to me was its visible carbon body and the attention to detail on the pattern of the weaves was really mind-boggling. I'm really fascinated with the whole carbo-tanium body so yeah definitely nothing with other finishes of paint I guess!


SparkyR_1 Clear coat it is then :)


i love the 'dino-vision' in the beginning but where's the in car footage?!??!?!! (or did i miss that?) the details are so intense! wonderful coverage!


First off, this is friggin sensory overload.  I simply can not get over the interiors of these cars, never mind all the other aspects, the interior alone is just so bonkers.
Side note but.... First picture of Bryn ever posted on SH?  I wanna say yes.


" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "           



So I've now just finished the article reading every bit and studying each picture... Pagani really has their shit together!  That automatic inventory/storage system is incredible.  Told my girlfriend and she said "someone very OCD must be running that place." haha  OCD, or passionate... or both.


Very inspiring article, not only the cars but the expansion plans and level of investment they've put into their company. Great things to come I'm sure, looking forward to hearing about it here on SH. Thanks guys.


zephoto I like to think of it as having a certain set of principles to live by, standards if you will, rather than OCD.


RyanGates Great things indeed! :)


zephoto Yes, strong beliefs, stronger drive, and a passion to create the best you possibly can. It's an inspiring place to visit let me tell you


RyanGates zephoto bit of OCD never killed anyone haha


Gomez85 :)


zephoto I'm sure there have been a few before lol


d_rav Oh...that's coming soon.  Patience ;)


That last page gave me chills... So much amazing detail put into each and every Pagani


speedhunters_dino Gomez85 For our 30th wedding anniversary, we are going to spend 10 days in Parma....I may be in trouble, as it's in close to the factories of Ferrari, Pagani and Lamborghini. Would it be okay to drop her at the Palazzo della Pilotta for the day? Or two?


That NA V12 on the last page is one pretty lookin engine.


I just read this article again and still amazes me that everything in every aspect of everything they is so well thought out and planned that nothing goes unconsidered. Every part of Pagani's cars no only has a purpose but it looks good while doing that purpose and some parts have more then one function, like the carbon fibre cross brace behind the dash that is also a duct for the air-conditioning and the tubes that form the chassis also houses some of the cable work. And then to see that same relentless pursuit for perfection in the details in everything else that they do like their manufacturing process and the new workshop is breathtaking. We all could learn quite a lot from Pagani and his team.


@zz As good as they come!


mandeepchase :)


BrockHarvison Yes and they manage to execute excellence in everything they do with a family type atmosphere. A happy workplace will always yield excellent results


I still don't like the Huayra's design - especially compared to the tantalizing Zonda - but that blue actually makes it look okay. The accomplishments and level of craftsmanship reached here are of course exquisite. That they are powered by my beloved AMG engines is an added bonus!
This is how Hamilton's Zonda looks like btw:


Blown. Away. Price is a bargain. Now, to get one of the hubs on my wall...


P1 Race Photography It might sound pretty silly, but considering how these cars gain value over the years (look at Zondas swapping hands for a pretty hefty premium over their original prices) a Pagani will always turn out to be a great investment.


@PhilippUlrich Even the wiper is purple lol That's probably billet aluminium too!


autoinc I think you mean "sneak peek"


speedhunters_dino The crazy thing is that he loves it so much that he sometimes takes it with him around the world. He lives in Monaco, but brought the car to the Singapore GP for instance!


Incredible. I can't wait to go there some day.


I shall now, put my ambition; is to work at Pagani. What a place!


"The whole front structure of the Huayra, impressively enough, is bolted onto the main tub with only four bolts." I think you mean four bolts per side. If you look at the picture below this quote you can see the front subframe has two bolts up top towards the outside of the car and two bolts lower down towards the center of the car, per side.
Great article and incredible pictures as always.


your photos are used by scam company


Someone is using your photos to scam people out of tens of thousands of dollars. I thought you would like to know. Sorry if this is the wrong medium to do this, I am trying to inform as many people as possible of whose photos were used.