Here is a brief history of the path that led to the birth of the Huayra, project origially named C9.
The concept was born in 2003, the year of the introduction of the Zonda S Roadster. As you may recall the early 2000s were prosperous for the world of supercars. The commitment of big car manufacturers have contributed to the rise of extraordinary cars like the Bugatti Veyron, Porsche Carrera GT, Ferrari Enzo, Mercedes McLaren SLR.
This context led Pagani to make several observations concerning the future of the Zonda and what could be a new Pagani. Since the original design of the Zonda was done in the early 90s the first thought was that it was now an obsolete project so they decided to imagine the car totally different in form, dimension, dynamics and technology, all this without losing the essence of their approach, to follow a concept born in the Renaissance where Leonardo da Vinci told the world that art and science are disciplines that need to walk alongside. The eternal element of air in all its forms, especially wind, became the determining factor in defining the concept and it was a great inspiration, as it is ever present in our lives: a jet turbine, the silence of a glider... the elegance of the movements the wind creates but also the violence and force that it can unleash.
The Huayra is made of more than 4000 components (engine and gearbox not included). To create them and put them together requires creativity, patience and passion that is shared by a fantastic young team and with the most competent partners in all sectors.
In defining the size, Pagani immediately thought of a car that would be longer than the Zonda, a track increased by 70 mm, a cabin position shifted 40 mm to the back and even more spacious. He wanted the silhouette to be soft, easy to read and form itself from lean and sleek lines that have a clear beginning and an end.
As style was concerned, during the five years, Pagani tried to find the best compromise working on 8 scale models and 2 full scale models as well as hundreds of drawings without ever leaving the original idea whilst taking meticulous care of the details.
The ideas included elliptical shapes reminiscent of the brand in the front and at the back and keeping the central exhaust as the completion of the line of the canopy, the line starting at the headlight area that continues and ends into the air intake.
Pagani also thought of active aerodynamics from the beginning. Flaps that are activated according to the study of results gathered through calculations and aerodynamic testing. "The whole car is shaped as a wing so it was necessary to create a high front to reduce the length of the upper part of this wing to counteract lift," said Pagani. The active suspension in the front and the 4 flaps allow to optimally balance the drag coefficient and downforce.
Mercedes-AMG has created a truly unique and lightweight engine, a twin turbo with 730 HP and 1000 Nm of torque that perfectly complements the car giving a feeling that has motivated our research: that of the brute force of an airplane taking off.
The main focus was in a power delivery that was linear and not with lag, because that could potentially create safety problems or a continuous operation of electronic driving aids.
Mercedes-AMG 5 years earlier had already anticipated the coming environmental restrictions by creating a 12-cylinder engine that is at the peak of efficiency in terms of CO2 and consumption.
Also, Pirelli created a very progressive tyre for the Huaray with exceptional grip in all situations and with low rolling friction. Every aspect of safety was taking into account as well as the dynamics by which most accidents with high performance rear engined cars occur.
"While developing the C9 we witnessed the evolution of the different models of the Zonda and it showed us that the Zonda wasn’t obsolete as I had originally feared. The Zonda R has been a key laboratory for the Huayra. The team was able to work on many projects at the same time driving on different tracks that occasionally came to meet by sharing engineering concepts, materials, safety and scientific or design studies."