When you mention Pagani to a non-car guy, it’s not necessarily incoherent if he doesn’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Deep down, though I’m completely wrong, I like to believe that Pagani Automobili is some sort of unknown gem that only real petrolheads know. That might’ve been the case more than 10 years ago (with a pinch of bad faith), but today, Pagani Automobili is one of the very few independent car manufacturers that has managed to become part of the “big boy’s world”, which we think is dominated by the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche & Mercedes.
The company Pagani Automobili S.p.A was founded in 1992 by Horacio Pagani, and its headquarters are in San Cesario sul Panaro, Italy, near Ferrari’s turf. The story of the brand is heavily connected to the story of its founder. Horacio is an argentinian from Buenos Aires, that had been working for Lamborghini at their “carbon fiber department” for a while, and he eventually decided to create his own company. At first, he merely created parts for other cars, which explains the incredible “savoir-faire” of the brand with composite materials.
Later on, Horacio had different projects, and he thought about creating his first car. Creating a car from scratch is a job for a titan, especially nowadays. The italian brand’s success is also heavily linked with Daimler / Mercedes-Benz. Indeed, all of the engines of the cars are from AMG. Being an independent car maker in a titan’s world, it was impossible to take care of every aspect of the car. Up to this day, Mercedes-Benz AMG still supplies the amazing loud V12 for every car.
After many years, the first car was revealed at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show: the Pagani Zonda C12. The Zonda is considered by a lot of petrolheads to be one of the greatest designs of automotive history. It is daring, pure, and completely extra-terrestrial in its looks. The quad-tip exhaust has become a trademark for the brand, and is fancied by pretty much everyone. It has also become a sought-after car that has gone up in value. The Zonda has seen various declinations: Zonda C12, Zonda C12S, Zonda F, the magnificent Zonda Cinque (5 roadsters / 5 coupés) and the track-toy, the Zonda R. The work done on each and every single car is close to artisanship & craftsmanship. With so few models (less than 100 every year, if I’m not mistaken), the attention to detail is very impressive: the amount of work put on every car is baffling (they even make their own “Pagani” bolts). Horacio is an artisan, and I’m not surprised to see the brand where it is today.
At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the brand takes yet another huge turn that takes it to another dimension: they reveal the Pagani HUAYRA. Contrary to the Zonda that had some issues, the Huayra is road-legal in the american market. Indeed, the USA is one of the biggest markets for the italian brand, and it’s not uncommon to see a lot over there (some “famous” car people own a few: Lamborghiniks’s La Monza Lisa, Sparky’s The King… and many more)!
Pagani has just recently revealed their Huayra BC at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, and I can’t wait to see this limited-edition hit european roads. But what really gets me going is to see all the potential there is: Huayra roadster and, above all, the Huayra R, heir to the demonic Zonda R (which I really hope they will one day make).