God of the Wind

Nothing is better than being a car guy, especially one having the opportunity to talk with the movers and shakers of the automotive world. Kurt Fergraeus, the Managing Partner of Pagani of Dallas gives us the walk around tour of the new Pagani Huayra (Italian pronunciation: ˈwaira’).  There is a reason why it was named Huayra, because it means ‘God of the Wind’ and it flies through the wind with incredible power and ease.

First, what’s it like inside? It be like sitting inside the Mona Lisa or being attached to one of Michelangelo’s sculptures. You feel a part of it the moment you slide into those leather seats. The interior is so luxurious that you forget you can take this car to the track. I hear through the grapevine that there will be some options coming that could provide seats for track use which I would like to see. Inside, Pagani paid attention to every minute detail. Your eyes can’t focus on one thing because you are looking around so much taking it all in. Everything is manufactured to an extremely high standard. You’ll notice a knob in the bottom of the seat. Looks cool, but its function is to adjust the seat. The seats are so close to the sides of the gullwing doors they couldn’t place the controls on the bottom sides. I find it very ingenious and adds to the uniqueness of the interior design. It is the most comfortable supercar on the planet. Plenty of legroom for those even 6’4″ and everything is within reach. I could go on and on with all the interior designs, but what we really want to know is what it’s like with the motor running and ready to attack.

What’s it like on the street? First you have to get passed all the eyes staring at you. Want to know what it feels like to have paparazzi around you, drive a Pagani. It causes eyes to bugged out, necks to snap and uncontrollable smiling from passersby. And get ready to see every smartphone camera being whipped out of every pocket and instantly uploaded to social media. You’ll be a star just being seen in this car.

How fast is it? FAST! The AC Cobra with 427 can do 0-100-0 in 10 seconds. The Pagani is in that category and beat that 10 second time. The sound of the whirling turbos is music! Why do they put stereos in cars like these, it’s the engine that is the symphony, but in this case an angry Cheetah listening to heavy metal is more like it.

The braking is a confidence booster. Ceramic brakes, it’s like being in a F1 car and racing so fast to corner or stoplight in this case it’ll stop on a dime and give you change back.

The outside design was shocking to those who followed the Zonda for the last few years. It looks better in person. Every flowing line is there for a reason and it’s slippery! There is carbon fiber everywhere and every piece could be framed and hung on the wall as art. Just lift the rear bonnett and your eyes are glued to the gold bits and carbon fiber. There is more to see under the hood than inside the cockpit.

Kurt tells us many owners are buying two. One to drive and the other to show. Personally, the second is probably only bought so the owner can stare at it all day, it has that alluring nature we don’t see in cars today.

My overall impression of the Pagani Huayra is this car has set the standard in today’s automotive world of design and power. Yes, we have the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918, but they all seem to have the same feel, not like the Pagani.

I’ll have to get a bigger piggyback, one that’ll hold $2 million because that’s what it’ll take to get one, but the sad news. All 100 Pagani Huayras are sold and the spyder version should be coming in 2016-17 at Geneva so we have time to save up and get on the list!

Now the tech stuff:
The Huayra uses a twin-turbo, V12 engine developed by Mercedes-AMG specially for the Huayra. The Huayra’s 6.0-litre engine, the M158, produces 730 metric horsepower (720bhp (539 kW)) and 1,000 N·m (740 lb·ft) of torque. Its top speed is about 231 mph (372 km/h) and it has a rating 0–60 miles per hour (0–97 km/h) acceleration time of 3.2 seconds. Using Pirelli tires, the Pagani Huayra is capable of withstanding 1.66 g of lateral acceleration at speeds of up to 230 mph (370 km/h).

The Pagani Huayra uses a seven-speed sequential gearbox and a single disc clutch. The choice not to use a dual-clutch in an oil bath was due to the increase in weight of over 70 kg (154 lb), thus negating any advantage of the faster gear changes in a double-clutch transmission. As a result, the entire transmission weighs 96 kg (212 lb).

The car is equipped with Brembo brake calipers, rotors and pads. The calipers have four pistons in front and four in the rear. The rotors are drilled carbon ceramic, 380 mm (15.0 in) in diameter and 34 mm (1.3 in) thick.

Engine Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division provides the engine of the Huayra which is hand-built by Michael Kübler. The 5,980 cc, twin-turbo, 60° AMG M158 V12, has been designed at the request of Pagani to reduce turbo lag and improve response, realized with smaller turbos, a different intercooler configuration and re-programmed ECU settings.

Like many high-performance cars, the Huayra uses dry sump lubrication. This has several key benefits including guaranteeing oil flow even when the car is subjected to extreme lateral acceleration, preventing “oil surge” which allows the engine to operate more efficiently while the lack of an oil pan allows mounting the engine lower, lowering the car’s center of gravity and improving handling. The fuel consumption of the Huayra is 10 mpg (23 l/100 km) in city and 14 mpg (17 l/100 km) in highway (EPA testing).

A water / oil heat exchanger reduces engine warm-up times on cold days and helps maintain a stable temperature for refrigerants and lubricants.

To minimize the use of pipes and fittings (and the overall weight of the vehicle), the expansion tank is mounted directly on the engine. Intercooler fins act as an expansion tank circuit at low temperatures.

The titanium exhaust system was designed and built by MHG-Fahrzeugtechnik. Hydroformed joints were developed to reduce back pressure and ensure a free flow exhaust. Titanium reduces the weight of the exhaust system while the Inconel silencers improve reliability in the most exposed parts of the exhaust at high temperatures. The entire system weighs less than 10 kg (22 lb).

Pagani Huayra at 2011 Geneva Motor Show
The Pagani Huayra is different from its predecessor in that it incorporates active aerodynamics. It is capable of changing the height of the front from the ground and independently operating four flaps placed at the rear and front of the car. The behavior of the flaps is managed by a dedicated control unit that is fed information from systems such as the ABS and ECU, which pass on information about the car’s speed, yaw rate, lateral acceleration, steering angle and throttle position. This is intended to achieve minimal drag coefficient or maximum downforce depending on the situation. The Huayra’s designer Horacio Pagani states that it has a variable drag coefficient of between .31 to .37. The system also prevents excess body roll in the corners by raising the “inside” flaps (i.e. the left ones in a left-handed corner and vice versa), increasing the downforce on that side of the car. The rear flaps also act as an airbrake. Under hard braking, both the front suspension and the two rear flaps are raised to counteract weight transfer to the front wheels and keep the whole car stable, for instance when entering a corner. Air from the radiator is extracted through an arch in the bonnet at an angle that is designed not to affect the streamline around the body. The side air intakes behind the front wheels create a low pressure zone, resulting in downforce.

Pagani Huayra, God’s favorite car.

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