The Italian Junkyard

Thoughts, ideas, criticism about cars. Interesting news and facts from the world of the automobile. Events in Italy and Modena. What you can find elsewhere, filtered through the eyes of a discerning enthusiast. Design, style, everything on the chopping block. Nobody is safe anymore.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

2013 Modena Antiquaria, Pagani Huayra #76009, Ninja Turtles edition

After months of forgetting and "will do later", here it is.

The reference to the upcoming Ninja Turtles movie and the cult cartoon from my childhood (enough, can't risk to enter some hipster-like comments on how good those cartoons were compared too... damn it) isn't casual at all, as the owner is a renowned supercar enthusiast from Hong Kong, involved in the production of a previous Ninja Turtles movie (here is the IMDB link).
As a side fact, his father used to produce artificial Christmas trees, so "Green is important in the family", as he said over the mecca of all Pagani enthusiasts, the Pagani Zonda forum.

Now, the color is a bit of a pain to come out right in pictures, and strong, direct yellow lights don't help at all. I decided not to try and remove the yellow-ness from all the shots as some of them would have resulted pretty much of low quality, so I rather went for a more consistent but mild editing. Or at least I tried. Plus, I wasn't using my own camera and apparently the color's profile wasn't the right one. Plus, I'm definitely not a pro with a camera...

As a reference, the true color of the car is more like this:

Copyright: Daryl Chapman

rather than like this:

Copyright: Linus Lam

Moving on.

This wasn't my first Huayra spotting, but it was the first I could really spent some quality time with. Very few people, chance to get pretty close to the car and Pagani's staff willing to open the doors and so on. Very nice people as usual.

It was also my first Huayra equipped with the so called Track Pack, something Pagani actually never really announced, weirdly enough. In the wake of the Top Gear accident, perhaps it has been a good call to let it go.

Quick resume for those not knowing about it: a so equipped Huayra (it was the former prototype P5 to be precise) was featured on Top Gear for the season opening, and went on to smash the record of the track, sitting on top of the Power Laps. Not that I care much about it. The thing is, people from the Team Speed forum (I'm not 100% sure it started from there, anyway) noticed the car was not running some ordinary tires. After some digging, questioning, discussing and arguing, the tires were found out to be basically the slick tires from the Zonda R, with a very mild profile cut into them. Claims of cheat were all over the place, but eventually Pagani released a statement explaining the tires are an option offered for the Huayra, much in the veins of what many other automakers do as well (I can't think of Porsche on their GT3/GT3RS models with some extreme Michelin shoes). Basically slick tires with a minimal profile just to get approved for road use, and full of asterisks (do not use under 10 °C, on dump roads, etc etc). If you ask me, the situation was extremely poorly handled both by Pagani and the BBC/TG, which could just as easily said from the get go about the tires, and if they felt confident enough, I would even have performed a Power Lap with the standard tires. Ah, whatever.

The Track Pack only visible feature otherwise is the prominent front spoiler which I think greatly reduce the gaping mouth look on the Huayra. I actually got use to the cat fish effect pretty soon, but I guess that's because I'm a Pagani slave and I pass way too much time cataloging pictures of their cars. And I mean really too much time. The thing is, when the spoiler is on, the tail seems a bit too simple in comparison. The Zonda probably had a better balance between the two views, and talking about it, I greatly miss the circular ring surrounding the four pipes at the back, even if the rear clam profiled around the two upper pipes looks great really. Full disclosure, I also like the layout of the Marussia B2 which was released a couple of years prior to the Huayra. So I guess I have a thing for head-aiming exhaust pipes...

Since I mentioned the Zonda, there is something that really struck me when I was in front of this car. The Huayra looks and feels like a much more complete, complex and trimmed car compared to the Zonda. Every single part I could check, especially those crafted from carbon fiber and carbo-titanium, is profiled in a initially weird way, which it's then explained considering its function in the whole car. There are crests, brackets, trimmings, all sort of different shapes just about everywhere to make sure everything works as a whole and in the best possible way. The Zonda on the other hand, in comparison (stress on "in comparison", not talking on an absolute scale here) is much simpler and straight out of the box. This is not the usual argument about the Zonda being old school (damn hipsters), a "manual" supercar and so on. I'm strictly talking about its technical design. Probably because the Zonda was actually released 14 (gasp) years ago and then constantly evolved over the years, it can seem to be made out of many great parts, thoughtfully put together, but perhaps it doesn't necessarily seem as something thought that way from the get go. It may be pretty obvious when you think the original C12 eventually became the monstrous 760 RS, but even the C12 alone seems rather simple. As if they were doing the best using the simplest solutions. Which is a great philosophy if you ask me.

With the Huayra though, and I'm just proposing my personal 2 Italian cents on this, I'd say they just aimed for the moon, no matter what. The car had to be the best on the market and everything had to be designed accordingly, sparing no expense (and/or hours of CAD/FEA/CFD modeling probably). It seems indeed that the Huayra could cost much more to produce, even if that could be balanced out by newer techs, more experience in the business of producing out of the world supercars and so on. Producing probably 2 or 3 times more Huayras than Zondas over their lifespan will help too I'm sure, but we are miles away from any sort of mass production here.
As a result, the Huayra appeared to me like a properly and purposefully designed car, where every part works together with the whole vehicle to achieve its targets.

If it makes any sort of sense.

Just to be clear, gun pointed at my head, I'll take both tank you.

Pictures Copyright: Daryl Chapman, Linus Lam, and Damiano Garro

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