In the world of supercars, you have many different players. Ferrari is the technological wonder child, while Lamborghini is that school bully that developed a bit of common sense with age. Aston Martin is the sophisticated gentlemen spy that can charm any living thing with a single word. Then, you come to Pagani, the new boy. These cars don’t feature any sophistication or old world charm. Yet, their radical designs and outrageous performance have placed them in the top tier of the supercar tree and now, we have a new version, the C9.
In the world of follow-ups, this one is massive. Sort of like the Godfather II following the Godfather. The Zonda was the car that made Pagani into the company you see today. Automotive journalists loved it and the base version spawned many different special editions and one-offs like the Zonda F and Cinque. It was like nothing ever seen before. The Zonda’s development was evolutionary, but the C9 that will replace it will be revolutionary.
UPDATE 03/15/2013: Pagani has unveiled a new promo video for its Huayra supercar. Called simply "God of Wind" the new video is just an attempt to bring the supercar back to our attention. Enjoy!
Hit the jump for more details on the Pagani Huayra.
The C9 will feature a carbon-titanium chassis like the Cinque, forged aluminum alloy suspension, specially developed tires from Pirelli, Bosch electronics, and emission standards that should allow the new Pagani to be sold everywhere, including the United States, marking the first time that US customers will be able to able to enjoy this Italian supercar. The C9 is expected to be made out of carbon-titanium, which will keep the weight down to around 2700 pounds.
The exterior styling of the C9 will follow in the footsteps of the Zonda and it will feature Mercedes SLS-like gullwing doors. The large rear-wing is gone and the taillights, which were horizontal, rectangular units mounted low down, have been replaced by three circular lights mounted higher up. The squared off mesh grille has been tossed aside in favor of a more elliptical opening and we can clearly see that the high-mounted barrel exhaust tips remain.
All the luxury amenities that you’d expect from the Pagani Huayra are all included. The supercar’s interior is chalk full in high-end leather, aluminum, and carbon fiber. One of the most interesting features of the Huayra are actually the keys. In its constant desire to come out with the unexpected, Pagani has found a new way to completely blow us away. Unlike standard ignition keys, the Huayra’s key is actually a miniature model of the vehicle cast in aluminum, which, incidentally, is the same material found on the wheels of the car. The aluminum key, which a lot of people might mistake for a toy, splits into two parts when opened. On one end, you have the actual key to the ignition of the supercar while the other end is actually a USB stick that Horacio Pagani describes can be used "for music." Lord knows we never thought of that.
The Huayra’s steering wheel will also have all the necessary functions, including the paddles that are mounted directly on the steering gear, allowing drivers to enjoy the breakneck speed of the supercar without taking their hands off the wheel. Complementing the premium leather interior of the Huayra is the shiny aluminum given on the center console and panel.
Lastly, the Huayra’s central touch screen high-definition multimedia system is the block for which the Pagani supercar breathes. All the pertinent controls of the car, including audio functions, satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone and even secondary functions are all housed inside the high-tech touch screen.
Throughout the Zonda’s life not much was changed. It used a very light and robust chassis and incredibly gorgeous aerodynamics, but every new specialty version was basically the same. The C9 that will launch in 2011 or 2012 is a brand new car in terms of weight distribution, materials, and dynamics. Overall, the new C9 has 3,770 new parts.
Powering this masterpiece is a new motor that was developed exclusively for Pagani by Mercedes-Benz AMG. The old motor, also designed by Mercedes AMG and used in Zonda, is naturally aspirated, but the new motor might not be. AutoCar is reporting that the C9’s motor will carry twin-turbochargers and put out a massive 700 horsepower and 730 pound-feet of tire smoking torque. All that power should be sent to the rear wheels via an X-trac seven-speed sequential transmission, all the while reducing carbon emissions by half, making this Pagani Euro 5 compliant.
That sensational motor should be able to take the new C9 to 60 miles per hour in under three seconds and if you keep going, the Pagani will hit speeds in excess of 220 mph. The motor will be connected to a single clutch transmission and will truly be a mother of violence.
We aren’t entirely sure about the complete specifications of the new engine, but Pagani has just confirmed that it will not be the V12 found in the SL65 Black Series. We’ll keep digging and waiting to get the official engine specs.
To help slow the C9 down, it will feature special air brakes at the back that will be made from the ultra-expensive, ultra-lightweight carbon-titanium material. They will be assisted by enormous carbon ceramic brake discs.
AirBag Issues Pose Delay for Huayra
Despite the fact that the first Huayra had already been brought to the US market, U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had some bad news for the company back in August 2011. The company will have to install advanced airbags into the super car because the US NHTSA had denied them the airbag waiver provided to Tesla and Lamborghini in the past.
"Although Pagani has realized profits in recent years, the company asserted that immediate compliance with the advanced air-bag requirements will cause substantial economic hardship," NHTSA said in today’s notice. "Pagani stated that the company only operates on the cash on hand without lines of credit or debt financing, and its small profit margin is necessary to guard it from market fluctuations."
If Pagani hopes to sell the allocated 5 units in the States, they’ve already calculated that they would have to spend an additional 4 million euros (or $5.7 million at the current exchange rates).
That same month, Pagani insisted that they would solve the airbag problem and the Huayra would continue its trip to the US market by 2013. "The US market is important to Pagani and the future of our company. The Huayra project had a US market introduction as a key goal from the start. The reception we are currently experiencing in the US fully supports our vision and will fuel our determination to successfully deliver the Huayra to our customers in the United States."
When and How Can We Get One?
The C9 will be a rare machine, as only 20 will be produced per year and the chances of owning one are slim, as not many people have $1.3 million in their new car fund. Although 20 per year might not seem like a lot, Pagani had to design a completely new factory to cope with the numbers.
Pagani has confirmed that the new Huayra supercar will be sold on the US market later this year through a dealer network: "We are thrilled at the opportunity to represent the Pagani brand in the United States and we look forward to the successful launch of the Huayra," said Horacio Pagani, the company founder. "This automobile is the result of five years of dedicated effort from the Pagani team and we see this as an unprecedented opportunity to continue expanding our vision of the future for the supercar industry."
No matter when it’s released, the C9 is sure to be brilliant and although it might not spark the same sort of emotion as a Ferrari or an Aston, the new C9 should place Pagani on the top branch of the supercar tree.
With such an outstanding price tag, there isn’t a whole lot that will go up against the Pagani C9. In terms of performance, the Ferrari 599 GTO, the Bugatti Veyron, the Aston Martin One-77, and the Lamborghini Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce might rival it.
The Veyron still has more power than the Pagani, but as we saw on an episode of TopGear, that extra power might not matter much on the track, as the C9 will be lighter and nimbler. As exclusive as the C9 will be, the Bugatti will probably still remain the king of the exotics.
The Lamborghini Murciélago is in its last days, but this LP 670-4 is one powerful machine. It packs 661 horsepower, where as the C9 has 690. We have no doubts that Pagani will be faster, as it’s much newer, but the Lamborghini won’t be too far behind.
In terms of style, the Aston Martin takes the title and in terms of power, the One-77 trumps the C9 again with 750 horses. Many think that the C9 will hit 60 mph in around three seconds, possibly under, but the One-77, despite the added power, will do it in 3.5 seconds. Pagani also believes that their newest creation will top 220, while the Aston appears to be out of steam at that point. Both of these machines will be rare, as only 77 One-77 examples will be made. Basically, if you want a performance only machine, get the C9, but if you want style on top of that speed, the One-77 might be the better choice.
Ferrari’s latest creation, the 599 GTO might have issues competing with the C9 in terms of straight line power, but corners might be another story. We tend to think that the fastest car to ever lap the Ferrari test track will be able to keep up with a Pagani, but only time will tell.
The C9 should be ready for purchase in late 2011 or 2012. The company will make 40 a year, but Autocar is reporting that the Zonda will still be made to order for rich customers.