220mph in the Pagani Huayra prototype
It’s never done a high-speed test run, but it’s about to take its first shot at hyperspeed…
Posted: 08 Jun 2012
348kph. That's 216mph. Nearly 100 metres every second. It's getting hot in here. Sweat streams down my back and chest, gathering in a pool somewhere about my perineum. I would like to blame this on the prototype's lack of air-conditioning. It has rather more to do with the fact that we're now into territory only ever visited by a handful of production cars. Unlike James's Veyron Super Sports run at Ehra-Lessien, tackling this bowl isn't simply a case of pointing the wheel straight and clinging on: the ‘neutral speed' at which cars should track straight in the fast lane is 149mph. 200mph+ requires serious left-hand lock.
I glance at Davide. He is a picture of calm. The noise rises again, the horizon envelops the Huayra and, for a fleeting second, I see the speedometer strain past 350kph. I waggle the video camera in front of the dial and, as a Top Secret Security Vehicle swings onto the track, Davide backs off. Did we hit 220mph? Must have been damn close.