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
This caused a deal of shouting and anger. As the security heavies started to root through his camera kit, photographer Justin - in a rare moment of subtlety - backhanded a tiny video camera into my jacket pocket before being shepherded into a windowless interrogation chamber by a burly man with a pair of rubber gloves and a cruel smile. The camera and I made it behind enemy lines, so it is down to my shoddy videography skills to provide either (a) proof of our glorious high-speed run or (b) vital evidence to the impending coroner's inquest.
We swing out onto the 12-mile bowl, and Testi floors it. The speedometer is rated in kilometres per hour, and 354kph is the magic number: 220mph. In three seconds, we are doing 100kph (62mph), and the Huayra is just getting started. This car has already racked up 300,000 miles in testing; it doesn't feel like it. I watch the needle surge up past 200kph - 124mph - in the time it'd take a hot hatch to hit 62mph. Just as I'm thinking, "Ach, maybe this won't be so dramatic...", Testi tugs the wheel violently to the left. We dive across two lanes and my head slams against the Huayra's window. He tugs the wheel to the right and a whimpering noise emerges from somewhere within my head. "Warming the tyres," he grins. Testi slams the throttle again, and the speedo grabs for the 300kph (186mph) mark.