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
Earlier, Davide took me for a hot lap of the Top Secret Test Facility's Top Secret Handling Track in the Huayra. In every other rear-drive hypercar, there's always
a squirm from the rears as you dial in full throttle, a shimmy when you get hard on
the brakes into a sharp corner as physics protest at being pummelled around. But
not in the Huayra - its ability to stay totally bolted to the track was as momentous as
its CERN-particle-like acceleration. I have never experienced a car that feels so glued down.
It's all thanks to the Huayra's active aero: atop the bonnet and on the rear deck are two pairs of rudders, each the size of a large hardback book, which the Pagani's microprocessor brain flips independently to keep the car stable in every situation.
For example, in a fast, long, left-hander, the Huayra's left-front paddle pops up to keep the car's nose flat and counter the weight shift to the outside of the curve; under hard braking, the rear paddles will open to stop the car from standing on its nose. It works astonishingly, with the added advantage that the Huayra's suspension can be made more forgiving for everyday driving: out on public roads earlier, the Huayra rode with freakish fluency for a car capable of 220mph. But is it capable of 220mph?