First drive: our debut in the Pagani Huayra
18 months since he first saw it, Tom Ford finally gets a go in the mental 730bhp Huayra
Posted: 08 Jun 2012
Horacio Pagani is pirouetting around his office pretending to be a ballerina. Which wasn’t what I was expecting to find when I woke up this morning. But there’s sense to the oddness – he’s explaining his theories on centralisation of polar moments of inertia with reference to mid-engined supercars. Which, weirdly, I was expecting to find when I woke up this morning, except possibly in a slightly more practical fashion, because I’m here to drive the new Pagani Huayra, the £800k, 730bhp twin-turbo V12 that’s had me in fits ever since I first saw it some 18 months ago.
We do a lot of chatting. About Veyrons, and Carrera GTs and supercars in general. It’s hard to concentrate, simply because there’s a little voice in the back of my head chanting “I want to drive the car now”. There’s a Huayra downstairs. I really do want to drive the car. Now. But Horacio loves cars. And engineering. And talking about them. So I smile and become engrossed, and the little voice gets subsumed by a torrent of car-stuff that pours through HP’s office in an invisible but slightly petrol-scented fog.
We talk about the future, and the past. But the one thing that constantly comes through in glorious high-def is that Horacio Pagani, with his black jeans and Pagani-branded white linen shirt, sweep of steel grey hair and wire-framed glasses, is really, really into this stuff. He’s obsessive. He’s also a bit mad. He’s brilliant.
The last thing he does before we go and see the car, is sit there and tap his temples with both hands, clutch his right fist over his heart and then make a kind of Tommy Cooper gesture with both hands extended, palms down. It translates – broadly – that to make a decent supercar, you need to combine intellect (the head), soul (the fist to the chest) and physical craft (the hands).
When you see the Huayra, you’ll understand...
Words: Tom Ford
Pics: Jamie Lipman
For the full pictures and story, you need the next issue of Top Gear magazine – out 20 June 2012