Posted Jun 4th 2012 1:00PM
Over the last couple of decades, we've seen countless attempts by startups looking to crack the supercar establishment. Predictably, the intenders have enjoyed and suffered wildly varying degrees of success. Some, like SSC North America, have attempted to get the attention of the world's plutocrats through sheer speed, while others, like Spyker, have attempted to gain access to the world's wealth through Ming The Merciless design. Nearly all have brought something new to the table, but essentially no new brands have managed to join the pantheon of hypercar royalty founded by Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti and Porsche. Well, nobody except for Pagani. If Horatio and friends don't yet have a seat at the table, they are certainly building the best case for admission, first with a seemingly endless stream of Zonda variants and now with this new Huayra.
The Huayra may have debuted a year ago, but the Modena-based automaker has been a bit skinflint with driving opportunities as it works the kinks out. In fact, the video drive shown above from the UK's EVO is the first full-on road test we're aware of. As we've seen and heard previously, the 730-horsepower Huayra looks the business, but we've been waiting for behind-the-wheel impressions.
According to EVO, the Huayra feels properly fast and engaging, yet it manages to deliver a stable, supple ride without feeling "old mannish." The throttle response from the AMG-sourced 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 is excellent, but the seven-speed single-clutch flappy-paddle gearbox has its fair share of low-speed refinement issues and the steering is chastised for being a bit slow and heavy. Judging from the audio in the video from about 56 seconds in, it also appears to have its fair share of squeaks, though it could be an early build car, or the noises could simply be from the video camera mount.
Regardless, the Huayra looks to be an impressive new baseline for the marque, and given Pagani's penchant for constant improvement as shown in its Zonda predecessor, we predict the this silver bolide will be a thorn in the establishment's side for many years to come.
Click here to watch all the action.