Pagani’s King of the Road

The Italian sports car maker has created true hypercar royalty. Chris Carter reports.

Days when Italian sports car maker Pagani reveals a new model are few and far between so "each of theseevents deserves more than a little attention", says Andrew Krok forCNET's Road Show. Its products are "utterly ridiculous hypercars built on the weird fringes of automotive engineering" and their "exclusivity makes them even more interesting". The new Huayra BC Roadster is no exception. This is "one ridiculous car".

The all-new 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 engine has been specially designed for Pagani by AMG the firm that tweaks Mercedes' models to boost performance. "It's a thumper too," says Rowan Horncastle in Top Gear, churning out 791bhp and 774lb ft of torque. It sits just behind the driver's head and feeds an Xtrac seven-speed automated manual transmission. An all-new monocoque, made from a blend of carbon-fibre and titanium, underpins it all. The new composite material stiffens the car up, allowing you to put it under more stress on the track, as well as protecting you should you get "overconfident and spear it into a wall". On the downside, the fancy new material has increased material costs by 450%. "Yowch."

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That, at least, goes some of the way to explaining the price. "Just 40 examples of the BC Roadster will be made and each will carry a price-tag of around £2.8m before taxes," says Mike Duff for Autocar. "That's more than three times what the first Huayra coup was sold for, but Pagani says it has no shortage of customers." Still, if £2.8m is a stretch too far, then fret not. The Italian supercar manufacturer unveiled its newest creation last month by producing a virtual version for CSR Racing 2, a mobile-phone game produced by Zynga, says Kirsten Korosec on TechCrunch. So you can at least imagine you're driving one if you buy the game.

It's a shame people more won't get to experience the real thing as it provides a sense of occasion like no other car on the road, says Top Gear. If you "rock up behind a Huyara Roadster in amotorway lane in your McLaren,you'd do very well just to leave it be" because the Huayra is "spectacularly, brutally fast". It gets from 60mph-150mph "with such disdainful ease" you'll need to "raise your game and have the reflexes of a martial-arts master". This is "true hypercar royalty" and "a glinting example of what can be done with an absolutely zero-compromise attitude".

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