Gearhead's Trip to EU: Pagani Automobili Factory Tour
The Golden Ticket
My best analogy for our visit to Pagani would be similar to the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” – Not that Horacio was some crazy recluse that was going to give me his company (although that would’ve been VERY cool), it was more about anxiously waiting outside the gates for entry into a world of dreams and wonder. A month or so before I got the reminder, I actually posted on Facebook that is was possibly the greatest reminder in my appointment history. Between another friend and I, we were responsible for the “hookups” into some of the factory tours and connects we wanted to make during our Eurotrip. I had initially reached out via email to a representative, simply via their website. A week or so later, a buddy of mine, *RJ DeVera, offered up some assistance as well - since he had worked with Pagani Corp at several Meguiar’s events. A few emails back and forth and we were locked in for our tour! Our time was slotted in-between visits to Ferrari and Lamborghini, which worked out perfectly as Pagani is physically located between the 2 cities (Modena and Bologna respectively). At 10:45 a.m. we slowly approached the factory. Driving up and down the street trying to find parking, I was a bit giddy as it looked like Horacio’s personal Huayra (matte black) was sitting behind the gates. I asked my friend to hop out and see where to park and what to do next, as the entire building was gated. He buzzed the door and we waited…meanwhile, I parked the car (Italy streets and parking are not fun at all). I approached the front gate where my friends were waiting and my buddy says “She basically said wait here” – I glance down and it’s about 10:50, I guess they’ll let us in right at 11? I thought…
11 a.m. comes around and now there are two additional visitors (holding paperwork) from London that are here for the tour as well. They ask us which one of us is here to pickup our car (LOL!) and I glance over at the one guy I’m with but he doesn’t say anything. We joke a bit and continue to wait.
“BZZZZZZ…” the gate buzzed and I jumped up as if we were in a burning theatre and this was our exit. When we entered the front showroom, the girl I had been emailing was checking our names and accompanied guests. “Albert Roxas – two visitors correct?” I look at my 3rd buddy like sorry man, if she doesn’t let us in you’re voted off the island — but all was good as I explained in broken English that I had requested a total of three. I don’t know why, when it comes to speaking with foreigners, I break out my American Indian dialect, “I Albert, three friends come with” – as if they’d understand that better. Child size and Adult size available.
She mentioned we could take pictures here and that it’d be a few minutes before we start the tour. Take pictures HERE. Wait, I can’t say I’m surprised that they won’t allow pictures of portions of the factory itself, but NO pictures inside?!?!? Zonda #6, Horacio's personal vehicle.
If you’ve seen pictures of the inside of the factory online — fact check, they have been staged. We weren't allowed to take pictures during our tour, as they were in full fledged production of the Huayra — take a look at those floors. As we toured multiple factories, it was pretty apparent where people would allow pics and where people wouldn’t — sure, there were some instances in which proprietary design and trade secrets were on location, but for the great majority it was that these companies didn’t want people to see how messy the assembly area is. While this bummed me out a bit it wasn’t going to stop me from taking images of the showroom which few people will visit in person themselves. We were lucky enough to have two special vehicles inside, the Zonda Cinque Roadster and the latest model, the Huayra.
Zonda Cinque Roadster
The Cinque Roadster is a 1 of 5 specialty built vehicle at the request of a Hong Kong dealer. Built as “the most extreme road-legal Zonda ever created”, the car features multiple aero additions to the “normal” Zonda and oh yeah, they cut the top off.
|Engine||Mercedes Benz AMG engine, Power: 678 hp, Torque: 780 Nm|
|Suspensions||Suspensions in magnesium and titanium|
|Weight||Dry weight 1.210 kgi|
|Weight distribution||In driving condition: 47% front, 53% rear|
|Acceleration||0-100 Km in 3.4 sec., 0-200 in 9.6 sec.|
|Braking||100-0 km in 2.1 sec., 200-0 km 4.3 sec.|
|Maximum side acceleration||1,45 G (with road tyres)|
|Downforce at 300 kph||750 kg|
The Huayra is the successor to the Zonda, but more importantly the version we can actually get here in the U.S. The original Zonda was never street legal so this is the first true Pagani we’ll be seeing on the streets here in the states.
|Engine||Mercedes-AMG M158 V12 twin-Turbo|
|Dry weight||1.350 kg (changing according to the model)|
|Weight distribution||44% front 56% rear|
I ended up buying a shirt and a signed model of the Zonda Cinque (later, I ended up with two of these – talk about impulse buy) – I really wanted one of these awesome jackets that factory workers were wearing that had the Zonda exhaust tips on the back in large format, but found out that they were for employees only (mental note to email Horacio requesting one.) Horacio stopped in as well, along with some of his engineers, going over some revised aero on the Huayra.
Our last stop was a visit to their new location a few streets over. The new building is substantially larger than their current setup and will allow for a larger showroom and increased production capacity. You would think there were rivers of carbon fiber flowing within the walls and titanium lined floors – after all, Horacio really built his name in breakthrough composites.
Even Willy Wonka would be amazed with the bespoke product that Pagani puts out.