Pagani Huayra BC in the driving report

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Driving report Pagani Huayra BC
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Get up at 3:30 am at night. Grab the long-term test car and drive from Stuttgart to Milan in the snowstorm. Then fly from Milan-Linate to Catania in Sicily, then fight your way for hours over a busy island road with a 1.3-liter Fiat 500L diesel rental car. It doesn't sound like fun, but it is. Because at the end of the arduous 15-hour journey, a real automobile work of art is waiting to be driven: the P agani Huayra BC.

7:00 p.m., we are standing in a dark courtyard, the is diffusely illuminated with this yellowish light so typical for Italy. A secluded estate in the middle of the Sicilian fields in front of the baroque city of Ragusa, that's where Horacio Pagani called us. 'What does the new Huayra abbreviation' BC 'stand for?' 'BC stands for Benny Caiola,' says Horacio. Visually, it immediately becomes clear that the Huayra BC is the hardcore version of the previous Pagani Huayra supercar. The shine in the eyes of the now 60-year-old reveals that he is still as passionate about it as he was back in 1992 when he founded the small-series forge in San Cesario sul Panaro near Modena in northern Italy.

Pagani Huayra BC pays homage to the first customer

Benny Caiola was the first customer to remember Pagani’s lifelong dream believed. Almost like a brother, Horacio tells the story of New York Ferrari collector Caiola, who bought the very first car ever produced by Pagani in 1999. 'Then Benny wrote a letter in which the car was described as the Michelangelo of the automotive industry. He also enclosed a check for $ 1,000 so that I could invite my mechanics to dinner as a thank you for their good work,' Horacio remembers visibly proud.

The sports car collector Caiola died in 2010. The idea was quickly born to name a Pagani after him. The Pagani Huayra BC not only has the active aerodynamic flaps on the front and rear, known from the basic Huayra, but via onefundamentally modified aerodynamic concept. Except for the roof, all body parts are said to have been newly developed. The front apron now has a sweeping front splitter and carbon flics. The Pagani developers also revised the rear end. In addition to the modified diffuser, a fixed rear wing is now used.

Pagani Huayra BC with wheel arch ventilation as in the 911 GT3 RS

There is also a fascinating aero detail on the front fenders, that we only know from the current Porsche 911 GT3 RS from sports car series development: Upper wheel arch vents, the slots of which are more reminiscent of racing than StVZO. Compared to the previous Huayra, the side wheel arch vents, which are also located in the doors of the BC, have grown. The word 'door' also understates the Pagani Huayra BC mightily. The small-series super sports car lifts its gull-wing doors almost majestically.

Around 20 copies of the BC should be handcrafted. In addition to 136 Zonda models, 94 'normal' examples of the Huayra have so far left the Pagani factory. 'We don't want to produce 300 vehicles a year. Pagani should remain exclusive,' says Horacio. The 120 Pagani employees produced 37 automotive works of art in the past year.

Every sentence by Horacio is filled with passion. Passion that not only knows its own vehicles. 'I love beautiful cars,' says the Pagani boss. He almost bought a Ferrari LaFerrari because it was 'so beautiful'. But why did it turn out to be a Porsche 918 Spyder after all? 'It's easier to drive in everyday life than the LaFerrari. The 918 is perfect, but unfortunately too heavy,' says Horacio, who in addition to the 918 also owns a Carrera GT.

Empty weight of the Über-Pagani: only 1,218 kilograms

While the Pagani Huayra BC is slumbering outside in the courtyard, Horacio asked us inside the rustic-elegant country estate. Open fire, antipasti, stories - listening to Pagani appointments is at least as captivating as the driving experience itself. Where did we stop? Right, the weight. The hybrid sports car 918, weighing over 1,600 kilograms, is far too heavy. 'We deliberately decided against the subject of hybrids because lightweight construction is very important to us. Our customers feel the same way. No customer has ever asked us whether we would like to build a hybrid. We did a Nürburgring simulation with a hybrid Vehicle that is 200 hp more powerful, but was still 5 seconds slower than with a conventional drive. That says it all, 'explains Horacio. With an empty weight of 1,218 kilograms, the Huayra BC, which also carries a monocoque made of carbon and titanium fiber under its body, is supposed to be around 130 kilograms lighter than the basic Huayra (empty weight 1,350 kg).

Meanwhile it 11.30 p.m. We could go on forever with Horacio's storieslisten, but we would not have any objection to a night high-speed excursion over the former routes of the Targa Florio. But the master and the work of art have to stay asleep - we are allocated a slot from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. for photos and driving impressions at short notice.

The Pagani Huayra BC costs 2.4 million euros

Before the short rest of the night, an important email needs to be sent home. A numerical value hovers over this travel date, which does everything differently today than usual. 2.4 - please let it melt on your tongue again - two-point million euros is the price of the Pagani Huayra BC. You have to ask how the insurance is doing. The answer from the Pagani PR department is clear: 'The car is not registered and is not insured!' In plain language. We are responsible for any damage.

Uffff, take a deep breath. In the run-up to the appointment, this announcement, understandably, caused a lot of email traffic between the author, editor-in-chief, publishing management, controlling and, ultimately, our insurance company. Normally, the test vehicles are either insured by the manufacturer or by 'our' insurance, up to a maximum damage amount of 1.5 million euros. Okay, until the value of Pagani Huayra BC is reached, a stately single-family house in a prime location is still missing. To cut a long story short, after increasing the deductible to 25,000 euros, our insurance company gave the green light, but wants to be informed of the exact time of the journey at any time. So now hit out another mail with a large mailing list at midnight. Luckily, there is a network in the wasteland of Sicily.

Five hours later, the entire Pagani convoy is standing with sleepy five o'clock in the morning eyes in front of the baroque old town of Ragusa. The Pagani Huayra BC looks even fresher, more futuristic and grandiose in front of the historic walls than it already does. First of all, it's our photographer's turn, who is once again doing great things. Do you like the pictures too? I would like to pass this on.

Pure fascination: counter-rotating speedometer scaling up to 415 km /h

Yes and how does he drive it now? Uh, I don't know. For safety reasons, the Pagani test driver steers the BC around ten kilometers on the country road from the estate to Ragusa. So far I could only tell you how our Fiat 500L rental car lives up to its reputation here.

And then the big moment. The Pagani test driver vacates his regular seat for the photos. Open the gull-wing door, into the cockpit in the pulpit-like Group C memory style. Carbon bucket seat instead of lounging rental car seats, Pagani Huayra BC instead of Fiat 500L. Madness, to briefly recapitulate, for the equivalent of the Pagani you could clog the empty streets here with around 120 Fiat 500L. But thatThe word 'overpriced' is easy on the lips of many other supercars, but not of Huayra BC. Carbon, aluminum, leather, Alcantara - the high-end workmanship should even make the extravagance experts from Bentley and Rolls-Royce jealous.

The instrument cluster here does not consist of dismal digital displays, but rather reminds of a mixture with its analog round instruments made of historical aircraft and high-quality chronograph. Pagani is not only impressed by the 'big picture', but also by the numerous detailed solutions, such as the counter-rotating speedometer scale up to 415 km /h, the leather straps for closing the front cover and bonnet or the ignition key. His sculpture is more like a 1:43 scale model car.

V12 biturbo now with around 800 instead of the previous 730 hp

The Huayra BC is started classically by turning the ignition key. A brief starter whir, then the six-liter V12 biturbo wakes up even more throaty, even more seething than before. A short burst of gas - the dark V12 idle gurgling turns into a tinny exhaust rumble. The centrally located exhaust system with the twin tailpipes arranged one above the other also resembles a work of art, as is typical for Pagani. Compared to the normal Huayra, the BC model uses a new titanium exhaust system that should weigh only 2.9 kilograms and should therefore be around seven kilograms lighter than before.

The traditional engine marriage between Pagani and AMG remains also at Huayra BC fresher than ever. The M158 V12 mid-engine, the basis of which was once also active in the SL 65 AMG Black Series, is manufactured by the Mercedes sports department exclusively for the Italian small-series manufacturer. 730 PS and a maximum of 1,000 Newton meters of torque have exploded in the Huayra rear so far. And how does the current six-liter unit work with increased performance? I have no idea, I can only say so much so far: At 30 km /h jerking speed behind the photo car driving ahead, the approximately 800 PS strong biturbo behaves amazingly tame. A small movement on the accelerator and immediately a subtle hiss breaks out - harbingers of an infernal turbo punch with a maximum torque of up to 1,100 Newton meters. Pagani describes the performance values ​​as 'not yet final'.

Opposites attract: Fiat 500L and Pagani Huayra BC

End of the photo trip in the old town of Ragusa. Why do we only have to torment ourselves today with the mid-engine hero through the city traffic? With the 'Autodromo di Pergusa', Sicily also offers a wonderful race track on which the lateral dynamic capabilities of the Pagani Huayra BC could have been explored at least to some extent.

For use on the race track, Pagani offers, in addition to the standard ones 20-inch wheels at the front and 21-inch wheels at the rear with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires also offer a combination of 19 and 20-inch tires with Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires.How does the refined steering react? How does the BC steer in with the newly developed chassis including adjustable Öhlins dampers? How does the BC decelerate with its Brembo ceramic brake system. Questions that unfortunately all remain open today. The Pagani test driver politely interferes with the transverse dynamic 'would, would if'. Time to swap. 2.4 million euros will become 20,000 euros again. Out of the Pagani, back into the rental Fiat.

Wow, the sunrise over Sicily makes up for the unprecedented V12 experience. Back on the already mentioned estate. What we haven't mentioned yet: The estate has a small private airfield with a tarred runway. Well, we’ll probably be able to put a 800 hp track of rubber down for a moment? You guessed it, maximum photo speed is now allowed. Damn it, someone in front of us distributed an extra portion of gravel on the 660 meter long runway. It is understandable that we shouldn't 'sandblast' the automobile work of art here at a forced pace.

How does it look like now, after the spectacular sunrise motifs, with a driving impression? 'Later on the road,' is the answer of the Pagani escort team. 'Later on the country road' means a typical island country road with branches from which a historic tractor could turn at walking pace at any time - so the ideal terrain for an 800 hp mid-engine athlete. Anyway, get out of the Fiat 500L and back into Huayra BC.

Turbos can still sound like turbo here

The Pagani test driver is now sitting in the passenger seat and asks whether we know that the car costs 2.4 million euros and is not insured? 'A flight would cost us a maximum of twenty-five thousand,' we reply. Further details of our insurance history are lost in the acoustic biturbo inferno when the two turbochargers now press compressed air into the V12 heart at full load. How is the traction here on the country road? The BC could easily draw black lines with spinning wheels up to fourth gear. Of course, let's not try it out. First, second, third and almost fourth gear. Woooooouuuuuusssch-ziiiiiiisssch, Woooouuuuuuussschh-ziiiisssschh - after every shift of the new seven-speed automatic transmission from Xtrac, the AMG-V12 fascinates with heartbreaking biturbo sounds. Here the turbo technology can still sound as it originally sounded and is not artificially filtered out. Today's the most impressive experience.

After 1.8 kilometers it's time to swap again - Fiat 500L instead of Huayra BC. At least one question can be answered without a doubt today, namely that of our controller, whose email reaches me in Sicily: 'Dear Mr. Gebhardt, did the car survive your test?' Yes! But we still have another question: What does our insurance actually say?a race track appointment with the Pagani Huayra BC. After the driving appointment, which wasn't actually one, it is a point of honor that we at sport auto try to invite the Über-Pagani to a test in Hockenheim or on the Nordschleife.

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