For most folk, the idea of an extreme track car might be a hot hatch that’s down to one seat, a Caterham with a sequential 'box or a full cage in an M3. Pagani, of course, doesn’t deal with most folk, and it certainly doesn’t make anything but the most extreme hypercars. This Huayra R Evo is the latest circuit-only Pagani, following the Zonda R, Zonda Revolucion and Huayra R. Apparently, its customers can’t get enough; an Arte in Pista program was launched in 2021, Pagani-only track days for those cars at amazing circuits with support from engineers, nutritionists, physios and so on, and demand has been such that another car for the lineup seemed a logical next step. The Huayra R Evo is that vehicle, all 900hp (and just 1,060kg) of it.
The long tail look is familiar from the Huayra Codalunga (and the non-Evo R, for that matter), but is 190mm longer than before; the most noticeable difference now is arguably the installation of aero screens instead of a conventional windscreen. Horacio Pagani was said to be inspired by a Formula Indy race in Nashville, this look with the polycarbonate and removable roof panels allowing passengers “to be fully immersed in the allure of the air and the captivating sound of the engine.” The central fin and integrated rear wing supports are Evo-specific.
Not that this is some relaxed roadster of a Pagani, of course. The extensive work done underneath the Huayra, plus a body now extended to 5.2m long, means a 45 per cent increase in downforce and a 21 per cent improvement in aero efficiency with unchanged resistance. Indeed, Pagani reckons that at 199mph (the top speed is 218mph) and with the Evo in its lowered configuration, ‘the vehicle generates a greater vertical aerodynamic load than its total weight in running order’. That’s very senior-level motorsport stuff - no wonder the track days need physios. (The Evo’s pace is believed to be comparable with an LMP2 car.) The aero balance is split 45:55 ‘throughout the entire speed range’, which should aid braking and cornering stability. The entire body is made from ‘Class A’ carbon, as seen on the Utopia, which is 38 per cent stiffer than before for the same weight. Roof off, the Huayra R Evo boosts downforce by another five per cent.
Plus, of course, it gives those onboard even greater access to Pagani’s otherworldly V12. Now the 6.0-litre, naturally aspirated unit is rated at 900hp (!), thanks to development work with HWA (you know, the AMG experts making the 190E Evo restomod). It makes peak power at 8,750rpm, revs to 9,200rpm, and 568lb ft of torque is present from 5,800-8,200rpm. It promises to be another extraordinary Pagani V12. Modifications included a new intake manifold and new cams ‘to enhance the delicate aspiration process’ as well as revisions to the exhaust. Power reaches the rear Pirelli slicks via a six-speed sequential that weighs just 80kg and is part of the carbon monocoque to further improve rigidity. This is quite a bit more than just a new roof.
Those tyres are a brand new design, called a P Zero Slick, and measure a mammoth 345-section at the rear axle - the fronts are 280-section. There’s a dry and a wet option (for when Arte in Pista goes to Spa, presumably), both said to provide ‘maximum precision and a sense of complete control for the gentleman driver’. Braking is by an updated Brembo CCM-R system, self-ventilated ceramic discs with new racing pads. According to Pagani, at the front axle the ‘surface area of exchange zones in the discs’ has doubled in size, and there’s a 14 per cent gain in braking area on discs and pads.
The suspension has changed too, of course. Imagine having to arrive at a Pagani track day with a mere Huayra R now - the shame! Fundamentally the setup is familiar - ‘the Evo inherits the unprecedented kinematics and sophisticated geometry’ - albeit now with a heave damper included. If we understand it correctly, the heave damper keeps the ride height where it should be while the regular springs and dampers can focus on controlling the wheels and the body. As with the brakes and the aero, it’s all about stability, predictability and confidence. Further advancements are said to have come in camber recovery, bump steer correction and traction. Handy with 900hp.
With the Evo having been in development for two years, including at Arte in Pista events, it’s now ready for the 2024 calendar of events. And if ever there was a case of ‘if you have to ask the price…’, this is it - even the cost of the Arte in Pista events is on application. Horacio Pagani added of the Evo: “We set out with the goal of creating a beautiful car, subjective as that term may be, harmonious in its lines and strong in its character. The final result is a true descendant of the Huayra R, one of the cars our customers love the most.
“We also drew inspiration from the elegance of Le Mans cars that graced the tracks in the '60s and '70s, including the swift 'codalunga' long-tail prototypes. With these stylistic foundations, we meticulously addressed aerodynamics, design, and every minute detail, adhering to the high standards synonymous with Pagani Automobili and the expectations of our discerning customers.” Lucky people indeed - what on earth does Pagani do next?
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