Pagani has no plans to make electric cars after conducting a four-year study on whether they would be suitable for the brand.
The head of the company, Horacio Pagani, thinks that electric vehicles are too heavy and lack emotion. That most of the energy they use is not produced.
He also believes that the climate impact of supercars is so small. Their use of an internal combustion engine, yet large, is in a broad context irrelevant.
“In 2018, I created a team working on all-electric cars,” he told Autocar at the recent Milan Monza Motor Show.
The main responsibility of this team was to seek global homologation for Pagani to create such cars. It is particularly for the United States, and for safety, which could be delivered. Yet, “in four years, we never found interest in the supercar market” for an electric vehicle, Pagani said.
He added: “Right now, 90% of the energy is produced without renewables. It’s silly to think that only a few supercars [in the world] with ICE can hurt the climate when 90% of the energy is produced in a bad way.”
Pagani’s studies also showed that you would need to use a 600kg battery in an EV, which is more than half the total weight of the Huayra R (1070kg).
“I have a Tesla to understand electric vehicles, and you don’t need to have such high performance on them,” he said.
“The challenge is to make an EV that gives good emotion like a normal ICE. Pagani is not going to do something with good performance, as you can do [now], but to give the driver excitement.
“The idea should be to make a lightweight car, but this is the biggest challenge. The dream would be a 1300 kg EV, but this is not possible.”
Mercedes-Benz provides the brand with its V12 engine and other key systems, and Pagani said his company has access to this technology if it needs it.
He believes Mercedes remains an ideal partner and enjoys working with the German giant.
“Mercedes is a great company, but you can still sit in front of a few people who decide, talk to them, and are heard,” Pagani said.
He added that the style and visual drama of his cars remain hugely significant, as it is making them accessible to drive. “If you work only on dynamics, all the cars end up the same,” he said. “Spend time on fashion and style and you’ll get something wonderful.
“Our goal is to make cars easy to drive. Gentleman drivers can drive the Huayra R very easily.”
It’s also important to make Pagani cars easy to live in. It exemplifies by the 10,000km service intervals on the engine, despite being a V12 that accelerates to 9000 rpm.
“We don’t want extreme cars,” Pagani said. “We want easy cars that aren’t stressful for gentleman drivers.”
Pagani is also proud of the residual values of its cars, the company has built approximately 450 examples of Zonda and Huayra in the last two decades.
“Some Zondas are now 10 times the starting price,” he said. “The Cinque is now 20 times.”
The firm’s waiting list has been maintained for the past decade at around three years. It has already found buyers for the first 100 copies of the new Pagani C10, which it will unveil in September. “All of these were sold before it has even been revealed,” Pagani said.
He added, however, that he never becomes complacent with demand and remains respectful of market conditions that could affect his company, because many of his clients work in financial services.
“We’re a success, but a lot can happen all of a sudden,” he said. “There’s a difference between success right now and foresight for the future.”
To that end, it invests a lot in R&D, usually around 20% of revenue.
“We are one of the leading companies investing in the future. We normally invest 20%. Last year, it was 14%,” Pagani said. “It’s like a race: you can stop, but when it restarts, you’re in the back. Even if you don’t have a new car, you are investing.”
Pagani currently builds about one car per week, compared to about one car per month a decade ago.
What’s in the Pagani garage?
Horacio Pagani is as big a car enthusiast as you can imagine, as he grew up in Argentina idolizing F1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio, who eventually became his friend and introduced him to Mercedes-Benz.
Pagani spent many years at Lamborghini, joining as a teenager after moving to Italy. Before launching his company, he became one of the first innovators with carbon fiber, an area he continues to pursue today through a subsidiary company.
What is this car lover’s all-time favorite, then?
“It’s a 1963 Jaguar E-Type Roadster,” Pagani said. “That’s my favorite car.”
What about modern times?
“The Ford GT is the most beautiful of the recent cars.”
What about other automakers?
“I like Porsche; I like to go to their events. I love cars. I have a Ferrari F12tdf, and my gem is a Ferrari 275 GTB. It’s chassis number one, which they used for homologation.”
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