Words & photos - Daniel Bevis
Pagani squeezed every last drop out of the Zonda, with each "ultimate" version being superseded by a yet more extreme iteration. Not that anybody minded. But the time eventually came for Horacio Pagani to rethink the formula, and 2011's Huayra was the fruit of his boundary-pushing labours.
The new model featured crash protection that allowed Pagani to market in the US for the first time, meaning that this car could push the company from supercar halo brand into the mainstream(ish) Bentleys-and-Lamborghinis territory so beloved of professional sportsmen and celebrities. But that's not the only reason for creating a new model. No, the Huayra represented the zenith of Pagani's engineering genius. Its twin-turbocharged AMG V12 provides 720bhp, enabling a 0-60mph dash in 3.3s, with a top whack of 230mph+.
As visually arresting as it is in stasis, seeing it on the move is simply astounding, and this is down to the active aerodynamics: four flaps - two at the front, two at the rear - independently waft themselves up and down to keep the car stable at all angles, giving it the impression of a cloud of butterflies flitting past as it scythes through the air. Angry, metal butterflies that want to slice your face off. And the scream through that monstrous titanium exhaust will make your children wet themselves.
The car debuted on the show circuit in 2011, and has been in official production since '12. And look, this one's blue - that's apparently enough to whip ardent supercar-spotters into a frothy tumult. Pretty, isn't it? Pretty, and quite scary.
Spotted at Salon Privé 2015 - click here for more.