You know when a Pagani is reaching retirement when the track-focused mega-specials start to arrive. It happened with the Zonda, and now it’s the Huayra’s turn. Except for this new ultra-Pagani, it’s not even called the Huayra. Welcome to the world of the Pagani Imola. And if you’re going to name your new model after a circuit that formidable, the vehicle itself had better be extreme. How does 827hp and 1,098Nm grab you?
Yes, it’s time to feel sorry for anyone who ordered the Huayra Roadster BC, reasoning they’d treated themselves to the wildest Pagani yet. It’s already been topped, by a run of just five Imolas. Each and every one is already sold, and each owner paid €5 million (around P274 million) plus taxes for the privilege.
Right, who’s up for some toilet humor? Good—us, too. Pagani says it’s boosted the seven-speed paddle-shift gearbox’s shift times by using pressured ‘Smart Gas’ to “enhance the racing character of the Imola.” Meanwhile, we’re told “driving pleasure is ensured thanks to active dumpers.” We presume they mean active dampers, but it’s still safe to assume the car goes like s**t off a shovel.
Until now, the most outrageous feature of the Huayra’s aerodynamics were its pop-up active wings in the nose and on the rear deck, but they’ve been completely—literally—overshadowed by an enormous new fixed wing, diffuser, and front splitter. And check out that fin. Eat your heart out, Seaworld.
The Imola is so brutal, even Horacio Pagani himself admits it’s a bit of an eyeful: “We can’t say that it’s an elegant car. We wanted an efficient vehicle, and just as you’d expect if you were looking at an F1 single-seater, this led us to design a car with additional aerodynamic features.
“So, although on the one hand, these details may detract from the lines and overall aesthetics of the vehicle, on the other, they also allow to improve lap time, ease of driving, and especially safety.”
Now, safety isn’t the sexiest of parameters for a twin-turbo 827hp V12 road-missile, but Pagani insists it’s a top priority: “We could have reduced the ground clearance so as to increase the downforce effect by taking advantage of the vehicle’s flat bottom.
“But don’t forget, the public roads are very uneven and can lead to the loss of several hundred kilograms of downforce in just a few instants. Well aware of these dangers, we worked very carefully on the upper part and details of the car.”
Or to put it another way, it’s a hypercar that’s been set up on some pretty shoddy back roads in rural Italy. Pagani says the suspension has been re-engineered to make sending 1,098Nm to the rear wheels less of a game of Russian roulette.
As you’d expect, the Imola wasn’t just dialed in by annoyingly handsome Italian test drivers on their lunch break. It has completed 16,000km of high-speed testing at the Imola circuit. During the regime—around three times the distance of a 24 Hours of Le Mans race, Pagani proudly notes—the team even fitted the car with race-spec semi-slick tires, to overstress the chassis and the suspension to survive higher loads than it’ll ever normally undergo. From the factory, you get a bespoke set of Pirelli tires, as well as uprated brakes.
Pagani hasn’t bothered to record an official acceleration time, or to test the Imola’s top speed. It’s probably not taking more than 3.0sec to get from 0-100kph, and top speed will be north of 320kph. There’s no Imola lap time, either. But when all five are sold, and you’re already hard at work on a new V12 supercar and an electric show-stopper, we can forgive Pagani for its candor.
Oh, and if you’ve read this far, you deserve a secret—the paint. The Imola’s paintwork is apparently worth a 5kg weight saving versus ‘normal’ Pagani paint, and it’s got a suitably poetic Italian name: Acquarello Light. So, if you’re a YouTuber and one of these is on the wish list, no, you’re not allowed to wrap it. Sorry, guys.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.