The amount of work Pagani puts into new model variants is astounding. For example, the Huayra Roadster isn’t simply a Huayra coupe without a roof—its bodywork is almost entirely new, and the resulting open-top car weighs less than the hardtop it’s based on. It’s a similar story with the new Huayra R, as Pagani commissioned a totally bespoke engine, dubbed the V12-R, for the new track car.
Pagani tapped German engineering firm HWA to develop the engine. Founded by Hans Werner Aufrecht (he’s also the “A” in AMG), HWA is headquartered just down the street from AMG and builds and services AMG GT3 race cars, among many other things. Despite sharing a displacement with the V-12 used in the Huayra, Pagani tells us this V-12 is entirely new, based on no other preexisting engine. “We wanted to create an engine that recalls the sound and appeal of the twelve-cylinder naturally aspirated F1 engines of the past, obviously with the best technology available today,” company founder and CEO Horacio Pagani told R&T over email. “Not only has the architecture been specially developed, but also every single component of the engine has been specifically designed and bears the Pagani brand name.”
A twin-turbo V-12 was considered for the Huayra R, but most customers said that given the choice, they’d prefer natural aspiration. And there’s no power sacrifice for ditching turbos as the V-12 in the R makes 850 hp compared with 840 hp from the twin-turbo unit in the Huayra Tricolore. You lose over 250 lb-ft of torque compared to the Tricolore, but that doesn’t really matter in a track-day car. Pagani and HWA were able to achieve 850 horsepower by developing the engine to spin to 9000 rpm (more revs equals more power, essentially). “We could have reached 11,000 rpm, but we preferred to remain conservative because we wanted the engine to be, first of all, extremely simple from the point of view of maintenance, equipped with essential electronics, requiring only one mechanic for starting and for all service activities,” Pagani said. “It was also for these aspects of ease of handling and reliability that we opted for 9000 rpm.”
Durability is also why Pagani and HWA chose a 6.0-liter displacement for the V-12. Even though it revs high, this V-12 isn’t as heavily stressed as an engine with a smaller displacement. Pagani says the servicing intervals are 6212 miles, which is impressive for a track car. Plus, Pagani customers wanted big displacement, so that’s what they’ll get.
You’d imagine that going through the trouble to develop an engine like this would mean that Pagani would use it in future road cars, including the Huayra successor. But that’s won’t happen as this engine wasn’t designed to meet any emissions regulations for road use. “[T]he new Pagani V12-R is not the end of turbocharging at Pagani,” Pagani said. “[O]n the contrary: we have just completed the development of the brand new Pagani V-12, a twin-turbo engine that in its first step has already been fitted to the Roadster BC and will be part of the equipment of our cars for the next few years.”
The Roadster BC engine is a heavy revision of the Mercedes-AMG M158 developed for the original 2011 Huayra. It’s called, simply, the Pagani V-12, and it will go into the successor to the Huayra, paired with a choice of a manual or paddle-shift gearbox.
The V12-R will be quite a rare and special thing.
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