Spotted at last, Pagani’s Huayra successor is the only 10 we C

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Pagani may make blisteringly fast AMG-powered supercars, but the Italian firm is pretty patient when it comes development work. Ten years after the debut of its current superstar, the $1-million-plus Huayra, our spy shooters have finally spotted its successor.

Allegedly dubbed C10, Pagani’s third model will be a modulation of the 12-cylinder theme established by the Zonda in 1999. CEO Horacio Pagani assures us of this back in 2019, adding that his firm’s “close relationship” with Mercedes guaranteed that the twin-turbo V-12 destined for the Huayra’s successor would be homologated until 2026. Even for Pagani, that’s plenty of time to wring exclusivity out of a model, something it typically achieves via a slew of increasingly rare, high-powered, track-focused special editions—with roofs and without, one-offs and ultra limited-count specials. We tried to count them all … and, at the risk of implying that the owners of the Huayra L’Ultimo or Huayra Jeden or Zonda Absolute or 764 Passione have simply “a special version,” we’ll defer the task entirely.

Pagani C10 Prototype front
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Seen here at long last and in limited camouflage, the upcoming C10 integrates familiar Pagani design elements (teardrop side mirrors, multiple circular taillamps perched at the edges of the rear, center-exit quad exhaust) with a softer persona. Like the Huayra, the engine is placed amidships, but the sheetmetal surrounding it is smoother, punctuated by fewer ducts and vents. (Counterpoint: Just wait for the R model.) It appears that the front does without any of the aero blades of the Huayra, but there’s a chance that they’re simply obscured by the camo. Each headlight houses two bulbs under a single lens, losing the beady-eyed look of the Huayra and lending the car a friendlier look.

Pagani C10 Prototype rear three-quarter
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Don’t mistake the C10 for a tame lion, however. The size of the brake rotors, the shin-threatening rear diffuser, and the surface area of the front radiators indicate support systems for a seriously potent powertrain. We don’t expect any sort of electric assistance, just twelve cylinders of turbocharged AMG goodness. The Huayra debuted in 2011 with 730 hp from a twin-turbo AMG twelve-cylinder; the naturally aspirated, 48-valve V-12 in R model maxed out at 850. We’d expect its C10 follow-up to fall on the higher end of that output spectrum, with the initial, introductory model perhaps yielding place to the Huayra R and subsequent versions surpassing it.

Pagani C10 Prototype side
KGP Photography

Though we may enjoy poking fun at Pagani’s stately development pace, we do so in genuine admiration for the firm’s dedication to high-end, old-school exotic performance. Its commitment to a proven recipe makes the firm look ever more mature and settled amid an influx of newcomers straining to realize the eye-popping potential of battery-electric drivelines. Rather than embracing the novelty of such (absurdly powerful) technology, these firms often leverage nostalgia for these clean-sheet designs, a strategy that usually rings hollow. Pagani isn’t resisting the change in technology—in the 2019 interview mentioned above, Horacio said he’s working on an electric car based on the C10’s architecture—but it’s clear that Pagani is attuned to deep-pocketed customers who are still deeply charmed by hand-built, combustion-powered supercars. (He isn’t insulting them by calling it a Countach, either. Sorry, was that out loud?)

Count us romanced, even if our bank accounts are hardly adequate to woo the Pagani porter, let alone the salesperson. We can’t wait to see—and hear!—more of Horacio’s latest pet project.

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