Making its marque: inside the new Pagani showroom in Dubai

The centre for the Modena-born brand, where customers can create a bespoke recipe for their multi-million-dirham cars, is the first of its kind in the region

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Few stand-alone brands have survived in the rarefied atmosphere of the hypercar segment. The budgets and resources required to develop and build extravagantly engineered cars worthy of this genre are enormous, which means vast corporate-backed marques such as Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche and Ferrari are among the handful that have stood the test of time.

However, two notable exceptions to this rule are Italy's Pagani and Sweden's Koenigsegg, which have been around for almost three decades and established themselves as credible purveyors of ultra-niche hypercars. Modena-based Pagani was founded in 1992 by Argentine Horacio Pagani and its core value is quality over quantity. With a minuscule annual production volume of about 30 cars – each of which takes four or five months to hand-build – the company barely even registers as a dot in terms of the total number of new cars sold globally each year (about 75 million in 2019).

Even so, Pagani still has a high degree of recognition, particularly among the connoisseurs, and this is especially the case in our region. About 12 to 13 per cent of Pagani's annual sales are accounted for in the Middle East, and the marque aims to cement its presence here with the opening of the Pagani Brand Centre in Dubai Design District last month. Pagani doesn't as yet have a local dealer partner – customers in the UAE need to order their cars directly from the factory – so Mansour Al Yasin, Pagani's head of sales for Middle East and Africa, sees the newly established studio, the first of its kind in the region, as a vital bridge between the company and its customers. "The opening of our brand office in the Middle East is a natural step forward to strengthening the brand's position, but, most importantly, it represents an important milestone in bringing the Modenese atelier experience closer to its local customer base, as well as a significant long-term investment for the brand in the region," he says. "We have witnessed a growing demand for the Pagani brand and our products, so naturally we felt encouraged to invest and bring our customers' experience to the next level."

The opening of our brand office in the Middle East is a natural step forward to strengthening the brand's position, but, most importantly, it represents an important milestone in bringing the Modenese atelier experience closer to its local customer base.

As you’d expect from a car that costs well in excess of Dh10 million, each Pagani comes with a large amount of individualisation and the brand centre enables customers to experience the expansive range of materials, colours and fabrics on offer so they can conjure a bespoke recipe for their own vehicle – aided by the latest digital visualisation tools. It’s not your typical dealership experience, as the aroma of high-quality leather is as discernible as that of Italian espresso (there’s a barista in the corner).

The company’s founder is a big believer in Leonardo da Vinci’s philosophy that art and science go hand in hand, and this is evident if you scrutinise any of the brand’s cars. For the centre’s opening, the company had flown out the recently unveiled Huayra BC Roadster and the topless tearaway is replete with artistic flourishes – most notably the wing mirrors that sprout like flowers from the front fenders.

Production of the newcomer will be limited to 40 cars in total, with a starting price of Dh12.5m. The figure is eye-watering, but this gets you a car that's built around an exotic carbon-titanium HP62 monocoque that's extremely light yet rigid. The car also comes with a lighter titanium exhaust system, while the suspension and wishbones are made of aeronautical-grade aluminium, known as Avional. The bespoke Pirelli Trofeo R tyres feature 12 different rubber compounds, and the vehicle is festooned with a raft of aero aids to maximise high-speed downforce. These include a new front bumper with a front splitter and winglets, deeper side skirts, and a large rear wing and an air diffuser that stretches the entire width of the rear bumper.

Pagani sources its twin-turbo V12 engines from Mercedes-AMG, but the BC Roadster features the latest version of the formidable power plant, tuned to churn out 800 horsepower and 1050Nm, which is tasked with propelling only 1,217 kilograms. That's an extremely low kerb weight for a car stuffed with such a massive engine, and it's the first unit to wear Pagani branding on its exquisitely crafted camshaft covers. In the past, the engines wore AMG logos, so this is a key step in stamping the marque as an independent carmaker.

There will only be 40 of the Huayra BC Roadster model made. Courtesy Pagani
There will only be 40 of the Huayra BC Roadster model made. Courtesy Pagani

Pagani hasn’t released official performance statistics for the Huayra BC Roadster, but its coupe sibling demolishes the 0-100 kilometre per hour sprint in 2.8 seconds and can top 380kph flat-out, so expect similar numbers for the convertible. More notable still is the claim that the BC Roadster can generate 1.9G of cornering load, eclipsing the 1.5G that the Bugatti Chiron can attain.

Al Yasin also points out that the Pagani product pipeline also includes the just-revealed Dh20m Huayra Imola, named after the hallowed Italian circuit where the majority of the track-focused car’s development took place. According to Al Yasin, the Huayra Imola shatters all benchmarks set by its hypercar rivals and he says its lap times are comparable to GT3 race cars – even though it’s fully road-legal. The Imola starts off with the same basis as other Huayra models but ups the ante via an even more extreme aero package, an uprated V12 power plant and weight-saving measures that include special paint that alone saves 5kg.

Only five units will be built and sold of this car, and they’ve all been snapped up already. Al Yasin confided that one of these five cars is destined for our region, but stopped short of revealing the owner’s identity. He did also divulge that an even more extreme version of the Huayra – designed only for track use – is around the corner. This will be the last variant of the Huayra before the successor generation (known by the internal designation C10) makes its debut in a couple of years.

It’s one to watch.