First Look: 2012 Pagani Huayra

But the shape doesn't just entice the eye. It acts as a giant wing that directs air to control body roll. Four aero flaps located on each corner work cohesively with the active suspension to maximize downforce and minimize drag over any road surface at any speed. The Huayra's ECU and ABS controller send data such as speed, yaw rate, steering angle, lateral acceleration, and throttle input to the flaps' unique ECU, which, in turn, changes their angles.

To better understand the complex setup, Pagani gives an example of a Huayra under hard braking: The rear flaps and front suspension rise, negating the weight transfer to the nose and improving the car's balance and brake usage. The whole process is accomplished in milliseconds.

You'll notice no wings on the Huayra. For a cleaner look, designers implemented more active aero flaps at the rear that are also highly effective at controlling wind. In the nose, the twin radiators are angled to aid downforce while feeding gobs of cool air to the intercoolers.

Keeping the Huayra planted also meant tapping Pagani's longtime pals at Pirelli and Oehlins. Pirelli's crew developed a custom P Zero tire capable travelling at speeds of up to 230 mph that can also withstanding lateral forces of more than 1.5 g. Oehlins' highly responsive adjustable push-rod dampers were bolted to forged aluminum control arms to shed further pounds.

Every inlet and outlet on the bodywork cools critical components or relieves air pressure. Side inlets chill brakes and hubs but can also warm them in cold climates. Outlets behind the front wheels extract pocketed air and hunker the car down ever farther. Two negative pressure zones sculpted into the sealed underbody and a diffuser direct air out from the Huayra's backend.

In the middle of all the state-of-the-art aerodynamics sits a carbon-titanium monocoque fit for two passengers. According to Pagani engineers, carbon-titanium is stronger and lighter than traditional carbon fiber. (And it likely costs a lot more dough.) The team then constructed the gull-wing doors to be as stiff as possible. Behind the driver sits a 22.5-gallon fuel tank encapsulated by featherweight reinforced composites and ballistic materials. Every component meets European and American safety regulations and was put through supercar-specific crashes (meaning done at very high speeds), Pagani says.

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