838-HP Pagani Huayra R Unveiled with One-Off 9000-RPM V-12 (2024)

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The track-only R is a $3.1 million, 30-unit sendoff to the Huayra line.

By Dave VanderWerp
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  • Pagani just unveiled the Huayra R, a track-only screamer to close out the Huayra line, which launched for 2014.
  • It gets a one-off 838-hp 6.0-liter V-12 engineered and built by Mercedes-Benz's HWA racing subsidiary.
  • There will be 30 Rs made, priced at $3.1 million, which is actually less than the Huayra Roadster BC.

Some automakers put together a lame tape-and-trim package at the end of an existing model's run. Not boutique supercar maker Pagani, which instead embarked on its track-only R variant of its Huayra wedge by commissioning an all-new engine. Engineered and built by Mercedes's HWA racing subsidiary and AMG collaborator, the naturally aspirated 6.0-liter V-12 shrieks to 9000 rpm and on the way makes 838 horsepower at 8250 rpm and 553 pound-feet of torque at 5500 rpm. "It will sound like an F1 car. An old F1 car, not a new one," said Pagani's head of sales and marketing, Hannes Zanon, with a smirk.

The Huayra launched for 2014, and existing variants are powered by Mercedes-AMG's twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12, but there's no commonality between the two V-12s. This is no fragile race engine; Pagani promises 6200 miles between top-end overhauls to replace valves and valve springs. Sadly, there's also no way for the R's naturally aspirated V-12 to meet today's emissions standards, which is why the Huayra R won't be street legal.

But don't fear: the spent hydrocarbons will be put to good use making memorable walls of violent sound. Opt for the available mufflers and Pagani says the R will meet 110-decibel noise limits for tracks that enforce them. Either way, the shriek exiting the Inconel pipes is one to be savored for posterity.

Instead of the street-legal Huayra's seven-speed automated manual, the R gets a six-speed dog-ring, non-synchronized sequential box that's rigidly mounted to the monocoque and contributes to chassis rigidity. Electronics handle initial clutch engagement; after that you bang through the straight-cut gears using shift paddles. The R employs the carbon-titanium structure that debuted on the Huayra Roadster BC, which has helped to improve the R's torsional stiffness by a claimed 16 percent and bending stiffness by 51 percent compared with the coupe.

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Pagani says the R's Pirelli slicks are derived from GT3 racing and provide 30 to 40 percent more grip than the grippiest street tires. The 275/675R-19 fronts and 325/705R-19 rears are available in two compounds—in racing parlance, a dry medium or wet medium. Both driver and passenger are held in place by six-point belts. They'll need them. Brembo's 16.1-inch front and 15.4-inch rear CCM-R carbon-ceramic rotors are tasked with working these meats to their maximum under braking. If things go amiss, there's also an automatic onboard fire extinguisher.

Two movable flaps at the back of the car shuffle aerodynamics on the fly, similar to the coupe, which has four flaps. Pagani claims 2205 pounds of downforce at 199 mph, which is nearly as much as its quote for the R's 2315-pound dry weight. That's roughly 350 pounds lighter than the Huayra BC coupe and should put curb weight in the neighborhood of an incredibly light 2600 pounds or so.

Buying one of the 30 Rs will set you back $3.1 million. Before you scoff, that's actually relatively modest considering the one-off engine and that a Huayra BC Roadster is currently priced even higher, at $3.5 million. The company says the R is not yet quite sold out.

838-HP Pagani Huayra R Unveiled with One-Off 9000-RPM V-12 (6)

Dave VanderWerp

Director, Vehicle Testing

Dave VanderWerp has spent more than 20 years in the automotive industry, in varied roles from engineering to product consulting, and now leading Car and Driver's vehicle-testing efforts. Dave got his very lucky start at C/D by happening to submit an unsolicited resume at just the right time to land a part-time road warrior job when he was a student at the University of Michigan, where he immediately became enthralled with the world of automotive journalism.


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838-HP Pagani Huayra R Unveiled with One-Off 9000-RPM V-12 (2024)


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