First Look: 2012 Pagani Huayra

It took Horacio Pagani and his team of detail-obsessed engineers and designers seven years, 10 design models, five heavily camouflaged prototypes, and more than 300,000 miles of testing (including in rigorous conditions at Death Valley and the Arctic Circle) to craft the all-new Huayra.

Wait, how do you pronounce that again? The key is to say it slowly, preferably with a distinct Argentine accent: WHOOO-AYY-RAH. You'd better get used to saying it, because this meticulously engineered ride will be coming our way soon.

 The moniker is derived not from Italian, nor is it from Pagani's native Spanish. Like the name of his other creation, the much-drooled-over Zonda, it references ancient South American culture. According to the Aymara people, Huayra Tata is the deity of all things pertaining to wind, who could lift water, move earth, and basically shape the world. When he wasn't doing such things, he was calm and quiet, and provided for his subjects. The car, says Pagani, shares the god's powerful personality.

Fables aside, the hand-assembled 700-horsepower Huayra is as complex. Every spare-no-expense detail was carefully measured to avoid negative performance consequences. Crafting a lightweight vehicle was key, but it also had to be rigid, safe, powerful, and environmentally conscious (yes, even a car like this).

 Designers penned a sleek cab-forward vehicle that is aerodynamically efficient and respectful of traditional Pagani traits. The front and rear ends are dominated by the brand's large ellipses. Character lines begin at the bi-xenon headlamps and finish at the LED brake lights. A deep cut begins aft of the front wheels to create a gaping intake ahead of the wide Pirelli rubber.