While most automotive enthusiasts fear the demise of the V12 engine, Horacio Pagani, the mercurial founder of ultra-luxurious hypercar maker Pagani has revealed that with current technologies it is not possible to make an electric hypercar that can replicate the emotion of a car powered by an internal combustion engine. If one looks around the hypercar or even the supercar space, not many cars are left with the V12 engine. Sure there is the Ferrari 812 Superfast, its upcoming SUV is also slated to use a V12 naturally aspirated power train. Gordon Murray and his GMA T.50 and T.33 use a custom Cosworth-derived V12, but amongst the major manufacturers, there isn’t much new stuff coming in.
Pagani itself uses a Mercedes AMG serviced bespoke V12 Turbo engine which has been there on the Huayra since 2014. In fact, when Pagani left Lamborghini to launch his own car company, he was pointed towards Mercedes by Argentine legend and iconic F1 driver, the late Juan Manuel Fangio who was a Mercedes ambassador. But even Mercedes, these days are moving towards a fully electric future with models with even the AMG branding getting EVs.
Horacio Pagani who had a slight hand in the success of Lamborghini in the late 80s revealed that weight due to the size of the battery would be its steepest challenge. The Huayra R which is Pagani’s latest greatest hypercar weighs 1,070kg but the research the Pagani team did on its hypercar would need a 600kg battery which is more than half the weight of its current car. Apart from the weight issues around EVs, Pagani has also said they lack driving emotion something which is critical to the viability of a hypercar. This is something that has been ratified by the existence of ultra-fast EVs like the Tesla Model S Plaid which is faster than even F1 cars in some but just doesn’t have the feel.
The Argentine who resides in Italy and is not too far away from the home of Ferrari has said that Pagani’s cars will continue to use V12 engines sourced from Mercedes Benz. He also added that he dreamed of making an electric car that just weighed 1,300 kg, but that is not possible currently. There will be a new Pagani car that is launching in September dubbed the C10 which was announced in 2019 and it will also use a Mercedes-made V12 engine.
Pagani’s strategy is not completely crazy. Bugatti after it was merged with Rimac continues to sell its full gasoline cars. In fact, even with electric car pioneer Rimac, the plan is intimately to go with hybrid power, not a fully electric car. The same is true for Ferrari which has started using hybrid powertrains and till 2025 will not release its first EV. In fact, even till the end of the decade, Ferrari believes it will mostly be selling hybrid cars at best.
For these ultra-luxurious supercar brands, going electric isn’t very straightforward and for Pagani which is a rather small player, it will likely be harder. That being said, Pagani revealed it is researching and is investing in electrical technologies and moving forward with its EV project. It is also developing batteries and electrical motors, but since it wants to do it well, there is no timeline being set like the way Ferrari has announced a 2025 deadline for its first EV.