Even though nobody is asking for it.
There was certainly no shortage of insanely powerful electric cars breaking the 1,000-hp barrier at this year's Geneva Motor Show. Pininfarina lifted the wraps off the production Battista as Italy's most powerful road car, while Rimac brought the C_Two prototype back to the show and Spanish coachbuilder Hispano Suiza made a comeback with the retro-inspired Carmen. And now Pagani wants to join the all-electric hypercar bandwagon.
Speaking to Top Gear, company founder Horacio Pagani revealed that the automaker's first fully electric hypercar will launch in the next decade. "Our future project is a fully electric car in 2024," he told the publication.
While Pagani has previously said an electric hypercar was being considered, the automaker's latest comments suggest the project has been given the green light - even though there is no customer demand for it. "None of our customers or dealers want to know about an electric car. They don't want to know anything about it. They're not interested. It's a huge challenge for us, because no-one is asking for it."
Unlike the Pininfarina Battista, which uses a Rimac-sourced 120 kWh battery pack to power four electric motors on each axle, Pagani is not currently in a technology sharing partnership to let other companies supply the battery pack or electric motors. "For the moment we are the only owners of the project. Pagani is not a group, the company is still 96 percent family owned. The brand feels free to decide which partners it may collaborate with. For now, everything is in-house."
According to the report, Pagani is already two years deep into the EV project. Battery development alone, which is likely to be based on existing lithium-ion technology, is expected to cost around €20 million ($22 million), so it's an ambitious project for a low-volume manufacturer like Pagani. We wouldn't be surprised if Pagani teams up with Rimac, which has established itself as one of the leaders in electric supercar development.
Pagani added that reducing weight will be one of the biggest hurdles it will need to overcome. "The new Rimac C_Two is beautiful and impressive, but it's just so heavy," he said. "The Chiron is so amazing, but terribly heavy. Our Huayra is lighter, and can pull more lateral G. The real challenge is to make [the EV] a lightweight car. This is what Pagani customers want. A lightweight, beautiful to look at car with many details." Another challenge will be the lack of noise, as an electric car can't replicate the spine-tingling sound of Pagani's AMG-sourced V12s. Pagani apparently has a solution, however. "We're working on it, and we're quite confident", the company boss teased.
Before Pagani's electric supercar arrives, there will be an all-new supercar to replace the Huayra. According to Top Gear, it will go on sale in 2021 with an all-new twin-turbo V12 engine developed in partnership with AMG, despite V12-powered S-Classes being discontinued. "Mercedes is stopping standard V12 production, but tailored V12s for Pagani have nothing to do with that. They will continue," Pagani told the publication.