The Italian automaker is bucking the biggest trend in the industry.
Back in 2018, Pagani's founder Horacio Pagani announced that his company had begun preparing for the electric age. The following year, Pagani announced that its next project would be a fully electric car to arrive in 2024. At the time, Horacio said that his customers were not interested in such a thing and that this only added to the challenge. But by last year, his tune had changed somewhat, and he noted that his customers want "to feel emotions when driving; they don't care about pure performance." In fact, the charismatic founder of the niche automaker said that there were customers who didn't buy the Pagani Huayra because a manual gearbox was not offered.
Why are we telling you all this? For context, because Pagani has now officially ended the fact-finding mission we alluded to at the outset, concluding that nobody wants an electric Pagani.
Autocar spoke with Horacio Pagani at the recent Milan Monza show, where the man was only too happy to explain what the future holds for his company and why: "In 2018, I created a team working on fully electric cars," with these people tasked with finding out what it would take to build a good electric supercar and who would be interested in it. However, "in four years, we never found interest in the supercar market." By contrast, the upcoming combustion-powered C10 has already found buyers for the first 100 examples.
And even if there were interest in an electric Pagani, Horacio says that it's just not viable. "At the moment, 90% of energy is produced without renewables. It's silly to think that only a few supercars [in the world] with ICEs can have a negative impact on the climate when 90% of energy is produced in a bad way."
This line of reasoning holds up - even the European Union has conceded that niche automakers should not have to meet the same targets as mass producers and polluters.
The idea should be to make a lightweight car, but this is the biggest challenge. The dream would be a 1,300kg (2,866lb) EV, but this isn't possible.
Horacio went on to explain that the team assigned with the unenviable job of figuring out the feasibility of an electric Pagani noted some interesting details. For starters, the Pagani EV would need to use a 600-kilogram (1,323-pound) battery, which is already more than half what a Huayra R weighs. Moreover, Horacio himself has found that EVs are a bit too extreme: "I own a Tesla to understand EVs, and it's not necessary to have such high performance in them. The challenge is to make an EV that gives good emotion like a normal ICE. Pagani isn't going to do something just with good performance, as you can do this [already], but to give emotion to the driver."
Pagani expects continued support from Mercedes-AMG in the future and notes that style and visual drama are just as important as performance and speed. "If you work only on the dynamics, all the cars end up the same," said Pagani. "Spend time on the fashion and the style, and you get something wonderful." Horacio also notes that it's important for his cars to be easy to drive and live with, a point highlighted by the 10,000-kilometer (6,214-mile) service intervals on the engine of the Huayra. Another point is the extraordinary resale values for past Paganis, which Horacio takes to mean that people appreciate special experiences and creations. That said, he continues to invest around one-fifth of the company's revenue in R&D to be prepared for whatever the future holds.
So amazing Pagani hypercars will continue into the future with pure combustion power, becoming moving art pieces and providing mesmerizing experiences while they do so. The future is not so bleak, after all.