Simon welcomes a new guest author to the Driven to Write ranks. Feathers have been ruffled.
EDITOR’S NOTE : My Founders have recently asked me to investigate the possibility of securing some advertising revenue. All the feelers I have put out suggest that we first need to attract a wider readership to this site. In particular it was pointed out that re-publishing fifty year old road tests or impressions of small modern hatchbacks hired from airports does not attract the more hard-core enthusiast. With this in view, I have commissioned a leading journalist from the performance car press to pen a piece for us. Though usually published under another name, here he has chosen the nom-de-plume of Throttlegod. In an attempt to attract this new readership, I am fearlessly breaking the manufacturer’s embargo by publishing his recent test in advance of the car’s debut by way of a scoop.
As any regular readers of my tests would know, I was gutted to find that the original Huayra was massively underpowered. With only 738 bhp it was always going to disappoint, but its inability to get my arse up to 60mph in under 3 secs was nothing short of criminal. Horacio Pagani was obviously properly stung by my criticisms and has tried to put things right with the new BC. Number nerds can read the full spec somewhere else but what my faithful readers will want to know is whether the finished item delivers in the hound’s genitals department, or is it just another puppy’s wet dream?
They invited a select group of us out to the Circuit Marcel Duchamp, a new track and testing facility in Central France which I hadn’t visited before. I flew out to Lyon airport and hired some sort of Renault shopping trolley which I spanked comprehensively all the way there. The track itself didn’t disappoint, being surprisingly tasty with a particularly cool descent and, to get to know it, I took the Renault round for a few hard laps, munching on an energy bar whilst my esteemed colleagues from the society glossies were having their PR lunch.
With only one example on offer, they paired us up, which I can’t say pleased me. The guy I was with was from a Sunday paper and seemed to have got his invite due to a mix-up. He was the proverbial fish minus the H2O and thought that he was attending a Hyundai launch, whatever that is. That suited me fine, I necked a Red Bull, strapped on my GoPro, grabbed the driver’s seat and we only properly introduced ourselves after we’d belted up. Once he’d clocked my name I got a distinct vibe that he’d rather be anywhere else than in the passenger seat. At heart I’m a decent guy, and I’m no sadist, but I wasn’t going to hold back for anyone, so I just prayed they hadn’t fed him oysters or something else slippery for lunch and let rip.
Moving off it was business as usual, but all notched up a scale. Soon, I was slipping up and down through the 7 gears, noticing the improved stonk and trying to forget the guy from the Sunday Drone who I was hoping was concentrating hard on holding his lunch in. He tried saying something but luckily I’d got the windows open and he couldn’t compete with the orgasmic wail from that big V12.
By lap four I’d got the tail coming out nicely on most the bends, except for that gradual left hand downhill which was being a little bit coy. This time as I approached I aimed the snout for a big pine tree, turned the wheel a couple of degrees to the left, touched the brakes, then was right back on the throttle. Suddenly I was looking at that pine tree through the passenger’s window but I’d already seen that one coming, flicked the wheel clockwise enough to catch it and we were sliding through that bend like a well-oiled pig who’d fallen onto a bobsleigh run. I was whooping with pure pleasure and, as we straightened up, I looked over at my passenger – I reckon that both of us had wet our pants thoroughly, just with different fluids.
After six laps I began to get a strong smell of melting rubber, plus an undertone of something a bit more on the pungent side. Also, a couple of warning lights seemed to be flashing so I brought the car back in. Pagani’s engineers were a bit sniffy with me and got the car jacked up, whilst the other well-fed boys from the glossies eyeballed me fit to drop. But, like any good journo my loyalties are to my readers, I had my copy, so I thanked my hosts and left. Job done. When I got back to my hire car I saw there was a pool of oil underneath. I’d heard a bit of a knock earlier, when I’d had a little off, but I hadn’t though much of it. Anyway, I reckoned it would be OK for the return but it gave up just outside Clermont Ferrand. Quelle surprise as the say over there – and you wonder why Renault aren’t hacking it in F1.
Three weeks later, back in the UK, Pagani had obviously fixed the Huarya and had shipped it over for me to see what it was like on the open road. It certainly gets noticed and, on my normal informal test track triangle between Guildford, Farnham and Hindhead, judging by the numbers of flashing headlamps and horns I clocked, it royally does the job of getting up noses, just as any true performance car should. My attempt to max it heading West off the Hog’s Back was foiled by a muppet in a Skoda. At least that’s what it said on the insurance claim, though it’s not a make I’ve heard of myself.
I’m needing to recalibrate my journalese here since the Editor tells me that there’s a strong design bias on this site and I need to comment on the more superficial parts of Big P. OK, from the outside it looks fit enough, by which I mean that the view in the other guy’s mirrors reads GEDOUTTAMYWAYYYY. The big wing says no shit, but I’m still a bit old-school in that I’d like a bit more length in the nose department – if Dr Freud is reading this he’ll know why.
Not that it can’t pull (and I ain’t talking torque here) which brings me to the next point on Mr Editor’s brief sheet – Practicality. Are you pissing me Simon? OK, well the seats are finished in some sort of leather – looks like the German stuff which always wipes down well – good if you spill the Starbucks or have that nervous passenger. They seem comfortable enough but, if you really want to know, you could have sat me on a barbed wire bog seat and I’d have been happy. Everyone makes a big thing about the interior but I’ve always found all that prissy, handcrafted stuff a bit on the gay side and I can’t comment with any authority..
The view out front’s good but I can’t say I checked out the rear view much. There’s stowage for a spare set of boxers, who needs more? But to really test it out I took it on a supermarket run. It was one of those big ones with a book section, so I hung around there trying to look intellectual by reading a copy of the latest Dan Brown. It took about 15 minutes before I got a bite, though it wasn’t my intellectual chops that sealed it for her, but the sight of Big P when we got down to the car park. To round off my survey of practicality, the gentleman in me restricts it to yes, you can, but my clutch knee ached for three days.
To sum up, deffo it’s still crying out for more power and my mates who know about these things tell me it would be no problem to slip in two more turbos and reckon that the Merc engine could easily be boned out by at least another 500cc. A little more dieting wouldn’t harm – those rear view mirrors are a waste of space, there’s still too much padding in the seats, the A/C could go and who uses ICE in a proper car? But I’m picking at nits here and, if I don’t say here and now that Big P is about the most fun you can have with your trousers on, it’s only because when I’m driving solo I prefer to keep the kecks folded on the seat beside me anyway. All in all, nice one Horacio – you’re getting there!
© 2016 Throttlegod