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Pagani Huayra: In the U.S by 2013 say Pagani

Thu, 11 Aug 2011

Pagani Huayra - now heading for the USA in 2013

At the weekend we broke the news that Pagani were not going to be able to take the Huayra to the US for the foreseeable future, as they’d had their application for a Temporary Exemption from Advanced Air Bag Requirements denied by the DOT. Which we’ve known was likely for months.

So we asked why Pagani continued with its US launch and continued taking orders for cars it knew, almost certainly, it wouldn’t be able to complete. Which seemed reasonable .

Most of the comments and emails we’ve had on the Huayra story have been positive, but a few seem to think we’re on a witch hunt with a made-up story. Which is about as wrong as they could be. We loved the Zonda and think the Huayra is a remarkable car. But it’s hard to ignore a car maker taking orders for a car we know they can’t deliver, and then not report it.

All that said, Pagani has now responded to the setback with the DOT refusal for a temporary exemption by saying they’re well on the way to fitting advanced air bags to the Huayra, and the delay will only be a year; by 2013 the Pagani Huayra will be on sale in the US. We hope they’re right.

Our friends over at GTSpirit have had a good chat with Pagani over this issue and have some interesting points. Let’s have a quick look and see where they seem to disagree with what we know.

Pagani has said that their plan was always to deliver the first cars in the US in 2012. In fact that is not true, as in their original press release to announce that the Huayra was going to be sold in the US market in February they stated it would arrive in late 2011. Which is what one buyer we’ve spoken to who’s placed an order for a US Huayra has been told. But let’s not nit-pick – saying early 2012 was the original plan is not out by far.

Pagani say that the application for the Huayra’s exemption has been filed three years ago and they’d heard nothing since. Which is completely at odds with the NHTSA version of events, which is included in the verdict they issued on Pagani’s exemption application. They say:

Pagani submitted its original petition in 2007 and a notice of receipt was published on November 25, 2008. Pagani subsequently requested that the agency delay a decision on its petition because of changes in the company’s production plans.

In 2008, 2010, and 2011, the company submitted supplementary information regarding its financial situation and its compliance efforts.

Which is a bit different to ‘Waiting three years for a decision’. But technically accurate. In fact, Pagani changed the application, it would seem,  as recently as July 11th (the date stamped on the NHTSA document – it may not necessarily be the date Pagani submitted it) in a submission to the NHTSA, when they said:

We do hereby, however, reduce the length of time needed for the exemption to a TWO year request, rather than the original THREE year exemption period.

Pagani say they only got the NHTSA refusal on 29th July – the official publication date – which was too close to their official US launch to pull the plug. Seems a fair point. But why, at the risk of repeating ourselves ad nauseam, would you offer the Huayra for sale in the US until you knew you legally could? Much less take orders and deposits.

Still, Pagani are adamant that the Huayra will be US legal by early 2013 at the latest. And we really hope they’re right. Despite some of the criticisms we’ve received for running our original story, we do love the cars Horacio Pagani makes.

We love that he’s used his immense talent, a big helping of chutzpah and the odd tactic from the Trotters’ handbook of ducking and diving, to build a supercar company that is good enough to be mentioned in the same breath as Ferrari and Lamborghini. A feat that no one since Ferruccio Lamborghini got the arse with Enzo Ferrari and decided to build his own cars has really managed.

But our admiration for Horacio Pagani and his cars doesn’t change the facts. It also doesn’t change the fact that US regulations on cars like this are completely barking and should be addressed. Land of the Free? Not when it comes to cars from them there foreigner car makers with their fancy suspension that makes cars go round corners without slowing down.

But that’s a whole other story.

(40 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

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By Cars UK