Horacio Pagani: We still have no plans to become a big brand carmaker

Lionel Kong

Pagani Automobili is 25 years old this year and the brand’s founder was in Singapore to meet customers and friends as part of his world tour celebrating the milestone


The Pagani brand is synonymous with hugely powerful and extravagant cars that are more than supercars these days. They hyperbolic extension that most people use these days is the hypercar, but, according to Horacio Pagani, is beside the point.

Pagani Zonda and Huayra in Singapore

“Pagani car designs are art,” says Pagani. “Every model that we build is about the beauty of form that we can build with composite materials, and then how to harness the power of the engines we put into them.”

Pagani Automobili is based in Modena, Italy, in what is often referred to as Italy’s Motor Valley. It’s a fair statement as Ferrari, Ducati, and Lamborghini are all located in the region. Pagani was founded in 1992, after Horacio Pagani left his job at Lamborghini to strike out on his own and the brand that carries his name is still the youngest carmaker in Modena. The brand’s 25th anniversary in 2023 however, is counted from the time the first production Pagani was readied for manufacture.

Pagani Zonda and Huayra in Singapore

The brand’s big contribution is the recognition of carbon fibre composites as the way of the future. At a time when such exotic material was deemed only cost-effective for building aircraft, few dared to wager on using carbon fibre in large scale car manufacture. Even the early Formula 1 cars that featured carbon fibre monocoques had to source production from the aerospace industry.

The brand’s first series production car, and we do take that term quite loosely here, was the Pagani Zonda launched in 1994, featuring a Mercedes-AMG 7.3-litre V12 engine in the middle. There were only 140 Pagani Zondas in every variation ever built by the time production ceased in 2019.

Pagani Huayra BC in Singapore

“That’s how we work,” explains Pagani. “Besides the fact that we design every Pagani car in-house, we do not use external design contractors, we build each car like the work of art we feel that it is. The result is that we have a production output of just one car a week. When taking into consideration the holidays, Pagani’s output is just 50 cars annually.  Yet innovation is the only way forward, so the average age of the Pagani staff is quite young, averaging 33 years old and there are just 200 people in the whole operation. What is very important is that, especially as a small, independent carmaker, Pagani remains a profitable business. This allows us to pour a lot of investment into R&D for future designs and projects. We have no plans to become a big luxury carmaker. The business is sustaining well, and our customers are like family.”

Horacio Pagani (right) and his son Christopher Pagani (left), who is also the marketing director of the brand, speaking in Singapore

While the new Pagani Utopia, itself the successor to the Pagani Huayra of 2011 is still powered by an internal combustion, AMG-built V12 engine, Pagani isn’t immune to the rise of electric power across all sectors as even Rolls-Royce has bowed in with its Spectre EV and Ferrari has the likes of the SF90 plug-in hybrid.

Pagani AMG V12

“An electric Pagani are definitely on the cards, but we will not do it simply for the sake of doing it. The design and engineering must all come together first, then you’ll see what we have to offer,” said Pagani cryptically.

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Pagani Huayra BC in Singapore
The Pagani Huayra Roadster BC

Pagani hypercars are a rare and very expensive lot, and the Pagani Huayra Roadster BC seen here, of which there are just 40 examples worldwide with two actually in Singapore, will cost you close to S$15 million inclusive of registration and taxes.

Pagani Huayra BC in Singapore

Yet for all the beautiful craftsmanship rolling out from the Pagani factory, Horacio Pagani is a simple man and his favoured mode of transport around the Modena valley is his bicycle. His personal practical car of choice, we have heard, is actually a Toyota Alphard


Horacio Pagani huayra pagani utopia zonda

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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