Is Manila ready for the P120-M hypercar?
It’s only summer, yet it could be considered a banner year for auto industry veteran Willy Tee Ten’s Autohub Group.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Tee Ten announced Autohub’s appointment as the exclusive selling agent of Pagani in the country.
“We first met Horacio Pagani back in 2015 in Shanghai, China. Then, we visited him in Modena, Italy in November 2015, then in Hongkong in 2018 for the Macau Grand Prix. He’s a really humble guy considering what he did for Pagani and to the whole automobile industry. And now he’s finally here. I’m looking forward to see Paganis on Philippine roads very soon,” said Tee Ten.
Yesterday’s press conference was held at the Presidential Suite of historic Manila Hotel, where heads of state and royalties choose to stay when visiting the country.
In a manner of speaking, Horacio Pagani is also automotive royalty. He is the owner of his namesake hypercar brand Pagani, a very exclusive and bespoke hypercar maker with a price for admission at a minimum of two million Euros for a bespoke rolling piece of art.
According to the Autohub president, there are several interested potential buyers for the Pagani, and some of them even flew to Pagani’s Modena facility to check out the factory and customer cars that were about to be delivered.
Pagani Automibili is also celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
The brand’s first commercial release was the Zonda C12, which debuted at the 1999 Geneva International Motor Show.
At that time, it was unlike any other car as it used F1 technology and a little bit of rocket science (yes, NASA stuff), outclassing other more popular supercars of today.
The Zonda remains one of the most iconic super cars ever made.
At this year’s Geneva International Motor Show, Pagani presented the completely restored chassis of the very first Zonda ever made.
Pagani is the son of an Italian baker who grew up in Argentina who not only had automotive passion in his blood but also took special interest in special materials like carbon fiber and other composite materials.
In 1988, Horacio left Lamborghini (where he managed the composites department) to form his own company, and did further collaboration with Lamborghini including the restyling of the iconic Countach 25th anniversary model, the LM002, and the P140 design concept.
He also began to design his own car, and his first project was dubbed the C8 Fangio F1, named after the five-time Argentinian F1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio who was a personal friend.
“Back then, when I was still in Lamborghini, I tried to convince the company to start experimenting on composites. But I did not get much support, so I went to the bank and the manager was crazy enough to believe in me and gave me a loan. So when I got the loan, I went back to Lamborghini and used the funds to start my collaboration in using composites,” Horacio said.
His childhood days spent in his father’s bakeshop paid off. His keen eye and scientific curiosity allowed him to experiment what is considered his meal ticket to automotive success.
“At the time, there weren’t too many facilities on oven baking equipment for composites, so we had to design one big enough to fit a car,” he recounted.
In just two decades, Pagani Automibili has since grown to include 177 engineers and artisans, all driven by the same passion that gave birth to the Zonda.
Pagani chose Modena, considered as Italy’s motor valley, so that each of his car to come out of the Modena-based atelier is a hand-built work of art, combining the science of speed with the artistry of the human soul.
With this kind of price tag, what truly sets a Pagani apart is the extreme attention to detail that Horacio Pagani himself put into every aspect of a built car.
As a self-taught car designer, Pagani took seven years to develop the Zonda, combining emotion and functionality, art and science at each step of the way.
“We are not a kit car company, but a serious car maker. And my cars carry the hallmarks of a genuine supercar in terms of build quality, performance, engineering and safety,” he said.
The Zonda ended its production run in 2017, but Pagani’s follow-up offering, the Huayra, has found just as much success, and is likewise a celebrated piece of hypercar history.
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