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The 2011 Pagani Huayra Supercar, blink and you might miss it!

Pagani SupercarsAncient legends of the Aymara tell us of Huayra Tata, god of wind, who commands the breezes, winds, and blizzards that invade the mountains, cliffs and hills of the Andean highlands.

It is told that Huayra Tata resides deep in the high peaks and valleys, abandoning them only to demonstrate his power to his wife, Pachamama, goddess of mother earth.

With his power Huayra Tata was able to lift the waters from lake Titicaca and rain them down on the fertile Pachamama. When Huayra Tata sleeps, the waters and rivers lay quiet. But the calm before the storm is about to be interrupted…

Design

The eternity of the element air. Gentle and refined, yet the strength of the wind it is able to erode even the toughest of materials giving birth to distinctive shapes known in nature. Elegant and muscular the Huayra merges the past, present and future in a timeless interpretation of automotive art. The styling of the car was perfected over the course of 5 years to find each line’s beginning and end.

During this study, eight scale models were created, as well as two 1:1 models, each an evolution of the previous in a never ending quest to perfect the form and refining the substance.

The bi-xenon headlamps are just one of the many precious gifts from the Zonda R, and LED daytime running lights are seamlessly integrated in the elliptical shape of the design. The rear bumper integrates with the diffuser and is dominated by an elliptical frame that surrounds the four central exhaust outlets, now becoming a characteristic Pagani element.

Backbone

The new central monocoque on the Huayra is an entirely new design made from carbontitanium. However, with the gull wing doors cutting deep into the roof, much research was focused on achieving the highest levels of rigidity through the application of new advanced composite materials and technologies first tested on the Zonda R. The fuel tank is located integrally in the best protected area of the monocoque, behind the driver, reinforced by safety cell made of different composite and ballistic materials. The front and rear CrMo subframes offer an exceptional rigidity-to-weight ratio to allowing the suspensions to work at their best while incorporating an advanced energy absorbing crash structure, ready to protect the occupants in the unlikely event of an impact.

The never ending quest for weight reduction resulted also into the combination of structural and non-structural or aesthetical elements. An example is the integration of all ventilation air ducts into the monocoque’s structure, making the use of additional parts and ducts unnecessary.
The result of this attention to detail is a vehicle weighing 1.350 kg making the Huayra the lightest sportscar in its class.

Continue reading The 2011 Pagani Huayra Supercar, blink and you might miss it!

2011 Lexus LFA Supercar

The Lexus LFA

For many people, the Lexus brand doesn’t conjure up images of supercars with ridiculous power, but that’s not stopping them.  Indeed, Lexus models seem to many to simply be luxury reskins of Toyota models, so how will a supercar that costs $375,000 fit into that market identity?  Well, you’re about to find out.

The fact that a Lexus supercar was in the works first became public knowledge way back in 2005 when the initial concept of the LFA debuted at the Detroit Auto Show.  Prior to this, Lexus limited its performance offerings to F Sport models, which are sports editions of standard IS and GS models.  The LFA seeks to skip the whole crawling and walking phase of supercar development and go right to running.  And considering that V10 engine under the LFA’s hood, this thing can definitely run.

The 4.8-liter V10 puts out 552 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque.  The 9,000 RPM redline will make for some wonderful engine noise as you rocket from 0-to-62 mph (100 km/h) in a quick 3.7 seconds.  And with a top speed of 202 mph, you can lay on the throttle for a good long time.  That power is channeled through a six-speed sequential gearbox.  The best part, though, is the power band.  At least 90% of the torque will be available from 3,700 RPMs all the way to the 9,000 redline, so plenty of pep is at your fingertips (well, toe-tips technically).

Helping the LFA achieve such speeds is its lightweight design.  The car weighs in at 3,263 pounds thanks to a lot of light materials.  The cabin structure is built out of a new material specifically designed for the LFA called carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP).  The material lends a high amount of rigidity to the chassis while still managing to weigh in at 220 pounds lighter than a comparable structure made of aluminum.

The overall weight distribution of the car is 48% front, 52% rear, will help maximize the rear-wheel drive thrill, and is accomplished by moving a lot of components around.  For example, the fuel tank is positioned in front of the rear axle for more central mass distribution, while the radiator is behind the rear axle.

The 2011 LFA by Lexus

With these design specifications, it looks like Lexus really does have an exciting supercar on their hands.  And they’re taking a cue from other more established supercar manufacturers in another respect:  production run.

There will only be 500 LFAs made, with the car hitting the road towards the end of 2011.  And that fact illuminates the true purpose of the LFA.

Most likely, Lexus wants to get more experience in creating road legal supercars so that they may translate that knowledge to their other models to create a sporty brand perception.  That seems a solid strategy, but the field of premium sport cars is already pretty packed.

Why isn’t Lexus happy with creating dependable luxury vehicles (which pull in massive sales numbers)?  Whatever the reason, the LFA is definitely a supercar worthy of notice, even if you’ll probably never see one in the flesh.