During the two press days of the Geneva Motor Show, we got the opportunity to talk to some of the most interesting people in today's automotive industry. Horacio Pagani was one of them, and he told us what he likes and what he doesn't. If you work for McLaren you might want to stop reading now.
It happened literally at the last minutes of our stay at the show. We realized that the man who just walked by us wearing white pants was in fact the master himself. When we went to see his stand, he was not around. We didn't prepare questions for him in advance like we had for Christian von Koenigsegg, Victor Muller or Paul Mackenzie, therefore I hesitated for a moment. Then I ran after him like a crazy fanboy stalker.
I found Horacio near the McLaren stand next to a guy wearing the craziest suit of the show, another who chose a neon-green sneaker for his otherwise formal outfit in true Italian spirit, and a tall man who was supposed to translate for us since Horacio's English is only slightly better than my Italian. Constant gesticulation was my biggest help, but in case I've misunderstood something, I'll let you know after getting the angry letters.
I wasn't interested in when the Huayra Spyder is coming. Instead, I wanted to know what Pagani thinks about the supercars of the show. And since we were standing next to the McLaren P1, I asked him about that before getting to the LaFerrari or the Lamborghini Veneno. Horacio was not impressed. He said because the P1 has the same carbon tub and 4.8-liter 3.8-liter V8 as the MP4-12C, it's not much more than a tuned version of the base McLaren in his eyes. He said it was also missing the necessary emotion, and told me that the 21 year-old F1 standing behind the P1 still remains a much more beautiful car. I had to agree.
Next up was Lamborghini. I knew he's not going to say anything too bad about the Veneno. Horacio started in Sant'Agata after moving to Italy from Argentina in 1983, and four years later, he was responsible for the Countach Evoluzione, a test-bed made by the newly formed Composites Department. He started his own company in 1991, but wouldn't be where he is now without Lamborghini.
He told me that since they only made three (+1), the Veneno is not much more than a design exercise, but it's indeed a very masculine, agressive car. I had a feeling he would take it for a ride...
We couldn't talk much about the LaFerrari, since he hadn't seen it yet, and was just about to go check it out before I stopped him. Still, pointing at his heart, he told me that he loves Ferraris, and that he is confident the LaFerrari has the soul the P1 is missing. I wasn't surprised that after living in Italy for 30 years, he preferred the Italian supercars to the British. But when I asked, he was quick to assure me that he also likes Porsches, so that's not the case. I've never seen anybody shake his head as fast while saying nonononono when I asked if he meant the 911s. Naturally, he was talking about the Carrera GT.
He smiled and said goodbye politely after that. They had a new Ferrari to see...
Photo credit: Thomas Endesfelder, Peter Orosz, Máté Petrány and Pagani