Having discussed the future with Christian von Koenigsegg at the Geneva Motor Show, I was also keen to find out what sort of a tie Horacio Pagani picked for the occasion, not to mention his thoughts on electric mobility.
Luckily, he had a lot to say, purely in Italian, of course.
Up until 2025, including in America, we’ll be able to use the new bi-turbo engine we are going to introduce next year. It's a combustion engine with no electric aid. Since eight months ago, we also have a new team looking into the possibility of an electric car. It will not just be a replacement of our engine (with an electric motor). We are working on a totally new concept for this electric car. We are studying it, but of course we don’t know yet whether in five or six years time, our customers will be ready to spend this much money on an electric car of our concept. Usually, our customers don’t use their cars that often, but want them to offer a very emotional experience. It depends on if we’ll be able to translate that into electric drive, and on customer feedback.
I have walked around (the Geneva Motor Show) yesterday, saw some other stands. So many other projects feature extremely powerful cars! Almost 2000 horsepower in some cases. I think you first need to figure out how to make a very safe car, and you don’t need 2000 horsepower. Our performance is already at a very high level with the current power outputs. We prefer to focus on safety, on performance and the emotional aspect of the car.
We are at a time when we are facing important changes in the automotive industry. I think there are some new trends that are not really significant from a technological perspective. I’m much more interested in the aesthetics, the design of the cars. I’m very attracted by that. However, there are some technical innovations as well, and I’m really open to all new ideas.
Up until now, 90 percent of the energy was produced burning fossil fuels. If you have to charge all those batteries, you need to produce a lot more energy, still mostly that way. So, of course it is very interesting to work on the electric concept, but there’s that other side to it, burning gas and coal for energy. And it’s very nice to use electric drive in let’s say downtown Milan, polluting less than with a standard car. But, you will still pollute, only 30 miles away, via a power plant. We need to produce at least half of our energy in a more eco-friendly way, and then the electric cars will make much more sense than now.
Okay. I have a (Porsche) Carrera GT as well as 918 Spyder, which is a hybrid. The 918 weighs 400 kilos (881 lbs.) more than the CGT. I love both, but I did a test with the hybrid. I fully charged the battery, left from home, drove for 30 kms (18 miles) in electric mode, and then the gas engine came on. So, 18 miles using electricity, and then all the way to Milan and back, I was carrying 400 kilos of extra weight.
The world is changing, progress is good, and I think it’s correct to study and invest in these new technologies. And if everybody worked together to fix these issues, it will work out perfectly.
Of course all electric cars are heavier than standard cars. Our know how has been focused on working with lightweight materials for the last twenty years. So when the time comes when we'll be able to produce an electric car, we start with the same ground rules: making it a light one. The Huayra’s weight is similar to a Ford Fiesta’s. I think we’ll be able to have a very light electric car, starting from the ground up. Today, it has to remain a secret. But come next year, and we can tell you a lot more about our ideas...