2016 PAGANI Huayra Roadster
I was all prepared to promote these amazing designs by aspiring car design student Aldo Maria Sica with the standard fluff about how students must put their skills to use — and mean no infringement by using well-known (and well-guarded) brand names and likenesses on their design studies.
But the world is already very aware of Aldo Sica’s great talent — his LinkedIn shows he landed a dream job working for Bugatti design in Berlin.
A quick hop up from Torino where he studied transportation design — it is still a six-hour journey many students will never make. His achievement, from an outsider perspective at least, would be like a fresh economics or finance grad becoming the new chief of the Federal Reserve.
Or anyone who has studied football or baseball suddenly landing a pro-level contract that takes him on the field.
Is he the quarterback or pitcher for Bugatti’s pro team? Who knows.
Many skilled designers must cut their teeth for many years bringing art to interior door handles before their big ideas hit the road in full.
But one thing is certain: we are not the only ones impressed with Aldo Sica’s talent, vision and execution of design ideas.
On this long introductory note, please enjoy these completely unofficial, then-student-penned designs for a future Huayra Roadster.
But students are typically not as thorough and engineering-led as Sica — who delivers ace solutions to all the below challenges and more.
— Pagani loves roadsters: Previous Zonda roadster was a quick addition to bolster the line-up, without needing any structural reinforcements due to its 50,000MhZ-plus carbon chassis rigidity
LEADING INDICATORS: HUAYRA MEANS WIND
— A Strong hint that a future roadster or spyder was always in the works. (Okay, Yes, the name also refers to the new car’s active, dynamic-downforce-creating aero flaps on all four corners. But we digress.)
NEW CHALLENGES VS. ZONDA ROADSTER
— The Huayra’s door and cockpit setup is far more advanced than the Zonda, which utilized conventional, front-hinged doors for both the coupe and the cabrio.
Huayra hangs the gull-wing doors from the central carbon spin of the roof, requiring either conversion to regular doors or swan-wing, front-hinged setup like the McLaren 12C Spider.
SICA SOLVES FOR DOOR PROBLEM TOO!
This guy is thorough! We missed these on first pass through the images, but Sica does use a swan-wing layout with front hinges.
LEGAL AND SAFETY HURDLES:
Pagani has labored pretty extensively to make his cars road-legal in the United States — ever a critical market to be shut out of completely (which he has been since the company’s inception, to the dismay of many, many Americans.)
These challenges are less about a judgment call on the Zonda or Huayra’s design and engineering — and much more about navigating the NHTSA’s red tape.For a small company, Washington DC can be a large and nightmarish place to do business.
Crashing one Pagani for testing purposes was rumored to have caused great distress for the company, as that single car might have been a full year’s work by 50 individuals.
A Huayra Roadster would face these challenges and more testing requirements. The convertible rules are much, much stricter than for hardtops. [See Lotus Exige V6 Cup being the only Lotus performance variant that can pass these new (since 2012-ish) rules.]
STYLE, AERO and USABILITY HURDLES
A favorite part of Sica’s design is that it maintains — or even enhances – -the purity of the Zonda’s already-tiny glasshouse.
It also goes far beyond the previous Zonda Roadster’s artfulness via a frameless top windshield — a feature the Zonda cabrio lacked.
The Zonda cabrio, in fact, takes a much more safety-oriented approach in general to its long and framed windshield, as well as overall glasshouse.
A multi-stage option lets drivers remove the hard side pillars, fabric sections, and rear covers all at once for a full alfresco experience.
It also offers the option of individual pieces coming off, making this a Three-Phrase cabrio option in the grandest of Rolls-Royce traditions.
SICA HUAYRA ROADSTER
What do you think?