The $1.2-million, rear-wheel-drive Pagani Huayra is fitted with a twin-turbocharged V12, rated at 720 horsepower, which is capable of launching its 3,100-pound curb weight to 60 miles per hour in about three seconds flat. Hold its oval aluminum accelerator pedal to its stops on a proper stretch of pavement and it won't run out of steam until it touches 230 mph. It is, by all measures, a handful for all but the most skilled drivers.

Davide Testi, Pagani's chief test driver, is a card-carrying member of that elite fraternity who likely has more miles behind its flat-bottom steering wheel than any other human. During a recent car event in Italy, attended by dozens of camera-touting enthusiasts, Testi chose to show off the Huayra's impressive capabilities with a quick spin around the parking lot - with his young son sitting on his lap. The video shows Testi demonstrating a launch-control start, several full-throttle bursts and breaking the 335/30ZR20 rear tires free with a power slide as he circles a planter.

The crowd seems to enjoy the impromptu show, as expected, but we question the driver's judgement - not his skill. Testi certainly knows the vehicle's limits, but the parking lot with its uneven surfaces, painted crosswalks and steel drainage grates is not a test track. And, putting a small child between the driver and controls (with an airbag as part of the sandwich) is a variable we wouldn't be comfortable with. An unscripted exhibition of speed at a public venue can quickly go wrong even at the hands of an experienced driver. We need to look no further than Roger Rodas and Paul Walker, as a sobering reminder.




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  • 159 Comments
      ufgrat
      • 8 Months Ago
      Having watched the video, no, he was not being reckless. All of the corners he took, he either took slowly, or had considerable run-off in case something went wrong. The road was dry, and clean, and he never hammered the car very hard-- I would guess he never drove more than about 40% of what the car is capable of, and in most cases, was probably closer to 20%. Short of a bomb going off, or major structural failure of the car, I would say at no time was he, or his son, in any danger. By contrast, Paul Walker was on an open street, with traffic, and nearby obstructions, and based on the damage to the car, was much closer to the car's performance limit (and obviously exceeded it, since the crash was ascribed to driver error).
      wsbfan
      • 8 Months Ago
      I cringe when I think that most kids grow up without a dad in the house.
      Brett Red-Dog Evans
      • 8 Months Ago
      Not the safest choice, but what a good memory for his son. I dunno, I'd be okay with that. I probably wouldn't do it with my own kid, but no harm, no foul. My sister once let me take her 2-year-old for a ride on my motorcycle. The baby sat in front of me and wore a bicycle helmet as we only went up and down my street at speeds no higher than 10 mph. Again, not the safest choice, but she enjoyed it and all was well. Seems to be a similar situation.
      Brian Johnson
      • 8 Months Ago
      You can have all the skills to pay the billz, but you can't protect your kid from an airbag.
      over9000
      • 8 Months Ago
      wow... shows you how immature and stupid the general Autoblog audience is here. I wouldn't put my kid's in danger like that.
        Lachmund
        • 8 Months Ago
        @over9000
        luckily you don't have one that's for sure.
        onlycodered
        • 8 Months Ago
        @over9000
        Finally someone with a brain. Even in a parking lot like this you can still lose control and set the airbags off. I've seen it happen at autocross before. The second that happens any child between the steering wheel and the driver is dead.
        mhart27
        • 8 Months Ago
        @over9000
        No, it just shows how much of a p#$&y you are.
        Lachmund
        • 8 Months Ago
        @over9000
        luckily you don't have one that's for sure.
      DubleDex
      • 8 Months Ago
      If I found out later in life that my dad had access to a Pagani Huayra and DIDN'T take me for this kind of ride, I'd be furious. Lets not even consider the fact that this guy is a professional driver and just consider the fact that he's a dad. I'm pretty sure he's not going to do any sort of hooning that's going to put his child in an unacceptable amount of danger. Remember, every time you strap your child securely into their car seat and drive them to the grocery store you're putting them in significantly more danger than this video shows. There's nothing out of line happening here. It's a dad giving his son a great experience and it's completely awesome in every way. Kudos to Davide Testi and the great story his son now has!
        Mack
        • 8 Months Ago
        @DubleDex
        And what line are we talking about? Taking your kids to school in the car, going to the store to buy food, etc. is a necessary risk that everyone has to take. Sitting your kid on your lap while testing your driving skill is crossing the line into unnecessary danger. If you're so arrogant to think that you have 100% control, and this is not unnecessary risk to kid in any way, you might as well play Russian roulette with the kid. You're pretty much past that line anyways.
          rtttack
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Mack
          If he was, he'd probably think this videos was great.
          DubleDex
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Mack
          I'm not so arrogant as to think I have 100% control. That's why I wouldn't take my child out in a car like this... because I would be scared of driving this car with just me in it. However, I don't think this guy is "testing his driving skill" in this video. He's in a vehicle he's very familiar with. He's in an environment without other drivers. As far as I can tell, he never even breaks the rear wheels loose. Also, he's not on a cell phone, he's not chatting with a passenger, and he's free from a vast majority of the distractions that affect daily driving. He's operating this car well, well, well within its and his limits. Whether taking your kids to the grocery store or school is a necessary risk or not, it's still more dangerous than what's happening here. So is putting them on a bicycle and letting them ride around the neighborhood. So is putting forks in your dishwasher pointy-end-up and leaving it open. Would I advocate doing this with your child every single day? No. But one 60-second exhilarating drive around a parking lot is okay.
          mhart27
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Mack
          @William Harper Somebody call the wambulance. :p
          ufgrat
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Mack
          There was no test to the driver's skill. This is a guy who has been driving this car, and cars like it, from the first prototype to the production line. He is an expert on that car, and if you had paid any attention, you'd have noticed he was being very, very careful and restrained in his driving. In short, he is a professional. If you are not, do not attempt this on your own. I suspect he would be offended, and threaten to harm anyone who suggested he would (or did) deliberately endanger his son. Then again, as an American, it terrifies me how few Americans actually understand driving. For a nation that grew up on the automobile, and has advanced automotive technology so much, we're pretty bad at driving.
          czzxczxc
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Mack
          There was no danger to the kid. Your being rediculous.
          czzxczxc
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Mack
          There was no danger to the kid. Your being rediculous.
      domingorobusto
      • 8 Months Ago
      I am so sick of this culture of coddling that is promoted these days. That kid was probably having the time of his life. And the driver wasn't doing anything even approaching the limits of the car. He was basically just driving around goosing it a few times. The chances of ANYTHING happening are incredibly slim. He's not just any driver, he's probably the person who is the most comfortable with that car in the world. I mean really, anything worth doing involves some risk. This was a tightly controlled course, the driver almost can't be more skilled, and he was not doing anything all that vigorous. There risks were all mitigated.
        domingorobusto
        • 8 Months Ago
        @domingorobusto
        At what point will our culture become so risk averse that nothing is ever done at all?
          Serioso
          • 8 Months Ago
          @domingorobusto
          I estimate about a decade ago.
          superchan7
          • 8 Months Ago
          @domingorobusto
          Our culture has already come to the point of blaming an accident instead of blaming a driver. Blaming a delay in backup cameras rather than blaming parents for hitting kids in reverse. I use a backup camera as a parking cheat. I analyze the environment and use my wits and windows to back up safely. Any kid that's too fast for me would also be too fast for my rear view camera.
        superchan7
        • 8 Months Ago
        @domingorobusto
        I'm not comfortable with hooning a supercar with my kid on my lap, but I'm comfortable watching someone do so as a professional and with the appropriate skill and confidence, in an appropriate environment, with restraint.
          Victor W. Werke
          • 8 Months Ago
          @superchan7
          You mean like the "professional" know-it-all racing driver that went too fast, too furious recently?
      Durishin
      • 8 Months Ago
      I am the father of a 14 year old girl whom I am teaching to drive a manual transmissioned car. Frankly, if you chose "Yes" in the above poll, you don't belong here.
        vassyg16
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Durishin
        You, sir, deserve a gold medal in patience. And in keeping man-trannies alive in our culture. Wait, that came out wrong. Seriously though, kudos and good luck.
      Sikorsky
      • 8 Months Ago
      A small crash with an airbag equipped car will kill that kid. If you're one of the morons that isn't seeing a problem with this, don't ever have kids, just stay in your parent's basements.
      Bernard
      • 8 Months Ago
      Considering that he was babying the crap out of that thing, I don't think his son was ever in much danger.
      warmweatheronly
      • 8 Months Ago
      I didn't know this was the blog for the nanny state. That child probably has a better chance of getting in a fatal accident riding the school bus than he does sitting on his dad's lap, I mean, in his dad's office with him. I love the headline, way to tell us how to feel about this video. Before even watching it I thought, "Oh no, there must be something horrible!" Then I saw it, read he was a test driver, saw the control, the smile on their faces and thought... "That looked like fun! Why do I feel all judgemental though, I mean, my parents took me for a spin in the truck, sitting on their laps a few times..." Oh that's right, political correctness, I SHOULD BE pissed at this, you know, because peer pressure. Awesome dad.
      Bernard
      • 8 Months Ago
      It's a closed course, he's a pro, and he's driving slow. He could do that entire course at that pace with a blind fold on. The airbag isn't going to go off and he's not going to have an accident. Unbunch your panties ladies.
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