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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