Must-Have Super Car: $1.6 Million and Not Yet Legal
The Pagani Huayra holds many distinctions. It's arguably the most anticipated super-car in the United States this year, with a $1.2 million price tag and top speed of more than 230 m.p.h.
It's won multiple "super-car of the year" awards in Europe and car connoisseur Jay Leno has called it "unbelievable, like a dream come true." Richard Hammond, host of Britain's "Top Gear" said the car is so unreal "it may be a unicorn."
With its jet-like engine, radical curves and glittering cockpit, it's clear that the Pagani was inspired by the twin pursuits of aerospace and art. (Huayra means "God of the Winds" in ancient Inca dialect).
Pagani has sold 105 Huayra's globally, and 18 in the United States. Because the company is making only 40 a year, some cars may take more than a year and a half to be delivered. The first Huayra is scheduled to be delivered to the United States sometime in July.
But there's another small issue with the Pagani: it's not yet legal on these shores. While proud owners are driving them around Europe, there's only one in the United States being used as a showcar. (Read more: Lamborghini Miami Strikes Gold With Foreign Rich)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has not yet granted approval for the Huayra to be street legal. Pagani fans might recall that the company's last car, the equally-acclaimed Zonda, was not approved for U.S. roads because of safety issues – including the lack of a passenger-side airbag.
So why would someone pay $1.6 million for a car that's not legal yet?
Pagani says approval is just a formality. A company spokesman said that Pagani has performed all the proper crash tests and safety requirements and that approval is expected sometime around March. It said the Zonda was not approved in the United State because the nascent car company couldn't afford to build a $500,000 Zonda just for crash-testing.
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This time, after the financial success of the Zonda, the company had enough funding to build a Huayra for crash tests. (Which you can see in this video).
"This is not going to be an issue, we are quite sure," said the spokesman.
Let's hope so. Or else the super-rich Pagani owners may have to build their own backyard race-tracks to drive their new Huayra's.