Paganis are known for being beautiful and fast, and that speed can be credited to a Mercedes-AMG sourced engine. But that choice of engine wasn’t the result of a boardroom decision – it’s a callback to Horacio Pagani’s hometown hero.
We spent a little time chatting with Mr. Pagani during Concorso Italiano, an event celebrating Italian motoring that’s part of the Monterey Car Week festivities. He explained to us his decision to make his own supercar brand, and why the company uses Mercedes-AMG engines in its incredible cars.
You see, if it wasn’t for someone at Mercedes, there’s little chance we’d have the Pagani brand as we know it. The story goes that Horacio Pagani moved to Italy, thanks to a letter of recommendation from Juan Manuel Fangio in order to pursue Pagani’s dream of building his own supercar. Fangio was a legend in Argentinian motorsports, earning the F1 World Drivers’ Championship five times. He then became an honorary president of Mercedes-Benz Argentina.
As Pagani started working on his first car, Fangio helped with some development of the vehicle. Pagani was going to honor the Argentinian racer by naming the car the Fangio F1. However, after Fangio’s death in 1995, the car was renamed the Zonda when it debuted in 1999.
That wasn’t the end of the Fangio-Pagani connection, though. Mr. Pagani explained that the reason he uses Mercedes-AMG engines is to honor Fangio and continue that legacy. He also plans to use them for the foreseeable future.
The engines made by AMG for Pagani are special: each one is built by hand, by a single technician who then signs the engine. The units that Pagani uses aren’t the same as the ones used in Mercedes products, and AMG uses dedicated technicians to work exclusively on Pagani engines.
Mercedes-AMG is scheduled to provide engines to Pagani for the next few years, but Mr. Pagani doesn’t seem interested in swapping engine providers. The car is built for the engine, and the engine is built for the car, a harmonious balance that he doesn’t plan to upset.
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