Moving on to the car design of the present and the future, Pagani is sure that “politics is forcing the world to switch to the electric car, but the world is not prepared to absorb the electric car”. By doing this, we are doing a big gift to China, he says, “the biggest battery producer”, but from the point of view of car design, he adds, “I believe that in a city with a high population density it is important to have small electric cars to move around in: they already exist, and this is the direction in which to go, on which we must insist”.
“You don’t need a lot of horsepower in the city, you don’t need a Tesla,” says Pagani. “I think that car designers should go in this direction, they should think of cars that are not individual but collective, that can be used and then left there. For me, this is a sector in which a lot of work will be done. We will also move towards autonomous driving, so the car will also be a working environment, but that’s another story altogether… and then there will be yet another car, the car that you use for family trips, and for me, it will be more and more like designing a house, with an automotive design that will seek customisation, and build an object that we will experience more”.
Customisation and the technological shift between automotive and interior design are another interesting, and consequent, point to be addressed together with Pagani, which for twenty-five years – and even longer, since the days at Lamborghini and Modena Design – has been making custom-built cars for an unusual clientele, bringing both the priceless craftsmanship of Italian luxury and the technology of aeronautics and motorsport to the automotive industry.
“We make cars that can cost between two to fifteen million euros,” Pagani resumes, “and the research behind it is enormous. Being a design and technology company that started making cars, we have developed a certain amount of experience in materials over the years. For example: when making a car, we use automotive leather, which has to withstand a whole series of specific cycles. It’s a highly treated leather: because you might leave the car outside every night, it’s subjected to extreme changes in temperature, it’s exposed to sunlight for hours and hours… so it doesn’t feel like the leather of a sofa, which is always at the same temperature and undergoes lighter treatments. However, we wanted an automotive leather – and one that was as tough as automotive leather – that had the same characteristics as sofa leather. We wanted it to feel like the leather of a handbag, but capable of withstanding all the stresses that a material exposed to what I was telling you about requires. Twenty years ago, thanks to one of our suppliers, we were already able to create this leather, and today we use this technology for the sofas of the DaVinci Tower, for example”.