Pagani's Huayra Roadster may be the most beautiful drop-top supercar ever

We’ve been waiting a long time for this one, but it was worth every minute of the delay.

If you can believe it, the Pagani’s successor to the Zonda supercar began production in 2012, meaning we’ve had to sit on our hands for five years while the Italian automaker crafted its Huayra Roadster.

Now, finally, we have a clean look at what may be the most beautiful drop-top supercar ever built. Designed from the ground-up as a convertible, rather than simply re-engineering the coupe’s roof, the Huayra Roadster has distinct styling and a re-worked powertrain.

Replacing the fixed roof is a choice of a carbon fiber or fabric top. Unlike most convertibles, the Huayra Roadster is actually 176 pounds lighter than the coupe and makes 34 more horsepower. Like the coupe, a Mercedes-AMG 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12 is found behind the rear seats, but it develops 754 hp, which is even more than the hardcore Huayra BC. More power and less weight (about 2,800 pounds total) mean the Roadster will be noticeably quicker than its fixed-roof counterpart.

Weight savings are due largely to a “Carbo-Titanium” and “Carbo-Triax” monocoque chassis. Pagani says the material used in its platform is more advanced than Formula 1 cars and is 52 percent stiffer than the coupe’s architecture. Add to that a dual-clutch transmission that’s 40 percent lighter than similar systems and an aluminum-alloy suspension that shaves 25 percent from the coupe’s setup, and you can see what we mean about this being more than just a restyling.

Peak torque of 738 lb-ft. is available earlier than in the coupe, at 2,400 rpm. Brembo brakes — six-piston front and four-piston rear — haul the supercar down, and Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires help it achieve an astounding 1.8g of lateral grip.

Each of the 100 production cars has already been allocated to a customer for $2.89 million a pop.

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