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Pagani’s wild new Zonda R hits the track

Rare beast: Only 16 Pagani Zonda Rs will be built.

Extreme Italian supercar maker unleashes its latest Nurburgring circuit weapon

9 Feb 2009

THE producer of Italy’s wildest sportscars has come good on its promise to build an even more extreme example of its lauded super-coupe by revealing the production version of its 2007 Frankfurt motor show-stopping Zonda R concept.

Designed to satisfy customers who demanded an even more track-focused variation of the car that made even Ferrari and Lamborghini stop and take notice, the R takes Horacio Pagani’s original Zonda to even more spectacular heights.

Just 16 examples of the limited-edition Zonda R will be produced, with the final version to be retained by Pagani.

Each will cost a cool 1.46 million Euro ($A2.83m) plus taxes – more than the double the price of the original Zonda coupe ($A1.2m when made available in Australia in 2004) and its roadster variant ($A1.4m).

For the money, the Modena maker says the R will set even higher performance benchmarks than the 2005 Zonda F, which set a number of production-car records at the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife circuit in Germany.

186 center image Instead of that car’s AMG-sourced 7.3-litre V12, however, the R employs a race-derived 6.0-litre dry-sump version that delivers an astonishing 551kW at 7500rpm and no less than 710Nm of torque from 5700rpm.

While that’s not quite as earth-rotating as the Clubsport-spec Zonda F, which produced 760Nm at 4000rpm, an impressive weight-to-power ratio of 1.43kg/hp (versus 1.89kg/hp for the F) makes the R the quickest Zonda ever.

Indeed, Pagani says its 551kW peak power output (up from 478kW) is enough to blast the significantly lighter 1070kg Zonda R (Zonda F: 1230kg dry) to 100km/h in an even more eye-watering 2.7 seconds (down from 3.6 seconds) and on to a top speed of 350km/h (5km/h faster than the F).

Billed as a track-day version of the Zonda F as well as “a track toy, a collector’s item, a masterpiece signed by Horacio Pagani”, the Zonda R is allegedly 90 per cent new. It features a carbon-titanium composite monocoque chassis, which plays a major role in reducing weight while increasing body rigidity.

The Benz V12 is bolted directly to it and attached to the accelerator pedal via a mechanical cable to return “immediate throttle response”.

Operated via steering wheel mounted shift paddles is an XTRAC 672 six-speed sequential manual transmission with dog-gearchange supplied by Automac Engineering. It is claimed to change gears in just 20 milliseconds and features a bespoke magnesium casing.

It continues to drive the rear wheels via a self-locking differential, but this time the mid-mounted longitudinal M120 48-valve 60-degree AMG V12 is harnessed by a 12-stage Bosch Motorsport Race ABS and traction control system, which can be manipulated on the move.

Similarly, Pagani says “each driver will be able to find a suitable set-up thanks to a fully adjustable (double A-arm with Ohlins shock absorbers) suspension and wing configuration”, while a new bonnet designed with help from Ennegi, closed underbody and rear diffuser combine to return downforce of up to 1500kg.

Weight-saving components include Aspa forged AvionAl suspension components, machined structural ErgAl parts to locate the engine, Poggipolini Titanium fasteners across the entire vehicle, carbon-fibre bodywork and an interior featuring controls that “are limited to the indispensable”.

Inside there are FIA-homologated bespoke Toora seats and five-point safety harnesses within a chrome-moly steel rollcage.

Four Brembo carbon-ceramic brake discs, measuring a massive 380x34mm all round, with six-piston front and four-piston rear callipers round out the safety package, while forged alloy APP wheels are 19-inch up front and 20-inch at the rear, wearing 255/35-section front and 335/30-section rear Pirelli P-Zero tyres.

The Zonda R is 4886mm long, making it 450mm longer than the F, as well as a sprawling 2014mm wide (40mm narrower) and the same 1141mm high. It rides on a 2785mm wheelbase – 55mm longer than the F.

Read more:

First look: Pagani Zonda R is ready to rumble


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