JAN 15, 2009-The Zonda R was launched today in Austria at the Vienna Auto Show which comes more than two years after Pagani Automobili announced the Zonda R for one of their dedicated customers. Built as the ultimate track day supercar, this model builds upon the previous Zondas, but takes their engineering to the next level. Since the Zonda R is not scheduled to race or comply with any regulations, Horacio Pagani’s team at Modena Design had total freedom when designing the car, however, Pagani maintains that high a level safety was top priority for both him and his customer. What this means is that the Zonda R is probably faster and more responsive than any of the production racecars in current motor sports.
The idea to create this car comes from an ambitious and loyal customer who already has a rich stable of three Zondas in his garage. Naturally, Pagani was keen to embark and please his best client. This isn’t the first time Pagani has created such a car, in 2004 the Zonda Monza was shown at the Paris Motor Show for the very same purpose, but if the recently released drawings are anything to go by, this new Zonda goes much, much further.
In 2006, these drawings were laid out and Mercedes-AMG had come on board to offer a dry-sump version of their potent V12 – the same used in the CLK GTR LeMans racecar. Pagani outfits this unit with a new carbon fibre intake system, a racing multiple disc sintered clutch and Formula 1 style exhaust system, hydroformed in Inconel 625 and ceramic coated for optimal heat dissipation. These, along with AMG’s internal upgrades offer 750 hp (559 Kw) at 8000 rpm and 523 ft lbs (710 Nm).
Pagani claims that the car is almost entirely new and only borrows 10% from the Zonda F it is based off. For instance the entire body, 6-speed sequential gearbox, carbon fibre monocoque and new fuel tank with four fuel pumps are unique to this car. The chassis itself incorporates a roll cage and supports new sub frames with new suspension geometry. Additionally, magnesium forged rims with central wheel nuts can be changed easily with the pneumatic lifting system built into the car.
The body has received extensive changes, the most noticeable being an extended wheelbase and much longer bodywork that would no doubt help top speed stability on fierce tracks like Le Mans. Along with the length, the track was also widened. New aerodynamic elements include a longer front bonnet with flaps, closed underbody and the rear overhang with the adjustable rear wing and race derived diffuser. A large scoop is affixed to the roof for cold are induction with a slight ram-air effect.
Inside, the Zonda R is spartan and this is where Pagani’s mastery of carbon fiber becomes most apparent. Before becoming a manufacturer in his own right, Pagani was producing carbon fiber for all sectors of the industry. As long as the precise alignment of the carbon weave doesn’t distract, then the clear Digitek instrumentation can provide all the essential information, including sophisticated telemetry and downforce logs.
Not long after being released Marc Basseng set a new lap record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife with a time of 6:47. In doing so, he smashed a previous record set by the Ferrari FXX by 11 seconds.
Surprisingly, Pagani has posted the purchase price which currently sits at 1.2 million EUR/1.5 million USD. We assume this is going to remain a one-of supercar that pushes the limits of what is possible, but will unfortunately remain a huge ‘what if’ to disappointed motor sports fans.