Currently reading: Next Zonda - new spy pics
Latest spy pics of Pagani's next Zonda hypercar, known as C9; will use 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12

These are the clearest spy shots yet of Pagani's successor to the Zonda as it continues development ahead of its debut in spring next year.

Known internally as C9 — although the car is unlikely to carry that badge — the new model is set to mark a radical shift in Pagani’s engine configuration, transmission set-up, and even its manufacturing processes, raising the ultra-supercar stakes in the process.

See the best spy pics yet of the new Pagani C9

At the new car’s heart will be a powerplant that introduces forced induction into Pagani’s range for the first time. The C9 will use a 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V12 engine, producing around 700bhp and more than 730lb ft of torque. It is a bespoke powerplant developed exclusively for Pagani by Mercedes' AMG department.

The engine offers considerably more power and torque than any of the road-going Zondas’ normally aspirated motors, but the new unit will be Euro 5 compliant. Pagani says the car’s CO2 figure will be “50 per cent” lower than that of its rivals.

Read more on the new Pagani C9

The engine’s prodigious power and torque are unlikely to be transferred to the road through a version of the SL65’s five-speed, torque-converter automatic transmission. Instead, the Pagani will use a seven-speed sequential set-up, sourced from British transmission specialist X-trac.

As this disguised test hack reveals, Pagani isn’t moving too far away from the proportions of the Zonda with the new car; however, the firm does appear to be integrating the side-mounted air intakes more effectively than the Zonda’s, which sit proud of the main bodywork. The car also features deep, Enzo-like scallops in the bonnet, to help with cooling.

Watch the Pagani Zonda R on video

The C9 will have gullwing doors, and its chassis will be made from the ultra-expensive, ultra-lightweight carbon-titanium material that Pagani first used on the Zonda Cinque. Pagani sources say the car will weigh “the same as a Zonda F”, which puts its kerb weight at around 1230kg. That’s at least half a tonne less than a Bugatti Veyron.

Crucially for Pagani, the C9 will also be homologated for sale in the United States, a market that has been closed to the supercar firm in the past because the Zonda never complied with the country’s Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation regulations.

Watch the Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster on video

This potential growth in sales is, in turn, said to be giving Pagani a production headache. The facilities required to upscale its figures to more than 40 units per year, including greater carbonfibre manufacturing capacity, have apparently prompted the firm to consider moving its factory.

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The new model is likely to make its public debut at the Geneva motor show next March. It won’t introduce a major price rise — but as a Pagani, it’s unlikely to be cheap, either. Expect a figure of around £800,000, roughly the same as the outgoing top-end Zondas.

Pagani’s original model will continue to be produced, in tiny numbers and on demand, alongside the C9.

John McIlroy

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jl4069 4 December 2010

Re: Next Zonda 'most extreme yet'

The car would be much nicer if it were 25% smaller and lighter with a nice naturally aspirated 8cylinder putting out 500hp.

As it is now it'll be just about perfect for UK lords and US search engine execs to toy around in, while pretending they are in an otherwise unobtainable aural and visual "event"- which makes them feel warm inside and a bit like a "hero" to the common folk- please let me throw up. When in reality they could get the same feeling with something far less costly and more fun to actually drive in- and see out of. Oh the rich, greedy and spoiled look what they have wrought of this place. J

david RS 29 November 2010

Re: Next Zonda 'most extreme yet'

An big loss : the NA engine :-((

We talk about cars of exception. The turbo are without voice.

It's like the comparison between a Stradivarius and a Bontempi organ.

It's a fact. That's all.

Peter Cavellini 29 November 2010

Re: Next Zonda 'most extreme yet'

Well, at least it's nice to see something that hasn't got a prancing horse stamped on it rear end!.