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.
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.
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.
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.