Extreme, limited-edition 739bhp Pagani Zonda breaks cover
5 February 2009

Italian supercar brand, Pagani, has launched its fastest creation ever - the 739bhp Pagani Zonda R - at a gathering of customers and press in Milan.

The new car has been three years in the making, and is what resulted when one customer asked Pagani to create “the ultimate track-day Zonda”.

Inspired by Group C racers such as the Porsche 917 and Jaguar XJR9, the Pagani Zonda R’s design is unencumbered by any requirement for the car to be road-legal or homologated for racing competition; “It was born out of pure creativity,” said Horatio Pagani, owner of Italy’s only remaining independent supercar maker.

The Pagani Zonda R’s all-new body and chassis are made from carbonfibre, aircraft aluminium, titanium and magnesium.


Pagani also claims that the Zonda R is the first car in the world to use a woven mix of carbonfibre and titanium in its basic body structure. “The material is four times more expensive than regular carbonfibre,” explained Pagani, “and means we can shave 25kg from the weight of the ‘tub’.”

The Zonda R shares only 10 per cent of its parts with the Zonda F. With a 50mm wider track and a 48mm longer wheelbase, the car is wider, lower and almost 400mm longer than a Zonda F.

Powering the car is a development of the Mercedes 6.0-litre racing engine that powered the late-1990s CLK GTR racer. The mid-mounted narrow-angle V12 produces 739bhp at 7500rpm and 524lb ft of torque.

The Zonda R weighs just 1070kg, giving it a Bugatti Veyron-beating power-to-weight ratio of more than 700bhp per tonne. Pagani claims that the Zonda R is capable of 0-62mph in just 3.0sec and a 233mph maximum speed. It should also be capable of significantly improving on the Zonda F’s 7min 28sec record lap of the Nurburgring.

The Zonda R’s rear wing is much larger than the Zonda F’s and is accompanied by a large rear diffuser and a front splitter. Together they produce 2000kg of downforce at 186mph.

The Zonda R costs almost €1.4m (£1.24m) plus taxes, three times as much as a Zonda F. Only 16 will be built, and only five of those are still unsold. “We built a scale model of this car to show at Geneva last year,” Pagani said. “Before then I was not sure there was a market for it, but at the show and afterwards we took nine deposits, which gave us funds to increase the development budget.”

“The car’s long been a crazy dream of mine,” he continued, “but I never expected to find so many people who were just as crazy.”


Matt Saunders


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