Next Zonda 'most extreme yet'
Friday, October 22, 2010
Pagani is aiming to raise the ultra-supercar stakes with the successor to the Zonda, captured here in the clearest spy shots yet, 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.
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. Pagani insists the unit will be a bespoke powerplant — although given the firm’s historical links to Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, it is likely to be derived from the motor used in the SL65 Black Series.
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.
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.
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