Pagani, makers of one of the hottest supercars on the planet, have now builtan all-out track version called the Zonda R. The Zonda R is not a racer, but rather like the Ferrari FXX, it was built without regard to any rules package. The customer who initially commissioned it just wanted the fastest possible toy to play with on track days and with a 750hp engine derived from the Mercedes CLK GTR powerplant, that shouldn't be much of a problem.
While it looks somewhat like the road-going Zonda F, it only shares 10% of it's parts and has a 47 mm longer wheelbase. The bodywork is optimized for down force, with a longer splitter, larger rear defuser, and more substantial rear wing, among other changes. At somewhere north $1.2 million,this is one exceedingly rare and pricey toy.
While we certainly cannot say the Zonda F lacks performance figures, driving around theNürburgring in 7:32 and achieving lateral G forces of almost 1.5 G, it is however a road car,easy to drive, intuitive and setting the benchmark for comfort, safety and lightweight. Pairedwith a quality finish and the attention to detail this made the Zonda F one of the most desirablesupercars resulting in the 25 Coupé models being sold out in record time.
This did not seem to fulfill the requirements of our most demanding customers, who adore theweekend drive on a racetrack.
The spark has been set by an Italo-American customer, enthusiast and already proud ownerof 3 Zondas. He describes the project this way: "The thought has been on my mind for quitesome time, but I am not interested in racing".
The Zonda R is born with full liberty. The target: the ultimate performance at the racetrackwithout any implications of rules, except for safety, where no compromise is allowed.In September 2006 the first drawings were ready, but it was crucial to have the support ofMercedes-AMG for a high revving engine with a power output of 750hp, dry sump, light andwith a low centre of gravity. The basis was the self supporting engine of the mighty CLK GTR,which has dominated the GT championships.
Eve at constant racing pace the engine would have to cover over 5.000 km before servicing.The challenge has been accepted without hesitation.
The Zonda R is a car designed from scratch, with only 10% of the Zonda F components to becarried over. The suspension forged in Avional, a new Pagani six speed transversal sequentialgearbox, carbon fibre monocoque, aeronautical four pump fuel tank are only part of theequation.
The wheelbase has grown by 47mm, the overall length by 394 mm and the track is increasedby 50mm. The bodywork and aerodynamics have been studied to offer maximum downforce.Even though built for the track, the project would not have received kick off, if the quality andfinish of the car and its details was not up to the level of the Pagani road cars.
One of the first cars to be delivered however will be kept in a living room, designed by Paganiand built with the same materials as the Zonda F, beautifully textured carbon fibre, avional,titanium, inconel and other state of the art materials. Additionally it will feature a bespoke HiFiSystem that will allow the customer to listen to the sound of this car at Le Mans and theNürburgring.