The magnificent Zonda F, while offering outrageous performance, is ultimately designed to be a road car. Despite the fact that it can lap the Nordschleife in 7min 32sec, it is nevertheless intended to be easy to drive – with comfort and road-going useability high on the agenda. But some of Pagani’s customers wanted a bit more. They asked for a track-day car – and this is what Pagani has produced with the new Zonda R.
The Zonda R is not intended to be a race-car but a supercar equipped for the most exhilarating track-day experiences in the hands of customers willing to pay 1.2 million Euro. Plus taxes.
Nor is the car simply an evolution of the Zonda F. It has only 10% of the same components and has been designed from scratch. The wheelbase has grown by 47mm, the overall length by 394mm and the track by 50mm. The suspension forged in Avional, a new Pagani six-speed transverse sequential gearbox, carbonfibre monocoque and aeronautical four-pump fuel tank are just a few of the developments.
The design drawings for the Zonda R were completed in September 2006 but it was crucial to have the support of Mercedes-AMG to provide a high-revving 750bhp engine with a dry sump. The engine had also to be light, with a low centre of gravity – and the unit which fulfilled these requirements was that of the mighty CLK GTR, which has dominated GT championships. Oh, and as an afterthought, the engine had to run at race pace for 5,000km before requiring a service. No problem.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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