At first glance this hot looking machine appears as though it might have come straight out of some futuristic film, but on closer examination it is evident that this is a real life, four tires on the ground, Italian dream-machine. The Zonda Cinque Roadster was the last iteration of the Pagani Zonda series. The Zonda name represents, appropriately enough, a wind that blows off the Andes mountain Range.
Produced as a limited edition of only 5 units, carrying a hefty price tag of $1.8 million (not including local taxes), delivery of all 5 units was set for 2009 and ownership precluded all but 5 lucky (and fortunate) souls. The Pirelli PZero tires, (front 255/35/19, rear 335 /30/20) are themselves a marvel of modern technology. Developed exclusively for Pagani, they are encased in ergal and magnesium APP monolithic wheels. The suspension is formed from a magnesium/titanium mix for strength and durability. There was no long waiting line however since the original five were sold long before production was ever terminated. There are 5 convertible models and 5 hard top versions. No wonder they called it the “Cinque” (five in Italian). It took Horacio Pagani and his team of creative engineers from Modena 10 years to come up with a replacement for their previous model. They certainly came a long way since the production of their original Zonda C12 back in 1999 (costing approximately $326,000 at the time. There is currently only one of these models left and this is in Switzerland). This is the sort of “super-car” (calling this a car is tantamount to calling the QEII a boat); you only get to see on television, in one of those glitzy productions about the ostentatiously super rich and elite.
Propulsion of the vehicle showcases superior German technology. The carbon-titanium (a specially engineered compound by Pagani and stronger than standard carbon fiber) monocoque, was influenced by the track only R version, and weighs less than 2,700 pounds. This monocoque platform houses a massive AG, 7291cc, 7.3-litre V12, petrol engine from Mercedes Benz, which pumps out a ferocious 669bhp and 6000 RPM. The top speed is over 200 MPH. This will jettison the 2,667 lb. vehicle out of the starting gate at 0 to 60 in a mere 3.4 seconds. The air induction system is located on the roof and rear trunk area. This supercar also features an ABS system supplied by Bosch, Bremo ceramic brakes, and a Cima six-speed semi-automatic single-clutch gearbox, robotized by Automac engineering. Finally, there is an Inconel and titanium exhaust system. Those lucky enough to have witnessed the event have compared gear-shifting with the sound of a gunshot. In filmed footage it looks and sounds more like a space shuttle on forged aluminum wheels. The interior finish matches the technological exterior and mechanical sophistication displaying full leather four-point seats and carbon coated molybdenum-chrome steel roll bars. According to test drivers not only does the Cinque look the part, its engineering dynamics and ultimate performance make it top in its class. Slipping in under the limits of legality, this was, according to the Pagani firm, the first street-legal carbon fiber monocoque racer ever produced. This is however, unlikely in the U.S., where most U.S. Zonda owners are obliged to house their vehicles abroad. Unlike a regular vehicle which depreciates once you drive it off the lot, Pagani Zonda’s merely appreciate in value as time passes. Recent auctions have seen them appreciate by as much as by $200,000. At the end of the day, at least with a Zonda, perhaps a car is not such a bad investment after all.