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Monday, June 9, 2008

Pagani Zonda Cinque

MODENA, Italy — Supercar maker Pagani is gearing up to produce a mere five copies of its latest creation, the Zonda Cinque — essentially a street-legal version of the Zonda R racing car.

Pagani has developed a high-strength, lightweight material — a carbon-titanium fiber — for the body. The official photos show a Zonda Cinque (the name is Italian for "five") finished in black, silver and red. Sharp-eyed viewers will spot a new rear wing, a different front spoiler and additional air intakes and extractors.

Pagani has tapped Mercedes affiliate AMG for the engine, a detuned version of the Zonda R's 7.3-liter V12, with output throttled back from 750 to 678 horsepower. Producing 575 pound-feet of torque, the mid-mounted 12-cylinder is mated to a Cima six-speed sequential gearbox with shift controls mounted on the tunnel and the steering wheel.

The car weighs 2,668 pounds without fluids, so performance is just this side of astonishing: 0-60-mph acceleration takes less than 3.4 seconds, and terminal velocity is said to top 217 mph.

The Zonda Cinque's chassis is fashioned of Ohlins components in magnesium and titanium, with APP forged aluminum/magnesium wheels with Pirelli P Zero performance tires — 255/35ZR19s in front, 335/30ZR20s in the rear. Also featured are Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and a titanium exhaust system coated with ceramic.

The race-inspired cockpit is fitted with Toora carbon fiber seats covered in leather, a carbon fiber steering wheel and four-point belts.

And don't even ask about the price; all five copies reportedly have been presold for some $1.25 million each.

What this means to you: Pagani takes the whole notion of "extreme" to new levels