A track special version of the Zonda F with features that would later be used in the Pagani Huayra, only 15 units of the Pagani Zonda R were produced. For 2009 and 2010, the Zonda Cinque, a road-going version, was produced as well, in 5 roadsters and 5 coupes.
The Zonda R is a bit of a puzzle. It’s essentially a racecar, and yet it’s not properly sanctioned for any particular racing series. And yet it’s not legal to drive on the road, particularly with its deafening F1-inspired exhaust system. Furthermore, it shares only ten percent of its components with lesser Zondas (if you can call the Zonda F “lesser” at all), with a bespoke bare carbon fiber body, a different AMG-sourced V12 engine pulled from the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR racecar, and a gearbox sourced from an F3000 car. It’s probably best not to try to classify the Zonda R, and simply to drive it, because doing so is an experience as unique as the car itself. From the straight-cut gear whine to the manic howl of the 740-horsepower engine, it makes all the right noises. And with the huge rear wing and fully optimized aero package, the 2,500 lbs. car can easily reach 100 mph in less than six seconds on its way well past 200 mph. The performance is enough for TopGear host Jeremy Clarkson to spend much of his track time in the car yelling about how wonderful it was. If you can afford this $1.8 million track-day toy, perhaps you’ll be able to find a place to drive it.
If it had wings it would fly. Well, in truth, the Pagani Zonda R DOES have one big wing and it does fly... on the roads. If you’re looking for subtlety, look elsewhere because the Zonda R is about as extravagant as cars get. Bring a whip for this whip though, because taming its power isn’t for the faint of heart.
The Zonda R features a Formula One-inspired exhaust system and shares only 10% of its components with the Zonda F.
At the heart of the Zonda R is a different 6.0L M120 V12 from the race version of the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR. It produces 739 hp (551 kW) and 523 ft·lb (710 N·m) of torque. A lightweight carbon fiber high performance intake system and racing multiple disc centered clutch have been implemented into the Zonda R. The engine is mated to a six-speed Xtrac 672 sequential manual gearbox.
The Zonda R has a longer wheelbase by 1.9 in (47 mm) to increase stability and uses new front and rear subframes, built to accommodate new suspension geometry. The Zonda R's wheels are new forged magnesium center-lock models, which, in conjunction with on-board pneumatic airjacks, allow rapid change of the entire wheel assemblies.
The Pagani Zonda R accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 2.8 seconds, 0 to 100 mph (161 km/h) in 5.6 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 218 mph (351 km/h).