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Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster review

We road test the last ever Pagani Zonda supercar, the loony Cinque Roadster. A fitting send off?

Evo rating
Price
from £1,500
  • The best ever Zonda
  • The last ever Zonda (probably)

What is it?

Another limited-edition Zonda, but Horacio Pagani assures us that the Cinque Roadster will be the final iteration of his iconic supercar, which burst onto the scene way back in 1999. A roadster version of the Cinque wasn’t planned initially, but customers kept knocking on Horacio’s door and begging him to build one. It costs £1.5million.  Technical highlights?

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Just like the hard-top Cinque, core to the Roadster is Pagani’s new ‘wonder material’, carbo-titanium. A type of carbonfibre with threads of titanium woven into it, it was first seen on the track-only Zonda R and will be making a major appearance on the Zonda’s replacement, the C9. Here, however, it allows Pagani to shed some extra kilos from the Zonda’s already bantam-weight monocoque chassis while also adding even more stiffness to the tub.

There are magnesium suspension components, carbonfibre brake discs and magnesium alloy APP centre-lock wheels, all of which help the Cinque Roadster to tip the scales at a feathery 1210kg dry, which is 70kg lighter than the original Zonda S Roadster from 2005.

What’s it like to drive?

The best Zonda we’ve ever driven, much of the praise actually going to its automated gearbox, not seen on non-Cinque Zondas. The smooth roads we tested the car on suit its lowered, stiffer chassis perfectly – although we know from our previous Cinque encounter that while it looks almost race-car low, it copes remarkably well with less-than-perfect tarmac – and the gearchange is so much better than expected.

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Okay, it is a bit more ponderous going down the ’box than it is on the way up, and it’s not nearly as quick as, say, the ‘F1’ shift on a Ferrari 599, but then the quality of the manual gearchange on a standard Zonda isn’t exactly great either, subconsciously making you use more of the low-down torque of the mighty engine than you might do were the gearchange not so obstructive at times.

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In the Cinque, however, you flick up and down the gearbox all the time, using the horsepower in the upper reaches of the rev-range more than in other Zondas, the Cinque feeling much more alive as a result. It’s a paddle-shifter for those of us hooked on manuals – rev it to the red line and it won’t change up until you instruct it to, so you always feel in control. The perfectly positioned paddles actually make changing gear a pleasure, too.How does it compare?

Does it matter? If you can afford a £1.5million Zonda, you can afford just about any other car to sit alongside it too. If it’s a supercar dogfight you want, there’s a Pagani Zonda v Porsche Carrera GT v Ferrari Enzo v Bugatti Veyron video here. We’ll take all four.

Anything else I need to know?

Just five will be built, and it’s the swansong for Zonda production, a reveal of the striking new Pagani C9 supercar imminent. Whether that will enjoy an eleven-year life abundant in special editions is uncertain.

Specifications

EngineV12, 7291cc
Max power669bhp @ 6200rpm
Max torque575lb ft @ 4000rpm
0-603.4sec (0-62mph, claimed)
Top speed217mph (claimed)
On saleNow, £1,500,000
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