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Pagani Zonda: history, reviews and specs of an icon - our exclusive drive

Pagani's first and most iconic model changed the supercar game on its arrival - this is why

Some people are never satisfied. Just ask Horacio Pagani, who was convinced that the £1.5m, 669bhp Zonda Cinque Roadster would be the last road-going Zonda the Pagani factory would ever produce. But he hadn’t counted on the degree of pestering he would receive from wealthy Pagani clientele for a road-going version of the even more extreme, but track-use only, 739bhp Zonda R. For the ten customers who have bought a Zonda R so far, gaining access to a circuit every time they fancy going for a spin is obviously not a problem, but for the rest of the world’s supercar-buying population, you could argue that the Zonda R is a tad compromised. That’s why Horacio eventually started to consider building a Zonda R for the road and, together with a small group of equally fanatical engineers, has spent the last year developing the car you see here, the mighty Zonda 760RS – or ‘La Bestia’ (The Beast) as it’s affectionately known at Pagani. I first got wind of this car completely by accident while visiting the Pagani factory in Modena last year. I was walking through the workshop when I spotted the well-used Zonda development car hiding in the corner. But something looked different. At first I couldn’t work out what it was, then it dawned on me: the back of the gearbox casing was protruding out of the rear valance further than normal, just like it does on a Ferrari 288 GTO. But why was there a new type of gearbox hanging out the back of this development hack? I’d understood that all Zonda development had ceased when the focus switched to bringing its successor, the Huayra, towards production reality…

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