Italian supercar upstarts Pagani started with one car, the Zonda, and have maintained a laser-like focus on that single nameplate ever since. Former supercar heavyweight McLaren is re-entering the road car arena with its V8-powered Ferrari Italia-fighter, the MP4-12C, but is fast-tracking the development of its range-topping supercar, pitched as a neo-McLaren F1 and aimed at the Zonda and its hypercar ilk. Recession? What Recession?
The new McLaren, provisionally named the F1 by Autocar, will follow its inspiration’s emphasis on low weight and will be built around a carbon monocoque similar to the MP4-12C’s. The new McLaren should fit in above the MP4-12C’s $250k base price, possibly costing as much as the €500k that the new Pagani C9 is expected to cost. But that Zonda replacement will also be accompanied by a smaller, V8-powered Zonda, presumably powered by Mercedes’ 6.3 liter V8. This “baby” Pagani joins the MP4-12C in making the Ferrari 458 Italia’s job a lot harder, jamming the quarter-million-dollar supercar field with more options. What’s a newly wealthy showoff to choose?