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The Emperor's New Clothes: Pagani C9 prototypes snapped in South Africa with fresh sheet metal

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Filed under: Spy Photos, Coupe, Performance, Mercedes-Benz

wcf-zonda-spy.jpgThere's only so much testing that an automaker can undertake behind closed gates before the prototypes need to hit the open road. Consequently, automakers continue to devise all manner of camouflage and body cladding to keep prying eyes from seeing what they're working on. Horacio Pagani, however, seems to have a different approach. The independent Italian-Argentine purveyor of top-shelf supercars simply slaps the old bodywork on the new prototype and - presto! - nothing to see here. That is, until these shots came along.

Up until now, the prototypes for the Zonda's replacement that we've seen in spy shots have been all but completely indistinguishable from the existing model. But these shots - snapped in Johannesburg, South Africa - show entirely different bodywork around the rear end.

The big, protruding rear wing is gone, for starters. The tail-lamps, which were horizontal, rectangular units mounted low down on the existing Zonda, have been replaced by three-light clusters higher up. The squared-off mesh grille has been ditched in favor of an elliptical opening and the high-mounted barrel of exhaust tips, missing from recent prototypes, is back on this one. And that snorkel of an intake likewise protruding from previous prototypes is gone here, replaced by a more form-fitting vent behind the rear windscreen.

Unfortunately the snapper couldn't seem to get ahead to snap the front end, but the bodywork along the side flank appears more curvaceous as well, as does the greenhouse. The pair of test mules were apparently being escorted by a pair of Mercedes SLS AMGs, as the Benz performance division will once again be providing the Pagani's motivation.

[source: World Car Fans]

The Emperor's New Clothes: Pagani C9 prototypes snapped in South Africa with fresh sheet metal originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 10 Feb 2010 17:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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We'll see if the new one has the staying power of the Zonda. 10 years later and the Zonda still looks fantastic.

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