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Wind-in-the-hair motoring doesn't get any more thrilling than this. Make way for the Pagani Spyder - a drop-top edition of one of the world's fastest cars.

Set for launch at March's Geneva Motor Show, the newcomer will follow the acclaimed Zonda C12 and C12S when it goes on sale later this year. Powered by a 7.0-litre V12 built and tuned by Mercedes and AMG, the car will offer a six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive. Carbon fibre bodywork should keep the weight down to around 1,220kg, leading to a 0-60mph time of around 3.5 seconds. Top speed should be comfortably over 200mph!

Pagani had always planned to develop a spyder, but until now has concentrated on building the coupé (top image). In fact, the fourth prototype made was a spyder - which was then used for crash testing. Seating will be strictly for two in this Le Mans-style racer, and there will be little in the way of practicality. However, the car will be hand-built exclusively for customers, who will be able to specify every last detail of their new machine.

The new Pagani won't come cheap, though. First editions are expected to cost well over £250,000, which means the car will be far more pricey than its £165,000 rival, the Lamborghini Barchetta (bottom image). But that doesn't worry company boss Horacio Pagani, who likens the newcomer to a convertible McLaren F1.
Dan Strong

2001 CL Type S
2001 Lexus RX300 Silversport
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