Mike Stevens | Apr 1, 2010

UPDATE: It has been determined that this test car is a 'regular' Zonda body, likely testing the C9's engine.

SPY PHOTOS obtained today of the upcoming 2011 Pagani C9 show that crash-testing for the new supercar has begun ahead of schedule.

Undergoing high-speed tests on a German highway near Stuttgart, the driver of this C9 test car lost control and collided with the centre barrier dividing traffic.

As the photos show, the C9's fortified cabin maintained its shape in the crash, leaving the driver relatively unhurt.

Speaking with press in January, company founder Horatio Pagani confirmed that the C9 will be powered by a 6.0 litre V12 Mercedes-Benz AMG engine producing around 520kW and 1000Nm of torque. Pagani's newest offering will rival the company's current hero car, the 550kW/710Nm Zonda R - itself limited to just 16 examples.

Mr Pagani said the C9 is a completely new car, unrelated to the Zonda, with different materials and dynamics, and an improved weight distribution.

Made of more than 3770 new parts, the C9 will be built on a carbon-titanium chassis with custom-developed Pirelli tyres and Bosch electronics.

Pagani will build no more than 40 units each year, with pricing expected to start at at a hefty $1.4 million.

Mr Pagani plans to unveil the C9 toward the end of this year.

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