The Pagani Zonda is a mid-engine sports car produced by the Italian sports car manufacturer Pagani. It debuted at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show. By 2018, a total of 140 cars had been built, including development mules. The Zonda was original to be named the “Fangio F1” after Formula One champion Juan Manuel Fangio. Still, following his death in 1995, it was renamed for the Zonda wind, a regional term for a hot air current above Argentina.
The Zonda C12 debuted in 1999 at the Geneva Motor Show. It is powered by a 6.0 L (366 cu in) Mercedes-Benz M120 V12 engine having a power output of either 400 PS (294 kW; 395 hp) or 450 PS (331 kW; 444 hp) at 5,200 rpm and 550–640 N⋅m (406–472 lb-ft) of torque at 4,200 rpm mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.
The C12 can accelerate to 97 km/h (60 mph) in 4.0 seconds and 161 km/h (100 mph) in 9.2 seconds.
Only five cars were built with the 6.0 L engine, though the C12 was still available in 2002 when the C12 S was introduced. One was used for crash testing and homologation, while another was a demonstrator and show car.
Zonda C12 S:
The Zonda S uses a modified version of the V12 engine used in the C12 enlarged to 7.0 L (427 cu). The engine has a power output of 550 PS (405 kW; 542 hp) and is mated to a newly developed 6-speed manual transmission to handle the high power output produced by the engine.
The C12 S can accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds, to 161 km/h (100 mph) in 7.0 seconds. The C12 S can attain a top speed of 208 mph (335 km/h).
In 2003, Pagani presented the Zonda Roadster, an open-top version of the Zonda S 7.3. Carrying the same components as the coupe, Pagani promised no loss of performance, supported by the minimal weight gain of 30 kg (66 lb). A total of 40 roadsters were produced.
The Zonda F debuted at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. It was the most extensive re-engineered variant of the Zonda yet. However, it shared much with its predecessors, including the 7.3 L AMG V12 engine which through enhanced intake manifolds, exhaust and a revised ECU now had a power output of 602 PS (443 kW; 594 hp) at 6,150 rpm and 760 Nm (561 lb-ft) at 4,000 rpm. Production of the Zonda F was limited to 25 cars.
Zonda Roadster F:
The Zonda Roadster F debuted at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show. Exterior wise, the roadster was similar to the coupe, but with a removable carbon-fiber roof and canvas side curtains, weighing just 5 kg (11 lb) more than the coupe. The engine’s power output increased to 650 PS (478 kW; 641 hp) and 780 N⋅m (575 lb-ft) of torque. Production of the Roadster F was limited to 25 units.
You cannot legally drive a Pagani Zonda in the U.S. One reason it’s not legal is that it was never crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), which is a requirement in the U.S. for all cars to be legal for sale. Another has to do with the fact that the Zonda lacks the necessary federally mandated emission controls.
As our second lead editor, Emery Sinclair provides guidance on the stories DellOne2One contributors cover. Before joining our team, she was a freelance journalist for several publications including the Huff Post and Poly Gen. Emery received a BA and and MA from the University of Michigan