Designed and built by Horacio Pagani, a former mechanic at Lamborghini, the Zonda featured speed and stylish design that have made it a true exotic car. Though it doesn't have as long a history of sports cars, much like Lamborghini and Ferrari, the Zonda Cinque was priced around $1,240,000 according to www.Supercars.org. A mid-engined sports car, the Zonda was produced by Pagani in Italy and debuted in 1999. The Zonda still continues to be produced and its production is around 10 cars per year. By June 2009, 10 Zondas had been built, considering also test mules.
Several different models of the Pagani Zonda were constructed; Zonda, Zonda F, Zonda F Clubsport, Zonda Roadster, Zonda Roadster F, Zonra R and Zonda Cinque. Construction is mainly of carbon fiber and both 2-seat coupe and convertible versions have been produced. Much of the early Zonda engineering was done by Formula One champion Juan Manuel Fangio, and this car was initially named after him, the 'Fangio FI'. Following his death in 1995 it was renamed after an air current above Argentina.
Unveiled at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show was the Zonda C12. The C12 was produced until 2002 and was powered by a model 190.3344L 5,987 cc Mercedes-Benz M120 V12 engine that could achieve a speed of 210 mph. The engine produces 408 PS at 5,200 rpm and 421 lb/ft at 3,800 rpm. Only five of the initial 6.0 L Zondas were constructed, though it was still available in 2002 when the C12 S was debuted.
One model was used for crash testing, another was a demonstrator and one was a show car. The final models were delivered to customers over the following three years and were priced at $320,000. The C12 could hit 0-60mph in just 4.2 seconds and it hit 100 mph in just 8.2 seconds. The car could brake from 60 mph in 110 feet and lateral acceleration on the skidpad was 0.93 g. The C12 could accelerate through the quarter mile at 12.1 seconds at 124 mph.
In 2000 the Zonda C12 S was debuted and it was produced from 2001 until 2002. Featuring an elongated nose, new light clusters and exhausts, the C12 S had flaps at the rear for improved aerodynamics. The C12 S utilized a 7,010 cc AMG-tuned version of the engine producing 550 PS. The C12 S can accelerate to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and can reach 100 mph in just 7.5 seconds and complete the quarter mile in 11.3 seconds at 131 mph. The vehicle had lateral acceleration on the skidpad at 1.18 g and the car is 10 kilograms lighter than the normal Zonda C12. It had a top speed of 220 mph and carries a price tag of $350,000. Only 15 7.0 L C12 S vehicles were ever produced.
Unveiled in 2002, the Zonda C12 S 7.3 was produced until 2005 with a total of 17 units produced. Using one of the largest V12 engines ever made, the engine was designed and manufactured by Mercedes-Benz AMG, traction control was added to handle the 408 W and 553 lb/ft of torque that this engine produces. Reaching 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, the 7.3 has a top speed of 220 mph depending on aerodynamic configuration.
With a production limited by the Zonda Company to just 40 prototypes, a roadster version was built and as of 2005, nine roadsters had been built and by January 2006, according to Motor Trend, 60 Zondas of various types had been constructed.
In December of 2002, development of the Zonda GR began. The Zonda was celebrating its fourth year in production but it had yet to be entered into major motorsports. Rallying together to create a new Company, Carsport Zonda, Toine Hezemans; owner of Carsport Holland, Tom Weichardt; owner of American Viperacing and Paul Kumpen; owner of GLPK set about to built a racing version. After securing exclusive rights to develop, build and sell competition Zondas from Horacio Pagani, the first GR was completed at Carsport's factory in Modena within months.
Based on the Zonda C12 S, the GR was constructed on the same carbon fiber chassis, with tube frames in the front and back. The bodywork of the C12 S was updated to include front and rear diffusers and louvers for improved aerodynamics. In accordance with the regulations of the FIA and ACO the car was 6.6 ft wide. A new suspension was designed and the GR's weight was reduced to 2,424 lbs as well as receiving new wheels and brakes. The engine of the GR and gearbox featured new oil coolers and the engine was equipped with an enlarged radiator.
The Zonda GR featured performance well beyond that of a normal stock car. Reaching 0-60 mph in just 3.3 seconds the engine produced around 440 kW; 590 hp at 5,800 rpm and 58 lb/ft of torque at 4,30 rpm with a redline increased to 7,500 rpm. This added power and improved aerodynamics enough to range a top speed of 215 mph.
Unveiled at the 2004 Paris Motor Show the Zonda C12 S Monza was a track-day version of the Zonda for private use. It borrowed much of its styling cues from the Zonda GR and included numerous features that could also be applied to other Zonda models. The cooling was improved and a dry sump engine tuned to 637 PS was utilized. The updated aerodynamics including a different wing and front diffuser allowed for great speed as well as the optimized gearing.
The C12 S Monza was lighter with polycarbonate side windows and an un-muffled exhaust. The interior was revised and included different pedals, seats, steering wheels and a reinforced roll cage. Improving performance were larger brakes and a stiffer suspension. For safety an external fire extinguisher was included. The C12 S Monza can reach 100 km/h in just 2.7 seconds.
Unveiled in 2005 the Zonda F or C12 F was debuted at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. With a wheelbase of 107.4 inches, a length of 174.6 inches, a width of 80.9 inches, a height of 44.9 inches and a curb weight of 2,712 lbs, the C12 F featured the most extensive reengineering of the Pagani yet. Though it shares much with its predecessors including the 7.3 L V12, power was increased to 443 kW; 594 hp with a unique clubsport model that produced 480 W; 640 hp. The C12 F had a top speed over 215 mph and could hit 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds.By Jessica Donaldson