Pagani Zonda

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Pagani Zonda
Manufacturer: Pagani
Class: mid-engined coupe
Production: 1999 – present
Number: 47
Production: 1999 – 2002
Number: 5
Body styles: coupe
Engines: 6.0 L AMG V12
C12 S
Production: 2001 – 2002
Number: 15
Body styles: coupe
Engines: 7.0 L AMG V12
C12 S 7.3
Production: 2002 – 2005
Number: 17
Body styles: coupe
Engines: 7.3 L AMG V12
C12 F
Production: 2005 –present
Body styles: coupe
Engines: 7.3 L AMG V12
This article is part of the automobile series.

The Pagani Zonda is a mid-engined sports car produced by Pagani in Italy. It debuted in 1999 and continues through the present, with production proceeding at roughly 10 cars per year. As of June 2009, 106 Zondas had been built, considering also test mules. Both 2-seat coupe and convertible versions have been produced. Construction is mainly of carbon fiber.

Some early Zonda engineering was done by Formula One champion, Juan Manuel Fangio. The car was originally to be named for him, the "Fangio F1", but the name was changed upon his death in 1995, renamed after an air current above Argentina.

1999 Zonda C12

Production 1999–2002
5 produced
Body style 2-door coupe
Engine 6.0 L Mercedes-Benz V12
408 PS (300 kW/402 hp)
571 N·m (421 ft·lbf)

The C12 debuted at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show. It was powered by a model 190.3344 L 5987 cc Mercedes-Benz M120 V12 engine and could reach speeds of 210 mi/h. The engine produces 408 PS at 5200 rpm and 421 ftlbf at 3800 rpm.

Just five of the original 6.0 L Zondas were built, though it was still available in 2002 when the C12 S debuted. One was used for crash testing, while another was a demonstrator and show car. The rest were delivered to customers over the next three years, priced at US$320,000.

The C12 could accelerate to 60 mi/h in 4.2 seconds and hit 100 mi/h in 8.2 seconds. Acceleration through the quarter mile was 12.1 seconds at 124 mi/h. Lateral acceleration on the skidpad was 0.93 g, and the car could brake from 60 mi/h in 110 ft.

2000 Zonda C12 S

C12 S
Production 2001–2002
15 produced
Body style 2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Engine 7.0 L AMG V12
550 PS (404 kW/543 hp)

The C12 S uses a 7010 cc AMG–tuned version of the engine producing 550 PS. It can accelerate to 60 mi/h in 3.7 secs, to 100 mi/h in 7.5 secs and complete the quarter mile in 11.3 secs at 131 mi/h. Lateral acceleration on the skidpad is 1.18 g (11.6 m/s²), the car is 10 kg lighter than the normal Zonda C12, it can reach a top speed of 220 mi/h, and carries a price tag of US$350,000.

The C12 S features an elongated nose, flaps at the rear for improved aerodynamics, and new light clusters and exhausts. Only fifteen 7.0 L C12 S cars were produced.

2002 Zonda C12 S 7.3

C12 S 7.3
Production 2002–2005
17 produced
Body style 2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Engine 7.3 L AMG V12
555 PS (408 kW/547 hp)
750 N·m (553 ft·lbf)

The 7291 cc C12 S 7.3 of 2002 used one of the largest V12 engines ever made. The engine was designed and manufactured by Mercedes-Benz AMG, where traction control was added to handle the 408 kW and 553 ftlbf that this engine produces. The 7.3 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mi/h in 3.6 seconds and has a top speed of up to 220 mi/h depending on aerodynamic configuration.

A roadster version is also built, with production limited by the company to 40 examples. As of 2005, nine roadsters had been built. According to Road & Track magazine, three more C12 S 7.3 cars had been built as of June 2005, but it is unclear whether they were roadsters or coupes. Motor Trend reported in their January 2006 issue that 60 Zondas of all types had been built.

2003 Zonda GR

Development of the Zonda GR started in December 2002. At this stage the Zonda was nearly four years old, but had yet to be entered in major motorsports. Tom Weickardt, owner of American Viperacing, Toine Hezemans, owner of Carsport Holland, and Paul Kumpen, owner of GLPK, created a new company, Carsport Zonda, to build a racing version. They secured exclusive rights to develop, build and sell competition Zondas from Horacio Pagani, and the first GR was completed at Carsport's facility in Modena within months.

The Zonda GR is based on the Zonda C12 S. It was built on the same carbon fiber chassis, with tube frames in front and back. The bodywork was modified to include front and rear diffusers and louvers for improved aerodynamics. The car was 2 m wide, in accordance with the regulations of the FIA and ACO. The car's weight was reduced to 1100 lb, and a new suspension was designed. New wheels and brakes were also specified. The engine was equipped with an enlarged radiator, and the engine and gearbox also have new oil coolers.

The performance of the Zonda GR is well beyond that of the stock car. The car sprints from 0 to 60 mi/h in 3.3 seconds and the engine produces around 600 PS at 5,800 rpm and 580 ftlbf of torque at 4,300 rpm with a redline increased to 7,500 rpm. The added power and improved aerodynamics allow the car to hit 215 mi/h.

C12 S Monza

Pagani Monza Factory Race Car

The Zonda C12 S Monza debuted at the 2004 Paris Motor Show as a track-day version of the Zonda for private use. Borrowing its appearance cues from the Zonda GR, the Monza included many features which could also be applied to other Zonda models. A dry sump engine tuned to 637 PS (more than 440 kW) was used, and the cooling was improved. Modified aerodynamics, including a different wing and front diffuser, allowed greater speed, as did optimized gearing. The car was lighter, with polycarbonate side windows, and an unmuffled exhaust is fitted. The revised interior includes different pedals, steering wheel, and seats, as well as a reinforced roll cage. Larger brakes and a stiffer suspension also improve performance. Finally, an external fire extinguisher is included for safety. It reaches 100 km/h in 2.7 seconds.

2005 Zonda F (C12 F)

C12 F
Production 2005–present
Body style 2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Engine 7.3 L AMG V12
602 PS (443 kW/594 hp)
759 N•m (560 ft•lbf)
Transmission 6-speed manual
Wheelbase 2728 mm
Length 4435 mm
Width 2055 mm
Height 1140 mm
Weight 1230 kg

The Zonda C12 F debuted at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. It is the most extensive reengineering of the Pagani car yet, though it shares much with its predecessors including the 7.3 L V12. Power is increased to 602 PS with a special clubsport model producing 650 PS. The company promises a 3.5 second sprint to 62 mi/h, a top speed over 215 mi/h. The Zonda F clubsport has a power to weight ratio of 528 bhp/ton (384 W/kg). An Enzo Ferrari, comparatively, has a power to weight ratio of 483 bhp/ton (356 W/kg).

The top speed can be further tweaked by adjusting the aerodynamic settings. 215 mi/h is the car's top speed on the setting for the best handling which provides the most down force but also has the highest drag coefficient. If the aerodynamic settings were adjusted the top speed would be a bit higher. This also seems to be the reason that when EVO Magazine attempted the Pagani Zonda S's top speed on the Autobahn, that they were only able to get the car to 197 mi/h, as opposed to its claimed top speed of 220 mi/h. It would make sense that if the car was set up for maximum downforce then its top speed would drop to around 200 mi/h. Company representatives at Pagani's factory backed up this claim. However, the EVO article claimed that aerodynamic parts, specifically ones which created drag were in fact removed during the run, bringing Pagani's claims into question.

The Zonda F Clubsport held the record for the fastest lap by any production car around the Nürburgring, lapping the 12.9 mi Nordschleife in 7 minutes 27.82 seconds, beating the previous record holder, the Porsche Carrera GT. It was since surpassed by the 2009 Corvette ZR1 on 7 June 2008, with a time of 7 minutes 26.4 seconds. With Marc Basseng at the wheel the Zonda F CS has set a new time around the Nürburgring, lapping the 12.9 mi Nordschleife in 7:24.7 now only surpassed by the Maserati MC12 which set a time of 7:24.3 and the Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR with a time of 7:22.1.

Production of the Zonda F will be limited to 25 cars, still not US compatible. The next model (codenamed C9), due to be unveiled in 2009, will be fully EPA/DOT compatible.

The Zonda F, named after Formula One driver Juan Manuel Fangio, comes with an extra head light and different fog lights at the sides, new bodywork (revised front end, new rear spoiler, more aerodynamic vents all around) that improves the cars aerodynamics and different side mirrors. Further enhancements over the 'S' centre around optional carbon/ceramic brakes developed in conjunction with Brembo, magnesium wheels, inconel titanium exhaust system, hydroformed aluminum intake plenum and a redesigned 'Z preg' weave in the crash structure to improve rigidity and reduce weight.

Zonda Roadster F

The Zonda Roadster F debuted at the 2006 Geneva show. It is similar to the coupe, but with a removable carbon fibre roof and canvas side curtains weighing just 5 kg. Production of the Roadster F is suggested at 25 units. The Zonda Roadster F also has 50 more horsepower than the coupe version, making the roadster faster.

The Roadster F is able to maintain chassis rigidity without any gain in curb weight by eschewing conventional thinking by not strengthening the sills - a process which would have needed more than 35 kg of reinforcement. Pagani instead uses racing car thinking, materials and construction techniques, strengthening the firewall structure of the chassis tub together with billet alloy braces that connect the points where the roof rails would have joined. The windscreen is also strengthened for safety reasons. These techniques enable the Roadster to have virtually the same weight as the coupe, 1230 lb.

The Zonda Roadster F was tested by Top Gear's James May and achieved a lap time around their test track of 1:17.8 beating the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 also tested during the same episode.

Zonda R Clubsport

R Clubsport
Manufacturer Pagani
Production 2009–present
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout Rear Mid-engine, Four-wheel drive layout
Engine 7.3 L AMG V12
739 hp @8000 rpm
523 ft•lbf torque
Transmission 6-speed sequential manual
Wheelbase 2785 mm (109.6 in)
Length 4886 mm (192.3 in)
Width 2014 mm (79.2)
Height 1141 mm (44.9 in)
Weight 1070 kg (2358 lb)

The R Clubsport was debuted at the Geneva Motor Show 2007, still using the 7.3 litre V12 sourced from AMG by Mercedes-Benz. The R Clubsport's competition lies with track-biased cars such as the Ferrari FXX and Maserati MC12 Corsa rather than the original Zonda's road competitors. It is thought, therefore, that like the FXX and some models of the MC12, the R CS will not be road-homologated. Since it is likely that the car will be ineligible under FIA regulations for almost any form of organized racing, the car is essentially relegated to privateer racing in nonstandard series and the owner's private track time, much like customer versions of the MC12. For comparison the FXX, which has its own race-series, is also neither road nor race homologated, and is not even delivered to the owner, instead being 'made available' by Ferrari at specified events. The Pagani-designed race-models are also far more proven and targeted racecars, so it is unlikely that even heavily-modified R CSs will compete in formal racing.

Despite sharing much of the Zonda's shape, the R CS is almost entirely new, sharing only 10% of the Zonda F's components. It has been obliquely suggested by Horacio Pagani that this car is a testbed chassis for certain components of the Zonda's replacement (in the same vein as the Ferrari 288 GTO Evoluzione and the successive F40) and that the R CS accurately reflects some of the Zonda's successor's features.

Chassis The central carbon chassis incorporates a roll cage and a rubber racing fuel cell with 4 fuel pumps and quick refuel filler cap, similar to GT race cars. The wheelbase has been increased by 47 mm to increase stability. The front and rear subframes are brand-new, built to accommodate new suspension geometry, and produced in Avional. The slick-shod wheels are new forged-magnesium centre-lock models, which in conjunction with on-board pneumatic airjacks (again, like the FXX) allow rapid change of the entire wheel assemblies.

The car senses, displays and logs information about the amount of downforce that is generated at each wheel at all times. It is thought that this system will enable owners to adjust set-up according to track conditions and to improve their cornering technique.

Bodywork In addition to the wheelbase increase (47 mm), overall length has increased by 394 mm and track by 50 mm. The bodywork and aerodynamics have been altered to offer maximum downforce, featuring a longer front bonnet with flaps, a closed underbody and a new rear overhang with adjustable rear wing and race-derived diffuser. These are intended to translate into increased aerodynamic efficiency and downforce for maximum cornering speed. It is also noted that the car's new rear bodywork is minimal in the extreme, being composed mostly of vent. This is thought to be symptomatic of the need to keep the engine cool enough, even under hard track use. Again, this is similar to the gutted bodywork of the Ferrari Evoluzione.

Engine Output has increased to 739 bhp at 8000 rpm and 523 ftlbf of torque. A lightweight carbon fibre high performance intake system, racing multiple disc sintered clutch and Formula One-style exhaust system, hydroformed in Inconel 625 and ceramic coated for optimal heat dissipation, have been added. The engine is combined with a 6-speed transverse-mounted manual sequential synchronized gearbox.

Interior The car's interior is spartan reflecting the car's racetrack aspirations and intended home, and features bespoke seats, customized to the driver to offer maximum support. As before, the Digitek instrumentation provides essential information and the sophisticated telemetry allows a variety of sensors to monitor numerous aspects of the car.

Cost The R Clubsport, as a final, specialized run-out model, is expected to cost in excess of US$1.2 million.

Zonda Cinque

Production 2008-2009
Body style 2-door coupe
Engine 7.3 L AMG V12
678 hp @6400 rpm
575 ft·lbf torque
Transmission 6-speed sequential manual

The final Zonda in its current form is a combination of the Zonda F and Zonda R to create a road going track day car.

Built at the repeated request of the Hong Kong–based Pagani dealer, SPS Automotive Performance (in fact, initially it had to be called Zonda SPS), only five will be built at the cost of £1 million, with deliveries expected by June 2009 for all five cars.

The differences over other road-going Zondas are a new clutchless sequential gearchange, resulting in shifts now taking less than 100 milliseconds, dropping 0–62 mph down to 3.4 seconds, the Cinque (pronounced chin-kway) also has a revised form of carbon fibre which uses titanium to increase strength, suspension will make use of magnesium and titanium components, and the engine's power has been increased to 678 bhp, revised bodywork now creates 750 kg of downforce at 300 km/h, the Cinque is capable of generating 1.45 G of cornering force.

Zonda Cinque Roadster

Cinque Roadster
Production 2009-2010
Body style 2-door roadster
Engine 7.3 L AMG V12
678 hp @6400 rpm
575 ft·lbf torque
Transmission 6-speed sequential manual

The Roadster will have specs as the Cinque Coupè, and will likely maintain the same rigidity or more, as it was for the Roadster F and F Coupè. Like the Coupè from which it derives, only 5 units are anticipated to be built, with a price of £1.1-million/US$2 million.

And, without considering other One Offs, like the Tricolore, the PS and other special Zondas which will be built, makes this and the coupè the rarest Zondas.

2009/2010 Pagani Project C9

The Zonda successor, initially referred to as the Zonda R, is believed to have larger air intakes and a wider front grille. The Pagani Zonda C9 was seen testing with the SL65 Black Series. According to EVO, this new Pagani supercar will feature a M275 AMG twin turbo V12 along with a brand new sequential gearbox provided by ZF.

Pagani Zonda PS

Pagani Zonda PS (Peter Saywell), company logo visible on the rear

A special one-off edition of the Zonda F chassis with a C9 gearbox was produced and personalised for English businessman and car enthusiast Peter Saywell, the car had the exhausts re-arranged into an oval and bears his company logo on the rear.

It will not be the one and only One Off from Pagani: another car is about to be made, called Zonda Tricolore, and with every probability, other One Offs will follow.

Pagani Huayra

Main article: Pagani Huayra

Pagani is building an all new car intended to replace the Zonda. It is named Huayra and will debut at the Geneva Auto Show in 2011. Pagani expects to build no more than 40 each year and each will sell for £1,000,000. The engine is a M158 twin-turbo 6.0 Litre V12 from Mercedes' AMG division producing 730 hp and 1100 Nm of torque. The Huayra has been redesigned from the ground up, but shares many visual qualities with the outgoing Zonda. The top speed has gone up from the 220 mph ( set by the Zonda F Roadster ) to 235 mph, and the 0-60 time is 3.2 seconds.

Official technical data:

  • Engine: Mercedes-AMG V12 Bi-Turbo M158
  • Displacement: 5980 cc
  • Power: 730cv
  • Torque: 1100 Nm
  • Transmission: 7-speed sequential cross. AMT robotic system with driving programs
  • Length: 4605mm
  • Wheelbase: 2795mm
  • Height: 1169mm
  • Width: 2036mm
  • Dry weight: 1350 kg
  • Weight distribution: 44% front 56% rear


External links