The Pagani Zonda is a supercar produced by Pagani in Italy. It debuted in 1999 and continues through the present, with production proceeding at roughly 25 cars per year. As of December, 2005, 60 Zondas had been built. It is a mid-engined 2-seat coupe and convertible. 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
The C12 debuted at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show. It was powered by a model 190.3344 L 5987 cc (365 cu in) Mercedes-Benz M120 V12 engine and could reach speeds of 210 mph (338 km/h). The engine produces 408 PS (402 hp/300 kW) at 5200 rpm and 421 ft·lbf (571 N·m) 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 mph (97 km/h) in 4.2 seconds and hit 100 mph (161 km/h) in 8.2 seconds. Acceleration through the quarter mile was 12.1 seconds at 124 mph (200 km/h). Lateral acceleration on the skidpad was 0.93 g, and the car could brake from 60 mph (97 km/h) in 110 feet (34 m).
2000 Zonda C12 S
The C12 S uses a 7010 cc (428 cu in) AMG–tuned version of the engine producing 550 PS (542 hp/405 kW). It can accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.7 secs, to 100 mph (161 km/h) in 7.5 secs and complete the quarter mile in 11.3 secs at 131 mph (211 km/h). Lateral acceleration on the skidpad is 1.18 g (9.6 m/s²), the car is 10 kilograms (22 lb) lighter than the normal Zonda C12, it can reach a top speed of 220 mph (354 km/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
The 7291 cc (445 cu in) 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 (547 hp) and 553 ft·lbf (750 N·m) that this engine produces. The 7.3 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in less than 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 224 mph (360 km/h) if the aerodynamics are set up properly.
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 meters (6.6 ft) wide, in accordance with the regulations of the FIA and ACO. The car's weight was reduced to 1,100 kilograms (2,425 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 mph (97 km/h) in 3.3 seconds and the engine produces around 600 PS (592 hp/441 kW) at 5800 rpm and 580 ft·lbf (786 N·m) of torque at 4300 rpm with a redline increased to 7500 rpm. The added power and improved aerodynamics allow the car to hit 215 mph (346 km/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. However, Top Gear tested both cars in a straight line drag race and stated that it cannot even beat a 1990s Jaguar XJ220 despite having an engine that is more than twice as large and being made from space-age materials that require complex processes to produce. Although, these results are questionable as the show did not report any timing information, the XJ220's engine is turbocharged where the Zonda's isn't (giving the same power output,) and that particular episode's goal was to suggest that old generation cars are as good or better than today's.
2005 Zonda F (C12 F)
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 (594 hp/443 kW) with a special clubsport model producing 683 PS (674 hp/502 kW). The company promises a 3.5 second sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h), a top speed over 215 mph (346 km/h) and it will be the queen in braking from 300 km/h to 0 (186 mph to 0). The Zonda F clubsport has a power to weight ratio of 521 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 mph (346 km/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 is 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 mph (317 km/h), as opposed to its claimed top speed of 220 mph (354 km/h). It would make sense that if the car was set up for maximum downforce then its top speed would drop to around 200 mph (322 km/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 holds the record for the fastest lap by any production super car around the Nürburgring, lapping the 12.9 miles (21 km) Nordschleif in 7 minutes 27.82 seconds, beating the previous record holder, the Porsche Carrera GT.
Production of the Zonda F will be limited to 25 cars, still not US compatible. The next model, due to be unveiled in 2009, will be fully EPA/DOT compatible.
The Zonda F, named after F1 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 kilograms (11 lb). Production of the Roadster F is suggested at 25 units.
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 kilograms (77 lb) of reinforcement. Pagani instead uses racecar 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, 1,230 kilograms (2,712 lb).
Zonda R Clubsport
The R Clubsport was debuted at the Geneva Motor Show 2007, still using the 6.0 liter 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 rather than the original Zonda's road-supercar 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.
Importantly, 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 (1.9 in) 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.
Highly unusually, 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 (15.5 in) and track by 50 mm (2 in). 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 750 bhp (559 kW) at 8000 rpm and 523 ft·lbf (709 N·m) of torque. A lightweight carbon fibre high performance intake system, racing multiple disc sintered clutch and Formula 1-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.