It was 1999 when the first Pagani Zonda C12 came out of the San Cesario factory on the Panaro. Twenty years later the supercar designed by Horacio Pagani is still one of the most appreciated by enthusiasts all over the world in its various versions.
PAGANI ZONDA C12
Designed since 1988, after various vicissitudes the C12 was finally produced only in 1999 and it was presented at the Geneva motor show.
Horacio Pagani with the Zonda C12 S and his first Formula Renault of 1975
Both Dallara (who granted his wind tunnel for aerodynamic studies) and the profound friendship between Horacio Pagani and Juan Manuel Fangio (the Formula 1 champion) were fundamental to the creation of the car.
It was the 5-time Formula 1 world champion that convinced Mercedes-Benz to supply the engines that boosted the car whose name was from the hot wind blowing in the pampas of Argentina.
Based on a monocoque carbon fibre chassis, the car had a Mercedes-Benz M120 V12 6.0 engine driven by a six-speed manual gearbox and coupled to rear-wheel drive.
Capable of generating 394 hp with 550 Nm of torque, the engine pushed the C12 up to a maximum speed of 330 km / h with acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 4 dry seconds.
The Mercedes-Benz M120 V12 6.0 engine
The car production consisted of only 5 units for $ 320,000 before being replaced in 2001 by the new C12 S.
Tecnical description of the C12
PAGANI ZONDA C12 S
That year, in fact, Pagani, eager to make her C12 a real supercar, asked AMG to supply several M120 V12 7.0 engines designed to deliver 550 hp.
Thanks to the reduced weight of 10 kg with the assembly of new components such as the titanium exhaust, the S could reach the maximum speed of 335 km / h with acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.7 seconds.
Also thanks to the contribution of the AMG, the exterior design was revised using technical solutions applied to the Formula 1 McLarens.
PAGANI ZONDA C12 S 7.3
The production of the C12 S came to a halt in 2003 after 15 units, as it was approved to develop a further enhanced variant that took the name of C12 S 7.3 and was built until 2005.
With a production of only 17 units, the C12 S 7.3 equipped a new M120 V12 7.3 555 hp engine with 750 Nm power that allowed the car to reach the top speed of 350 km / h with an acceleration time from 0 to 100 km / h reduced at 3.6 seconds.
This was the first Pagani to be equipped with Traction Control and ABS that made make the vehicle more manageable given the high performance achieved.
Test Drive of the C12 S 7.3
PAGANI ZONDA C12 S 7.3 MONZA
Before being replaced by the Zonda F, the C12 reached its technological peak with a special model created specifically for a US customer who requested it: the C12 Monza.
A real competition car tested for real road traffic that had numerous devices derived from the race Zonda GR.
The M120 V12 7.3 was the most powerful engine ever mounted on the C12 as it had been upgraded to deliver 600 hp, guaranteeing a top speed of 355 km / h with acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.4 seconds.
Equipped with a carbon-fibre roof, a new rear spoiler, Speedline alloy wheels and a new diffuser, the Monza also had a safety roll-bar to increase the rigidity of the chassis, new disc brakes and stiffened sports suspension.
It is really difficult to choose which Zonda C12 is the best. Indeed, they are all examples of pure automotive art, but the original perhaps pleases me more for the innovative power it brought to the automotive world. And you? Which one do you prefer?
Thank you to Valentina Zanola and Alessandro Renesis for the cooperation