Into the Bright Blue Zonda: The ‘Revolucion’ is Revealed
Vanishing Point 2013 – Pagani’s yearly event held at HQ – had something special hiding within the walls of one particular San Cesario sul Panaro courtyard. A picturesque setting it may be, but all eyes were fixed hawk-like on the car. Because – and this is a wild guess – Pagani HQ isn’t the kind of place you come to admire the fancy cobbles. The final version of the Zonda Revolucion, the fastest Pagani ever, was about to be unleashed (actually, leashed, given that it isn’t legally allowed on the roads).
Many milestones have been passed in the evolution of the Supercar and the creation of the Zonda is one of the bigger ones. It’s one of an elite few ‘gearhead dreams’ to have crossed into the realms of reality. Over a decade has passed, and as of this moment Pagani has never made a faster car.
Of course, the Revolucion we see before us could only ever exist because of a man with a divine plan. An Argentine ex-pat who clawed his way to the top, Horacio Pagani became composite specialist at Lamborghini working on the Countach Evoluzione in 1983 aged 28, with an industrial design and mechanical engineering degree already under his belt. But he’d been cutting his mechanic teeth from a ludicrously early age, building Mini Motos and buggies when he was in his teens; an F2 single-seater from scratch at 24.
His successful consulting agency, Modena Design, that he set up in 1991 after leaving Lamborghini, allowed Pagani the time and the muscle to develop the Zonda and in 1992 the Pagani Automobili Modena factory was born (but not a factory, he says, more of an atelier, where cars are built as works of art). Finely tuned by five decades of automotive experience and artistic intent, Señor Pagani’s passion and influence is hundred-proof; his focus on perfection second-to-none. He’s even been known to talk to his cars when he leaves Pagani HQ at 3am after a days graft.
But back to the cobbled courtyard. Against the innocuous setting, the Pagani cuts quite a menacing silhouette. The stealthy, moody black exterior is enough to make a man weep (actually, I think that man was me). New deflectors on the front bonnet, a new vertical stabiliser on the rear bonnet, and a new Drag-Reduction-System on the rear wing. So the Revolucion has evolved into a car that can handle even more extremes, and even more power.
F1 technology-derived CCMR discs have been used for the braking system, the most cutting-edge you can get, so you gain higher stiffness and lower operating temperatures on extreme track use. A comforting thought, considering the 6.0-litre V12 develops a ridiculous 800 hp and 730 Nm of torque.
A couple of supercar notches got raised with the release of the Zonda in 1999 and the seven-years-in-the-making Pagani Huayra shook things up again in 2011 (top speed of 230mph and 62mph racked up in 3.3 seconds). But the Zonda will always be lodged in our automobile memory banks, made infamous by the Italian car wizard’s uncanny ability produce them with all the lavish extravagance of Renaissance popes. Pagani goes right to the heart of Italian style and brings it to the lucky filthy-rich few. Few, because there will never be an overload of Pagani’s, with a strictly limited production the world will never be allowed to fill its boots. You’ll need the thick end of €2.2 million to stash one in your garage. But then, you pay for what you get (turns out money can also buy you taste, who knew?).
“Limits are made to be overcome”, said Horacio Pagani whilst standing over this latest masterpiece, and how right he was. The Pagani Zonda R was already a fast car; the fastest ever on the Nuerburgring Nordschleife. Until this delinquent came of age, that is. Vive La Revolucion.
For more information visit the Pagani website www.pagani.com.