The Italian Junkyard

Thoughts, ideas, criticism about cars. Interesting news and facts from the world of the automobile. Events in Italy and Modena. What you can find elsewhere, filtered through the eyes of a discerning enthusiast. Design, style, everything on the chopping block. Nobody is safe anymore.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

6.2 Sense, this picture makes none - Pagani Zonda S Roadster in depth, psychedelic edition

It has been quite a lot of time since my first Zonda experience.
Back in 2004, it was an hot summer, so together with a long date friend I was going to have a break on the Alps, just a shoot away from the Dolomiti.
While on the road to our chalet, on a tight corner a brown a low rocket passed on the opposite direction. Even if I was the one driving I completely turned my head to check all that awesomeness thundering down the valley. I perfectly knew what a Zonda was, it took me a snap to pronounce its name in the middle of a pretty colored sentence. That said, all the gazillions images you could ever have are not even remotely comparable to the real deal.
If you have the chance to see one in the flesh, do it, right now, no matter what...

Now it's 2009, and even if I'm not an hardcore fan of the Zonda (maybe, or at least considering a couple of guys I know...), I should say this was the third time I was in front of this very model, #76048.

Everything started in Modena obviously, at the 2008 Terra di Motori. This car was featured side by side with a bright orange Zonda F, #76091 nickname “Prototype 0”.
You should remember about it I guess:

Then last summer I went for a factory tour trough Motorstars, and the car was there once again. As then my friend (the same I was on vacation with) saw it in Padua only one time, I thought this car was actually owned by Pagani. He might has been so, but now the car is for sale, so if you are in the right mood (and economic conditions) this is your chance.

As it pretty clear to the average Pagani's connoisseur, this car got many F parts, mirrors, engine's intakes, ceramic exhausts and other bits and bites not instantly recognizable.

I always liked Paganis, since the first C12. That said every new versions makes the previous ones instantly “old”. It's not due to the Zonda's style which is subjects to its age, but rather that every time Pagani modifies his car he just keeps getting better and better.
So while the Roadster's rims do a lot to refresh the S' look, and the F's mirrors are a hige improvements over the older (and one of the best details of the Zonda all around, often shoten by many enthusiasts), the rear still appear a bit from the nineties, mostly due to the two lights layout, over the three one of the Fs.
It's not about the double wing as a couple of F cars got it instead of the single and larger one, and they looks very good, if not even better of the standard F.
The lower part doesn't accommodate the usual large diffuser we can see in many other cars, even less of a sportscar ones, but even if in this way the rear may appear a bit less attactive, on the other hand we must recognize Pagani didn't go for the common path adding useless parts to his car.
The Zonda never got an in depth aerodynamic study, let alone a working flat under body, so a diffuser would be just a gimmick to pretend to be something the car already is, one of the best exotics of the world, even without it.
I appreciate this.

Over all, I like the design. Despite having the cockpit positioned quite forward, the car doesn't loo as odd as other sportscars, and it rather seems smaller than what it really is, while on the other hand I feel like a Koenigsegg appears to be bigger than what it really is, a pretty squashed too.
The Zonda is compact, or rather dense, it express the raw potential of an old racing car with the elegance of a masterpiece to show off in Montecarlo.
It makes appear childish an Enzo, a Murcielago becomes silly side by side with it, a Koenigsegg is a teenager draw, a Caparo...well, forget about it, that's another kind of “car” I think.

What I mainly like about the Zonda's it's the large yet proportioned rear part, from right after the cockpit to the rear wing. It's curvaceous, but it doesn't look too vintage-wannabe as others, it maintain the car pretty compact without making it looks huge like with the Veyron, which thanks to its all round rear end looks simply enormous, while it's rather “small”.
Also, having such a present rear part, and the front basically arrow-shaped, helps giving the idea the car is always moving towards you, at very high speed, it makes it look even faster and stable at the same time, without appearing just too low and wide as for a Murcielago, or even a Diablo by a less extent.

What really should make you in love with a Zonda its the detailing. So many small masterpieces, such a high perfection in their realization, only a Spyker comes close to it.
Then you weight which level of performance a Zonda can deliver, and there is simply no competition for it to date.
It's really expensive, absolutely yes, but it offers you much more than a fantastic and extremely capable sportscar, it's rather an experience only a few of us can enjoy. It's a very exclusive club, and it's so satisfying being a member, many owners own more than one Zonda. You'd think having one of them could be the best dream of an enthusiast, but apparently they just can get enough.
Fair enough, how could I dare to blame them?

All images Copyright: Damiano Garro

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