2004: 14 Zondas
2003: 15 Zondas
is one of the few new supercar makers succeeded to survive in the
past 30 years. Its success was driven by the passion of Horacio
Pagani – who styled and engineered all his cars – and the support
from his composite parts company Modena Design. Mercedes also gave an
important help by supplying AMG V12s to Pagani.
Today, Pagani's supercar business is still small, building only a dozen or two Zondas a year. However, it has already established strong reputation in the field.
Horacio Pagani started his career by working at
Lamborghini. He took part in the development of the carbon-fiber
chassis research car Countach Evoluzione and styled the production
Countach 25 Anniversary. In 1988, he simply set up his own company,
Pagani Composite Research, at Modena to make carbon-fiber parts for
Lamborghini. 3 years later, it was renamed to Modena Design, which also
supplied other supercars and racing specialists, such as
Dallara, Aprilia and Ferrari.
Pagani started designing his first supercar in 1992. His countryman and childhood idol, J. M. Fangio, helped him secured the supply of Mercedes-Benz engines. The first production car, C8, was finished in 1998. However, it was little known, so was the company.
1999 Pagani Zonda C12 6.0
In 1999, the car evolved to C12, which was powered by a 6-liter Mercedes V12. Its beautiful shape raised public interest. An AMG-tuned 550hp 7.0-litre engine joined next year. By mid-2001, Pagani already delivered 20 cars to customers. The supercar business tasted its first success.
In 2002, the V12 was upgraded to 7.3 litres. The next year introduced Roadster version of the car. 2005 came the hottest version, Zonda F Clubsport, which set a new Nurburgring lap record even on a damp circuit.