Pagani Zonda

Pagani Zonda Review

- shares

The following review was provided to us courtesy of Adam Kaplan from Hunter Holden

Driving the Zonda is a surreal experience.

You expect it to be difficult, after all, supercars are supposed to be quirky. They're supposed to be difficult to see out of. They're supposed to have hideously offset pedals and be claustrophobic and built for Italians with long arms and short legs. Well, I hate to disappoint you but the Zonda is none of these things.
The first thing you notice once you shimmy over the wide carbon fibre sill into the fitted seat is that everything falls quite naturally to hand....and foot. The pedals (there are 3, the way it should be) are directly ahead of you, all the ancillary controls are where you'd expect them to be and the seat and steering wheel adjustments allow for drivers of all sizes.
The vision out of the cockpit, both front and rear is excellent and whilst it's obviously a 2 seater, it's very airy and even with the carbon fibre roof fitted there's a feeling of spaciousness in the cockpit.
Starting the car is a joy, the initial bark from the 7.3l V12 through the 4 centrally mounted exhausts is inspiring. It's as sharp as a razor....with a deep purposeful throb added for effect. You just know that this car means business. In fact you'll be tempted to turn it off and push that starter button again and again just to relive that initial rush.The clutch, brake and accelerator pedal, as well as being beautifully crafted, are perfectly weighted and moving off requires no special thought. The steering feel transmitted through the perfectly sculptured steering wheel is superb. Looking out between the front wheel arches and gently gripping the steering wheel, you have absolutely no doubt that this is a car that you're going to enjoy controlling.For a car with such Herculean performance and body rigidity, the ride is incredibly supple, the suspension simply absorbs rough roads without any fuss and very little harshness is transmitted to the occupants....not at all what you'd expect of a supercar. The fact that it does this whilst at the same time offering no noticeable body roll, even when cornering extremely hard, is simply amazing.
And whilst the enormous torque would allow you to trundle along in 6th all day, even at 60kph, the sheer aural delight gained from blipping the throttle on downshifts ensures that you end up changing gears far more often than is just can't help yourself.So what's it like to drive fast.........perfect is the first word that comes to mind. The awesome power is obviously the first thing you notice when driving the Zonda hard, the urge simply never ceases. No matter what gear you're in, just change up to the next one, floor it and the car continues to accelerate faster and faster. On the other side of the ledger the brakes are exactly what they need to be for a car with such extreme performance, solid and reliable and with a stopping time from 200kph to standstill of 4.5 seconds, hitting the anchors hard is just as inspiring as meshing the accelerator pedal against the carbon fibre firewall.
The other surprise is that the steering feel remains constant throughout the entire speed range, because the Zonda is so rock solid at extreme speeds, and we're talking over 300kph here, there's no feeling that you need to grip the steering wheel tighter to keep a hold of it, it's actually just as relaxing at warp speed as it it around town, probably even more so because you're not worried about any other traffic keeping up.One of the lasting impressions indelibly imprinted on your mind after driving the Zonda is the sound from that circular exhaust stack. Below 4,500rpm all you hear is the glorious sound of what is effectively 2 straight sixes exiting together from the centre of the car. Put them together and that's how you get that awesome V12 sound. Above 4,500rpm the induction noise takes over, right behind your head, and the sound of 12 cylinders greedily sucking vast quantities of air through 24 inlet valves envelops the cockpit. It's fortunate that the Becker sound system is capable of adjusting it's volume depending on the ambient noise in the cabin, otherwise you could miss the finer parts of whatever piece you've chosen to enjoy whilst thrashing one of the worlds greatest supercars.............but then who in their right mind is going to have music playing when there's 7291 cubic centimetres of V12 bellowing away just inches behind your head and whatever scenery you've chosen for you enjoyment approaching at ever increasing speeds??