The Pagani Zonda by Doug De Muro
In this video
this is a 2004 Pagani Zonda s roadster and it is one of the all-time coolest supercars ever made Pagani built just 140 examples of the Zonda and there are just a handful of these s roadsters and pretty much none in North America but here I am in North America and today I’m going to review the Pagani Zonda I’ve borrowed this Zonda from Instagram famous car owner white tes who also loaned me his Koenigsegg for a review last year this year he got a Zonda and he asked if I wanted to come review it and so naturally I came as quickly as I possibly could check out white s jr. on YouTube and white s on Instagram they’re linked in the description below and they document life with a Zonda and a Koenigsegg and a Bugatti Veyron among other amazing cars the Zonda is one of the cars I have most wanted to review but I figured I would never get the chance because they’re just so rare like I mentioned Pagani made only a hundred and forty zondas for the entire planet and this car was never offered in North America in fact this is only the second Zonda I have ever seen in my entire life now values of the zondas have been steadily rising lately as Pagani has proven itself to be a major player in the ultra supercar world and not just a temporary flash-in-the-pan that would fail as some predicted when the Zonda first came out and before I review this car let’s discuss when the Zonda first came out the year was 1999 20 years ago hard to believe and the original Zonda used a six litre Mercedes v12 that made about 450 horsepower and about 430 pound-feet of torque not particularly impressive numbers by modern supercars standards eventually Pagani bumped thing up a bit with the Zonda s which used a 7 liter v12 and later a 7.3 liter v12 like this car this one makes an amazing 650 horsepower and that number is especially impressive because the Zonda weighs only 2800 pounds which is far less than virtually all other modern supercars after these Zonda s Pagani made the Zonda F and then the Cinque and then the tricolori and then about a dozen other special editions but regardless of which one you’re looking at it’s cool and this car is especially cool because even though it’s a Zonda s it was Pagani’s development car for the Zonda F which was the higher performance model that came later so this car has some extra power compared to a regular Zonda s along with some other upgrades which basically make it a one-of one truly unique anyway today I’m going to take you on a tour of the Zonda and I’m going to show you all of the quirks and features of one of the most radically insane supercars of the modern era then I’m gonna get it out on the road and drive it and then I’m going to give it a dug score and for more of my thoughts on the Zonda click the link below to visit autotrader.com slash oversteer where I’ve also rounded up a list of some of the coolest Italian exotic cars currently listed for sale on auto trader alright I’m gonna start the quirks and features of the Zonda with the key now if you’ve watched my reviews of the Pagani Huayra you probably remember that the key was this big silver piece that looked like the car and a lot of you commented that you thought it was tacky and ridiculous I thought it was kind of a cool quirk but if you didn’t like it good news the Zonda s key is far more subtle it’s just a normal key with a circle on top that has holes in it it blends in and doesn’t shout like the why risky does that little circle design with the holes has mimicked at a few other places on the car for example you can see it at the base of the mirrors and that’s where it comes from and it’s continued into the key and next step now that we’ve covered the key we move on to getting into the Zonda you walk up and you can see there’s no visibly obvious door latch but there is a little cutout in the bodywork as you might guess that’s where you stick your hand put your hand in there and then pull up on a little latch that’s in there and then the door will open right up it’s a pretty simple procedure as far as super car doors go now next up before you get into the Zonda you will instantly notice a few distinctive quirks and features right when you open the door for one thing the door sill says Pagani and the Pagani thought with a big oval around it very much reminding you what you’re about to climb inside of you also have the door panel which is rather distinctive you have this beige leather with yellow stitching to match the car and then there’s a lot of exposed carbon fibre on the door panel as well you also have a beige leather door handle that you can use to pull the door closed once you climb inside and next up we move on to the interior of the sanno so I decided about and one of the interesting quirks you notice right away is on the headrest there’s this little logo that says HP Hewlett Packard Harry Potter no it’s horacio pagani the founder of Pagani interestingly this logo doesn’t really appear anywhere else on the car I wonder if it was like an early attempt at a Pagani logo that they didn’t really go with but it is on the headrest to remind you of the founder of the company that built the car and next up one of the first things you notice when you get in this car to me one of the biggest surprises about this interior is the steering wheel which as you can see has this old-fashioned look you have this black perforated leather and then you have wood on the top with these metal circles in it it’s a very beautiful steering wheel design but it looks like it should come from like the heyday of 1960s vintage Italian sports cars and not a modern supercar surprised to see it in the Zonda but that’s the steering wheel it has and speaking of the steering wheel it is matched in its old fashioned look by the parking brake between the seats you can see it too has sort of this aluminum trim with the wood with the circles and it’s similar old fashioned design as the steering wheel and those two items are matched in their old fashioned look by the shift lever which again you have the aluminum the wood the metal circles and the perforated leather all of that really does look like vintage old-fashioned Italian sports car stuff kind of brought to the modern era now speaking of the gear lever one of my very favourite quirks with this car is at the top of the gear lever you don’t have the gear pattern but rather the engines starter button you can see the red button at the top says start that’s how you turn on this car which is just so cool you do still have to insert the key but once you do that put it in the right position you press that button and the engine fires to life which really is one of the coolest placements of an engine starter button I have ever seen and next up next to the gear lever one of my very favorite controls in this car is the power mirror adjustment switch because as you can see it has a picture of a mirror on it and not just any mirror but one of the mirrors from this car rather than just print the word mirror like everyone else they show a picture of their own mirror because it’s beautiful and next up also in that center console area near the shift lever I absolutely love but the window switches in this car you can see there toggle switches sort of like on a vintage airplane you can move them up or down and that moves the windows up or down it is a very satisfying feeling pushing one of those toggle switches even if all you’re doing is rolling up or down your window and next up moving on to the center control stack there are some interesting quirks and features here at the top you have the word roadster and it’s printed into the metal and this sort of cool font that’s designed to draw your eyes to it and remind you that you are not in a simple Pagani now probably the best controls in the entire car are in the middle of the center control stack you have these four toggle switches that turn on various things your front fog lamp your rear fog lamp then on the other side your defroster and your interior lights these like the window switches are so satisfying to toggle up and down again meant to mimic a vintage airplane and I love toggling them even if it’s just a turn on the interior lights now in the middle of those toggle switches you also have an interesting control that would be for the hazard lights it’s this big red circle you pull it out and that turns the hazard lights on now when you turn the hazard lights on you can hear it doesn’t just make a clicking noise to let you know that the signal lights are on it also beeps at you take a listen and if that wasn’t annoying enough unbelievably the car also makes that beeping noise when you put on the turn signal prone the turn signal again take a listen yes that’s right every single time you put on the turn signal in your Zonda it doesn’t just click like a normal car it beeps I guess to remind you that the signal is on so you don’t forget but that sound is tremendously annoying one of the few drawbacks to this vehicle but anyway speaking of the turn signals in the signal stock next to the signal stock on the steering column you have this unlabeled lever you’re not really sure what that does until you actually play with it turns out it tilts the steering wheel and when you tilt the steering wheel it tilts the entire gauge cluster along with it which is a neat feature because it makes sure no matter how tall you are the gauge cluster always stays right in your line of sight and the steering wheel won’t block it but anyway let’s talk as zonda gauge cluster I’m gonna start with these three silver buttons on the left these aren’t anything particularly special actually they just reset the trip odometer and you two set the clock but they are unlabeled buttons worth noting probably a more important unlabeled button worth noting is above those three silver buttons you have a black button that’s for the front axle lifting system to help you clear speed bumps only problem is this car doesn’t have a front axle lifting system the owner thinks maybe Pagani was planning to put it in later but it isn’t in this one so you press that button nothing happens but anyway moving back to those silver buttons I mentioned they reset the trip odometer and control that time they do that on this little screen at the base of the gauge cluster it’s hard to see in the sunlight but this screen shows the time your mileage that sort of thing nothing particularly special exactly what you’d expect from a gauge cluster screen next up as for the gauge cluster itself you can see it’s fairly normal you have the speedometer in the middle in km/h because this car was originally sold new in Europe to the left of that you have the commoner left of that is the fuel gauge and then over on the right you have the temperature gauge pretty standard especially compared to the Huayra which has such an insane ridiculous looks like a fine watch or piece of jewellery gauge cluster the most interesting thing in this gauge cluster to me is over on the right where you have all of the warning lights and some of them are rather interesting my very favourite is the one that I think lets you know if your brake lights are out it’s at the very bottom marked stop and it has two little lights illuminated stop stop it’s kind of a funny warning light to see in your Pagani Zonda supercar and next up still in this vicinity take a look at the steering wheel you might wonder where exactly the horn is in this steering wheel the answer is it’s in the normal spot right in the middle just push it and the horn sounds if you might be wondering what does the horn sound like in a Pagani Zonda well here you go [Music] and next up also in this vicinity another notable item to the left of the steering wheel you have a little storage compartment this space is usually wasted in most cars but not in the Zonda you can put stuff there and in fact when it comes to interior storage in the Zonda this car is surprisingly practical in terms of your interior storage options for instance you have a glovebox most supercars in this era didn’t but this car does and you can see it’s enclosed with this leather strap you also have a little storage box between the seats underneath this silver panel lift it up and there’s even more storage there and behind the seats you can see behind the driver seat you have this little storage pocket same deal behind the passenger seat you pull it forward and there’s a little storage pocket where you can stick even more stuff and speaking of that area behind the seats this car has wool bars to protect you in the event of a rollover accident so the car doesn’t crush your head you can see these roll bars are carbon fiber but my favorite thing about them is that Pagani integrated speakers right into the middle of the roll bars which makes them functional in more ways than one and it puts you right in the middle of your Pagani Zonda music experience and next up another related item is this aluminum circle on the seat bottom I’ve always been kind of confused about what this does in Pagani’s but in this one it’s working perfectly you twist it and it raises or lowers the seat bottom to kind of position the seat where you want if you’re sitting too low or too high that’s when you would twist that thing so if you’ve ever wanted to know why Pagani’s have a little silver circle in the middle of their seats that’s the reason and next up another notable item in here we move on to the Sun visors you drop the driver Sun Visor and you can see there’s storage you could put like a keycard in there something you drop the passenger Sun Visor and you can see there’s a mirror so only the passenger gets to look at themselves as you’re driving down the road in your Pagani next up I want to make a general comment about this interior and that’s the fact that this interior is very nice but it is not on the level of the Huayra in terms of the quirks and features and special touches and attention to detail and Pagani Easter eggs pretty much everywhere and there are two reasons for that one is that the Huayra came after this car of course and by then Pagani had gotten more confidence that they could do all those little touches and charge more for them and people would pay it but the other reason this interior isn’t as crazy as the wiris is that this car came out 20 years ago in 1999 and back then interior development just wasn’t what it is today and so this interior was way ahead of its time for the time period but it definitely wasn’t as unique and special and crazy as the interior in the Huayra and in fact for proof of that you can see that Pagani actually borrowed several pieces in the interior of this car from other cars from this era for example the radio comes out of most Ferrari models from this era in Ferrari models it was black in this it’s silver but it’s the same head unit same buttons same dials the same basic thing same deal with the climate controls these come out of a late Lamborghini Diablo or an early production Lamborghini Murcielago the only difference is over on the recirculating air button in the Diablo there’s a picture of a diablo with recirculating air in the Zonda it’s just a generic car with recirculating air since they didn’t want to use the Lamborghini button with a Lamborghini design but otherwise it’s the very same system same buttons it’s just silver and integrated into the Pagani Center control stack and next up another item that Pagani borrowed from another car on this interior is these stocks coming off the steering column you can see the turn signal stock is just plastic but then it has this aluminum tip at the end same deal with the wiper stock just plastic with this aluminum tip at the end to make it look more special I can’t tell what car these were borrowed from but I know they were borrowed from something it’s very expensive to make all of this switch gear and back when the Zonda came out Pagani didn’t have the budget to develop some of this stuff themselves and finally one other interior item borrowed from other cars would be the traction control off button that’s over by the gear lever you can see it says ASR off that switch is taken straight out of a mercedes-benz now this car has a mercedes-benz powertrain so it makes sense that that button which is a powertrain related item would be from a Mercedes but it’s interest to see it in here in the land of toggle switches and carbon-fibre you have a plastic mercedes button but undoubtedly my favorite borrowed item in the Zonda is the tail lights these tail lights were generic tail lights that were made by some supplier and offered to various different vehicle manufacturers the Lamborghini Diablo used these tail lights for a while but so did many buses in Europe I remember a few years ago I was driving through Italy I got up behind a bus and I was screaming that buses Lamborghini Diablo taillights I had no idea they were shared and they’re also shared in the Zonda it was just the cheapest easiest way to get tail lights for this car one interesting thing about these tail lights they do not include a rear fog light which is mandatory in Europe to allow drivers to see you in heavy fog or rain so Pagani had to add one and they did it by just sticking a red rear fog light into the rear grille it’s a very simple solution nowhere near as graceful as what you’d find in a modern Pagani just a red light kind of tacked in the back of this car but anyway since I’m around back in the Zonda let’s talk about some other quick sand features back here starting with the exhaust I think this is maybe the coolest looking exhaust outlet in the entire history of the car industry right in the middle these four exhaust pipes in this circle it looks so cool so distinctive to the Zonda and it really is an amazing piece of design of course these exhausts also sound pretty good too take a listen and next up a couple of other interesting items worth noting around back one thing that has always struck me about this car is the flat rear end you have this flowing beautiful body and then it just comes to a stop in back and it’s completely flat back here it’s a bit of a daring design choice but I actually like how that looks again very distinctive to the Zonda and next up let’s talk we’r badging because there are some interesting pieces of badging back here right in the middle above the exhaust you have the Pagani badge again the oval with the typical Pagani font that one is pretty standard I’ve always liked on the rear grille the Zonda badge which has Zonda written in this cool font just in case you don’t know what it is which most people who see this car probably don’t at least it’s pretty obvious but maybe the most interesting piece of badging back here is if you look into the engine you can see the mercedes-benz star mercedes-benz provided the engine for this car and so the star is printed on it this car came from before the era of glass covers you could see the whole engine instead in this car you can only really see that Mercedes logo and next up one other thing I absolutely love back here is the rear wing or should I say wings because there are two of them not too many cars can pull off twin rear wings but the pagani zonda very much can I love how this looks it doesn’t look weird or wrong or ugly like you might expect when you hear two rear spoilers instead it just looks how it should as far as I’m concerned they nailed it and next up we move on to the side of the Zonda where there are a few interesting items worth noting the first is the fuel cap which is on the passenger side behind the passenger door you can see you have this exposed fuel cap you just stick in your key twist it the cap comes off and then you can put fuel in your Zonda and next up another interesting thing on the side of this car you have a side mounted turn signal on the door and sharing space with that side mounted turn signal the word Pagani once again appears to remind people what this car is since most people who see it probably will have never seen one before and next up another interesting item on the side is the mirrors now when the mirrors are in place they are the widest part of the car like on most cars but these are valuable carbon-fiber mirrors you don’t want them to get damaged the good news is you can fold them in they fold at this little pagani circle where they attach to the fender you just fold them right in and that makes your pagani narrower in case you want a street park it on a narrow street and you don’t want to get hit by some car driving by and next up will be around to the front of the Zonda we have the headlights and I have always loved the look of the headlights in this car just simple circles but they’re set into these kind of carbon-fiber ovals and they give it a very distinctive look even though the headlights themselves aren’t anything particularly special a couple of interesting headlight related items with this car though that I didn’t know one is the turn signals there’s a tiny little light down here at the very tip of the front end of this car very small had no idea that’s where the turn signals were in the front of the Zonda the other interesting thing is the fog lights you can see the fog light housing kind of looks like machineguns coming out of the front of this car but in fact it is merely the fog light still a very cool look up front and unexpected and next up a couple of other interesting front end items here one is the fact that there’s no Pagani badge at the very front of this car like on the nose instead the badge is further up like at the top center of this front compartment you can see this kind of intricate Pagani badge is printed there but at the very front you do have an interesting item and that is this kind of triangle that comes out of this front compartment forming the nose cone of this car it looks sort of like a Formula One car but it is indeed merely the front of the Zonda and next up since around the front of the Zonda it’s time to talk about the front compartment there are a couple of interesting quirks and features here starting with just getting it open to do that you first have to open the front doors and in the door hinge area there’s a leather strap and a silver button you undo the leather strap as you might expect that’s kind of keeping it in place then you press the silver button and that actually unlatches the front compartment you have to do that on both sides and then that gets the front compartment into this position and from there it’s pretty easy to just open it right up now one interesting thing is you can see when you open it up this little carbon-fiber shield piece also opens along with it which I wasn’t expecting it turns out that’s on there in order to cover up in the wiper assembly I guess the thinking was that would look ugly if it was exposed so that little carbon-fiber shield covers it now probably the most interesting thing about the front compartment is the fact that it is not a trunk there’s no storage there’s no cargo that is intended to go in here a lot of mid-engine supercar have a trunk up front but not a VA’s onda but with that said there is a small storage compartment built into here on the inside of the front panel there’s a little hook and you can open up the carbon fiber piece that this hook is attached to and inside that little carbon fiber storage area there’s enough room to store this cars top yes this car is not just completely open roof it has a top and here it is and if you want the top to be stored inside the car when you’re not using it in case you think you might have to put it on later you can do that just store it on the inside of this front panel in that little space that’s designed for it pretty cool and speaking of opening up stuff in this car it is time to open the back the engine compartment and to do that once again the same quirky way from the front you look inside the door jamb this time and you can see the leather strap and that silver button first you undo the leather strap which is holding it in place then you push the silver button and it unlatches you have to do that on both sides and once you’ve done it it gets the compartment into this position and from there you just open it right up surprisingly easy to do with just one person you get it open and it stays open revealing this cars engine which is pretty insane and so let’s talk engine like I mentioned before this car uses a 7.3 liter v12 developed by mercedes-benz AMG now Mercedes did put a variation of this engine into one of their cars the SL 73 AMG yes that was a real thing never sold in North but the zonda got this engine too and if you had any question as to who built the engine just glance at it you have mercedes-benz in the middle AMG on either side you have the Mercedes star at the base along with 7.3 in the Mercedes Benz font and just like other Mercedes Benz AMG engines this one has a plaque the signature on it of the guy who built the engine although in this case the plaque is not mounted on the engine itself but rather on the inside of this rear panel you can see it over there on the driver side the plaque handcrafted by Guido little hire her and that is these true mark of an AMG powertrain of course you can also see another signature in that area that would be Horacio Pagani who is of course the founder of Pagani that is a very cool signature to have not too often you meet the founder of the company that built your car and next up a few other notable items back here one are these carbon fiber boxes on either side in the engine compartment you can see these boxes are held on with a leather strap just like other things in this car you undo the strap open the box and it’s a luggage compartment and you can see there is fitted Pagani luggage in here it actually says Pagani on it which is sort of the ultimate in cool luggage you show up at the airport with this stuff you sit down next to the guy with Ferrari luggage and suddenly he ain’t feeling so cool anymore now it’s worth noting that although this luggage was fitted for these carbon side compartments it can be removed and then you can just use these as storage compartments and this is pretty much the only real cargo area you have with the Zonda since that front compartment isn’t actually a trunk now a couple of other interesting items in this engine bay one is right behind the seats you can see when you open up this rear compartment it reveals these metal pieces that are kind of riveted into the car those are for the top so if you want to install the top you actually have to open the rear compartment and then spic it into these pieces and then you can close the rear compartment again I guess they didn’t want these metal pieces just sticking up and looking ugly and so that’s why they’re covered underneath this rear another very cool item back here is the exhaust it looked awesome on the outside but when you look at it under here it looks just as insane you can see it has the giant Pagani written across it and this is just the mark of one of the coolest exhaust in the car business maybe the coolest ever I love to see it both from under the hood and from on the outside and finally we got to do it no review of the Zonda would be complete without this image of the car exploded basically everything open you just pull off so much bodywork when you open up the front and rear compartments the car looks totally different with everything open but it is very very cool to see it in this position so much different than your typical regular car or even most supercars to be able to open up this much stuff at once and see the car in this position very neat look and so those are the quirks and features of the Pagani Zonda and now it’s time to get it out on the road and see how it drives all right driving the Zonda first impression it’s just crazy to drive this powertrain with a manual transmission and it’s so cool v12 engine manual car the clutch feels really nice it doesn’t feel weird and springy another interesting thing about this is I have very much enough room it doesn’t feel cramped on my fees it doesn’t feel good on my body I can see out just fine a lot of cars especially getting older ones they’re not really that good with that kind of thing but doesn’t seem like there’s a problem I love that mechanical feeling it is I just love having a manual transmission and a car like this that’s just the coolest thing in the world I’m shocked at how like reasonable and comfortable this car field all that sound you can just hear the deep engine sound it’s so excellent I’m just shocked it feels like you’re driving along in a cool convertible the a-pillar comes a little bit into your field of vision a little bit annoying but other than that this is just like a fun nice little car to run driving business great this is so great you don’t feel the kind of pressure you think you feel that I usually feel when I’m driving these really really valuable cars Koenigsegg Pagani etc this car feels completely more drivable great throttle response I just love how this car feels I’m really surprised by it actually it doesn’t feel as intimidating there’s a lot of the other crazy exotics it feels surprisingly accessible surprisingly drivable easy to control it doesn’t feel like you’re driving around in one of the craziest cars of the modern era which of course you are I just love that I think that that’s that’s amazing but you are of course reminded of what you’re in I mean you see the crazy fender which is just ridiculous looking the mirrors that come out there’s no mistaking it but nonetheless you feel like you can actually use this car use it quite a bit if you wanted to very smooth to want to get started this really is made fantastic watch and gear lever combination I’m really surprised by it can’t believe the turn signal makes beeping noise in the road I’m really really impressed by it surprisingly so I actually I actually think personally that this car drives better than the Lyra which is probably sacrilege in the Pagani world but the Huayra is just hampered by the transmission the transmission is just such a disaster in that car that is just heavy heavy pauses in between gear changes this car you’re doing it yourself you’re probably slower but it’s more fun and it feels like a smaller more nimble more drivable and usable car honestly this is one of the coolest exotic cars I think I’ve proven I can’t believe I’m driven and so that’s the Pagani Zonda s roadster this is a special car made even more special by the fact that Pagani built just 140 of these made even more special by the fact that this one was the development car for the Zonda F so it has some unique upgrades and extra power made even more special by the fact that this one is here in the United States illegally and can be driven around made even more special by the fact that well it’s a freaking Zonda and anyway now it’s time to give the Pagani Zonda a dug score never thought I’d say that starting with the weekend categories and styling the Zonda is really cool looking not classically beautiful but still very exciting and it gets a 9 out of 10 acceleration does 0-60 in 3.3 seconds and it gets a 9 out of 10 handling is magical really communicative and it gets a 10 out of 10 fun factor is huge this car is so much fun to drive and it gets a 10 out of 10 cool factor is obviously insane these are among the coolest modern cars in existence and it gets a 10 out of 10 for a total weekend score of 48 out of 50 next up are the daily categories and features it doesn’t have much but it’s acceptable for the time period it gets a 4 out of 10 Comfort is normal for a car like this bad but not terrible and it gets a 3 out of 10 quality is excellent workmanship is good and that engine should stay reasonably reliable and it gets a 7 out of 10 practicality is terrible it has basically no storage space and it’s nail-biting just to draw anywhere and it gets a 1 out of 10 value is difficult to assess these sell for millions which is of course insane but they’re also incredibly rare and sort of the foundational car for Pagani I’m not sure what the right number is here but it gets a 6 out of 10 for a total daily score of 21 out of 50 added up in the dug score is 69 out of 100 which places the Zonda here against other supercars from its era and against the Pagani Huayra models I’ve reviewed I actually dropped the fun factor score of the Huayra by a point here just because it’s transmission is feeling so old by modern standards I truly think that Zonda and it’s manual transmission is the more exciting of the two cars to drive I enjoyed the Zonda more than I was expecting and I’m thrilled I had the chance to check it out [Music]
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