Last wee, we brought you the first two installments of a five-part series on the history of Pagani Automobili. This week, it's time for parts three and four.
Horacio Pagani was heavily inspired by fellow Argentinean Juan Manuel Fangio, who ultimately introduced a young Pagani to key personnel at both Ferrari and Lamborghini. Fangio’s lifelong ties to Mercedes-Benz led to the use of AMG engines in Zonda models, and its fitting that Pagani would honor his mentor with a special edition of the Pagani Zonda supercar.
Dubbed the Zonda F, for “Fangio,” the car debuted in 2005 and represented the evolution of the Zonda S. While Zonda F received the same 7.3-liter V-12 engine as the S, output jumped from 547 to 594 horsepower thanks to a revised intake and exhaust, as well as unique ECU programming.
The Zonda F features an interior inspired by cars of Fangio’s day, complete with a wooden steering steering wheel and an aluminum dash face. Outside, the F was the first car available in an unpainted, “natural” carbon fiber finish.
A customer request ultimately led to the development of the Pagani Zonda R, featured in the fourth video installment on Pagani’s history. Built without compromise to be the ultimate track day weapon, the Zonda R puts out some 750 horsepower, yet weighs less than 2,400 pounds.
That’s a good enough power-to-weight ration for the Zonda R to run from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.7 seconds, on its way to a top speed of some 217 mph. If those numbers aren’t impressive enough, consider this: Pagani claims a Nürburgring lap time of 6:47.50 for the Zonda R.
That’s a record for a non-homologated, non-road-legal car, besting the Ferrari 599XX by over 10 seconds and beating the street-legal Zonda F Clubsport (which ran a ‘Ring distance shortened by 232 meters) by over 40 seconds.