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Every Pagani Zonda, Ranked

Every Pagani Zonda, Ranked

Robert Hradil

When it first appeared on the stage at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show, the Pagani Zonda didn’t seem real. Its bug-eyed headlights and bubble cockpit gave it the look of an alien spaceship; its interior was an homage to an alternate, steampunk universe; its engine bay was packed with a Mercedes-Benz V-12 tied, unlike any other use of that engine, to a manual gearbox. Surely, company founder Horatio Pagani’s creation was bound to join the likes of the Vector W8 and Cizeta V16T in the museum of failed supercar dreams.

Yet, against the odds, the Zonda succeeded. It sustained the Pagani brand for 12 years until the Huayra joined the team in 2011. Even then, though, the Zonda stuck around for another eight years, growing into new, more powerful, and ever-wilder variations.

And why wouldn’t it? Its incredible design — the sort of work you’d expect from a company started by the man who served as Lamborghini’s chief engineer during the Countach days  — remained just as capable of stopping traffic on the car’s last day in production as it was when it appeared back when Bill Clinton was president and Cher’s “Believe” was topping the pop charts.

During that long span, Pagani created a remarkable number of variations of its inaugural supercar — each of which deserves attention and praise. Rather than simply list them, however, we’ve decided to rank them, from worst to best, based on, well, how cool they are. (Note: Pagani has also made a litany of one-off Zondas with their own names for various customers, but we’re focusing on “production” models, as the bespoke versions have largely been based on these.)

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