The Zonda C12 was the first vehicle produced by Pagani Atelier and was presented at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show. The exotic coupe had a curved windshield and the interior was equally impressive, fashioned after a fighter jet.
Leveraging his experience at Lamborghini, Pagani used carbon fiber extensively in the first Pagani, an especially impressive decision given how unique and original the design Zonda C12 was. “The shape had to be sensual, the wheel arches should recall a woman’s bosoms, the rear bonnet the hips,” CEO Horacio Pagani notes. “Inside, the seats would be shaped like an inverted pyramid to wrap around the shoulders, giving a sense of power to the man, and protection to the woman. A complicated search of simple ideas. In a word: the Zonda.”
At launch, the Mercedes-source 6.0-liter V12 produced 394 (293 kW) and 420 pound-feet (570 Newton-meters). That’s a far cry from the 800-hp Pagani on offer today. But with a five-speed manual transmission, and thanks in part to a lightweight design (tipping the scales at 2,755 pounds), the C12 could hit 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in a segment-rivaling 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of around 185 mph (297 kmh).