Twelve years of history and it still looks like a dream in 2017

If cars could tell stories and write books about their lives and what they’ve been through, this particular Pagani Zonda would have a New York Times best-seller on its hands. See, it may look like a brand-new Zonda that Pagani has kept under lock and key in Italy, but it’s actually far from new. Strip away the new body and what you get is a 12-year old car that originated as a Zonda F. True story.

Now it’s christened as the Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo and it looks resplendent in dark red carbon fiber. Even in its new guise, this car’s history is as rich as any Pagani model in history. It’s been through a crash that left it short of the scrap heap. It’s been sent back to Pagani for nips and tucks more times than even the owner can count. It’s changed names a handful of times, too, first as the Zonda F before being renamed the Zonda SH to account for the owner’s initials. From there, it became the Zonda Fantasma because it apparently has a nicer ring to it. And after the latest series of modifications, it’s added the “Evo” moniker, this officially making it the Zonda Fantasma Evo. Through it all though, one thing about the car that hasn’t changed: the AMG-sourced V-8. Twelve years after hitting the market, the Zonda Fantasma Evo still makes use of a naturally aspirated, 7.3-liter engine, though it now makes 100 more horsepower than its 660 factory tune. In a nutshell, the Zonda Fantasma Evo has become the living embodiment of the saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Continue reading to learn more about the Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo.

What makes the Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo so special?

2017 Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo High Resolution Exterior
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As special as the Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo looks, its origin story is the thing that really elevates it into the history books as one of the most memorable Paganis. When it was produced in 2005, it was actually the first right-hand drive Zonda F. It wore classes number 53 and its original owner was noted supercar collector Peter Saywell. Eventually, Saywell sold his Zonda F after commissioning Pagani to make his own version called Zonda PS, which you can see below.

Pagani Zonda PS - the unique supercar
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Note: photo of the Pagani Zonda PS

As for his original bright orange Zonda F, it was bought by a buyer in Hong Kong, who ultimately ended up crashing it on the street in 2012.

2017 Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo
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Note: photo of the crashed Zonda

It’s worth mentioning that this was the second Pagani Zonda F to crash in the streets of Hong Kong. The first one occurred three years before that in 2009, which I actually wrote about back then.

2017 Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo High Resolution Exterior
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Not long after the crash that almost ruined it beyond repair, the car was shipped back to Pagani where it was fully repaired and presumably made even better. For one, it featured a completely redesigned body with a new front fascia that incorporated the LED daytime running lights of the Zonda Tricolore. It also came with four new carbon fiber canards, a large

inspired carbon fiber roof scoop, an equally auspicious rear wing, and a central carbon fiber fin. Most importantly, the car received an upgraded 7.3-liter V-12 engine that delivered 760 horsepower, more than 100 ponies in excess of its previous incarnation.

The car itself was expected to be called the Zonda SH – “SH” being the owner’s initials – when it was all set to be unleashed back into the road in 2014. But that plan was scuttled when the decision was made to go with the “Fantasma” moniker instead because, apparently, Zonda Fantasma had a better ring to it.

2017 Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo High Resolution Exterior
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The story doesn’t end there, though. Fast forward to 2017 and here we are, the Zonda Fantasma is now the Zonda Fantasma Evo. Arguably the biggest and most important change in the Zonda Fantasma Evo is the introduction of a manual transmission that replaces the car’s original sequential gearbox. The manual gearbox is similar to the one that was used on the Zonda 760 Lewis Hamilton one-off, which just so happened to have crashed as well. On the cosmetic end, the car now has even more carbon fiber panels on its body, done in large part to make it even lighter than it already is. It still carries the same AMG-sourced 7.3-liter V-12 engine although there’s no word on whether it has received any extra horses to add to the 760 horsepower it already has.

As far as stories go, this Pagani Zonda has one of the most eventful ones. It started off as a bright orange Pagani Zonda F. Now it’s decked in red carbon fiber, has plenty of aerodynamic upgrades along the way, and enough power to still make today’s supercars stand up and take notice. It’s had multiple owners too, which only adds to its already rich backstory. Throughout all though, it was and still remains a Pagani Zonda at its core, and that speaks to the car’s longevity that it remains relevant 12 years after it hit the market.


2005 Pagani Zonda F Exterior
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Read our full review on the Pagani Zonda F.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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