Zonda what?

For some strange coincidence, I like cars with a “C”. My favourite is the Citroen C6, and in the only times I’ve wavered in my conviction for my S60, it’s been considering a Volvo C30, or a Citroen C3 Pluriel or a Citroen C4. And the Passat CC is a definite fave of mine, right along with all the others I’ve just mentioned.

So I was doing my round of car blogs, when this cropped up. As a rule, I’m not one to glance twice at a so-called supercar. Ferrari and Lamborghini can spew out any overpriced death-trap and I couldn’t car less, because it’s all about many-hundred horsepower, and race technology and utter twaddle like that. I’m flying in the face of popular opinion here, but to me nearly all of those exaggeratedly priced exotica look all pretty bland and similar amongst themselves.

So along comes this upstart Italian company, led by a bloke called Pagani, and makes the outrageous Zonda. So it has a big Mercedes V12 in the middle and chucks out some hundred horsepower and bla-bla-bla, but what really catches the attention of the beholder is how crazily different and outstanding it looks amongst its supercar bretheren. Perhaps the only car that springs to mind for its outlandish bold aesthetics is the Lamborghini Reventon, which looks far more like a stealth fighter than it does a car. However, even the Zonda feels the weight of years, and ten of them for a car is by all mean a long career. So a new one is in the works, and it’s pictured here. And talking about outlandish aesthetics, this is a fabulous-looking vehicle, and not just in supercar terms, it’s fabulous-looking in any car terms. That front end is wonderfully curved, and strikes just the right balance. The berlinetta shape has to be a consequence of the cockpit-forward, mid-engined layout, but looks sumptious, not to mention rare, in a day when most cars strive for a coupé-look even if they are mid-engined.

And the whole effect is heightened by the colour and those gill-like things, which make it look like a nippy Batmobile. That’s what makes this car stand out, it’s crazy, quirky, head-turning aspect. It could be powered by a two-stroke engine for all I care, it’s the leap forward in downright beauty that makes it a desirable car for me. The Zonda isn’t bad-looking, but falls into the category of supercars that have a hard-to-swallow shape that comes more from a preoccupation of aerodynamics than the intention of looking great. And what’s the point of it going fast, if it’ll break into bits as soon as it hits 200mph?

Of course, it’s all very nice, but if the Zonda is anything to go by, it’ll cost €1,000,000 and only ten will be made each year. A pity, because I’d live to see one of these live in the flesh (or in the metal, as it were), and I suppose the few super-rich customers will keep it under lock and key and only flahs it around in -monte Carlo or Lake Como.


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