The Pagani Zonda S Roadster is more than a decade old. It was the first roadster from the Italian supercar maker, and just 40 were built. But, even though it was introduced in 2003 — kids born that year are starting high school this fall — it's still a gorgeous piece of machinery. And so, to show off a bit of its history, Pagani parked one in its booth at the Geneva Motor Show last week.
Officially known as the Zonda S 7.3 Roadster, the car promised no loss of performance from the coupe Zonda S. Under the hood, the Roadster had a 7.3-liter Mercedes-Benz AMG V12 capable of producing 555 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel the car from 0 to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds. This was an impressive feat for 2003, but it’s more pedestrian for today’s hypercars that can comfortably breach the three-second barrier.
But with just a few dozen in existence and chances at driving one rather unlikely, I’m more interested in the look of the Zonda. So ahead of its time was the design, you could almost believe the Zonda could have rolled out of Pagani’s factory yesterday. In fact, the current Pagani Huayra Roadster looks quite a bit like the Zonda, if you squint a little.
With a bright yellow paint job and iconic quad-barrel exhaust, carbon fiber everywhere, and fantastic antennae-stalk side mirrors — the Zonda looks just as good today as it did back then. There are many supercars that don’t age well, but this one would still make a hell of a bedroom wall poster. And that’s really the point, isn’t it?
Oh, and just because we’ve been talking about Top Gear around The Verge Transportation water cooler-cum-Slack room recently, here’s a very young-looking Richard Hammond reviewing the Zonda Roadster for the show back in 2004: