Just a foreword. We know the emblem in the motor is missing. We have a media sample as the certificate notes ‘0000’. Almost Real is aware and the part is in the mail – new photos will be taken upon arrival. That being said, we did not want to delay the review and further. Enjoy the new Almost Real 1:18 Pagani Zonda F. Yes, it is that good! Happy Collecting!!
The Almost Real Pagani Zonda F 2005 was definitely awaiting game for many. With multiple successes under their belt, and some taking DiecastSociety.com Model of the Year honours it was only certain fans were craving for more. A supercar, a classic, one would be welcomed. The wait is now over, and the official release of the Almost Real Pagani Zonda F will commence at the end of September. With the initial batch in limited quantities, so, don’t hit the panic button more examples will hit the market soon enough.
This model is the first entry under the new Almost Real series titled AR+. We received a glimpse of the initial vision months back, and the production results here have changed somewhat… We’re sure the plus stands for going that extra mile, and we’re happy to report Almost Real definitely has in our opinion done that with the latest effort, the Pagani Zonda F. This model is based on the original press demonstration car which now resides on display at the Pagani factory. Future wise, look for additional colours for the Zonda F and commitment to issue the 1:18 Zonda Cinque. Suggested retail on for the Pagani Zonda F, $398 US. Some dealers may sell for less.
For fans concerned about being true to the early origins of the model collecting, the Zonda F is happily executed in good old diecast metal with plastic bits in the supporting role – this is right down to the exterior side mirrors, which by the way come pre-installed.
Before we get into the breakdown of the review, let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Is it better than LCD Models’ current efforts? Yes – more compete, no comprises inside or out, though that McLaren 600LT interior is just gorgeous… How about AUTOart. Based on the recent assortment (last 10 years +) absolutely yes. How is it in comparison with the classic, AUTOart, the Pagani Zonda R, which some consider one if not their best model to date, just as good and in some areas even better!
How, you may ask, well Almost Real added that PLUS, the plus stands for true carbon fibre throughout, this includes all exterior and interior bits. Not just the basic parts, no, this includes going into the cracks and crevices, even in the engine area too. Nicely polished interior, definitely better defined than the AUTOart Zonda R and engine detailing just a little more advanced in our opinion. And the suspension is active and you have the ability to give each corner a pre-race workout. The front components are a marvel, but when you do the same for the rear pair you see all of the components working in harmony. It is quite impressive to say the least!
What’s inside the box? Included with your purchase is the same box structure we’ve been accustomed to by Almost Real the last few years (this would be the major difference we can see from the first pre-production concept). The initial pre-production release photos showed us a jewelry box type display that was abandoned, likely a cost-saving effort and to keep the retail as low as possible. But there is still some filler included. What you receive in addition to the model is the following: door opening tool, tweezer, screwdriver, cleaning cloth (sorry forgot to add to the photos we shot), certification card and two pieces luggage and finally detail informational booklet that highlights functional aspects, model details and maintenance – read it before handling your example to minimize any damage. You’ll thank us later. Oh, we almost forget, there is also a full car cover, something we haven’t seen since the BBR Enzo? Cool!
Out of the box, the first thing you’ll notice is the model is heavy, we did say the exterior and much of the related suspension components are made of metal. Plus, the plethora of photo-etched bits. Almost Real isn’t messing around! Paint-wise, the application on our example is nearly perfect. Paint is consistent front to rear, and the transition to carbon fibre is flawless. As for carbon fibre, every inch of the exterior side is covered in a true carbon fibre decal. The size of the weave and gloss is first-rate in our opinion. One must assume Almost Real learned something building many of BBR examples in metal.
As for model accuracy, again, high marks to the team. In addition, capturing the unique design of the Zonda F, this model allows full 360 access; our example proves well shutlines and panel gap tolerances excellent all around. A few areas we wanted to mention that others may overlook, note the recessed side indicators with the Pagani logo in check. Also, every exterior side opening is capped with metal mesh grilles, the end result, a truly authentic piece. Even those lower-side intakes that run deep inside follow suit with full metal grilles!
From the front, the sharpness of the Zonda F nose is nicely executed. Headlights are multi-light units each wrapped in carbon fibre. All venting is on point and the lower chin spoiler again features all the carbon fibre goodness one would expect at this price point.
The forward opening hatch operation is achieved with ease. We survived multiple open and close operations without issue – there are even two security lines/supports on each side, same as the 1:1 to keep the hatch at bay from overextending, though in scale form it is more show than anything else. Inside the gorgeous carbon fibre trim work is meticulously arranged, utterly everywhere, right down to the cooling fans. The suspension components on the Zonda F are all crafted in metal, this includes the shock absorbers too. Did we mention it is fully functional at all four corners, yes, it is!
Did you notice the leather straps? There are six in total throughout the model. Each can be locked securely in place if you choose. That is the reason for the included tweezer. Thank you Almost Real.
Moving to the rear, the epic dance continues. We believe a true measuring stick for a high-end model is how well the beast under the bonnet shines through the open grille work. Well, the Zonda F comes through and then some. The team does a phenomenal job presenting the meticulous detail through the screening, the use of multiple parts, colour and textures provide a spectacular view, nothing less. Did you notice the Red hue in the carbon fibre work, a Zonda F calling card and the full stainless steel exhaust pipes and fog indicator? This is one of the best rear sides we’ve seen in some time. And totally slaughters the competition; what BBR presents in their static Pagani Zonda HP Barchetta, which for the recond costs more.
The rear spoiler is static and once again, the sharpness on the carbon fibre work shines through here. Opening the rear bonnet is done with ease. And again, a couple of leather straps along with accompanying metal buckles are here if you choose the lock her down.
You may have asked what the included screwdriver is for, no, not for model removable from the packaging shell, actual it is an aid to help in adjusting the tension of the screws which facilitate bonnet operation. We’ve all been there, with repeated openings the screws may require to be tightened to increase tension/strength. Once inside the motor detail does not disappoint. The number of parts, components, colour, textures and wires create a vision of utter excellence, something lacking on the supercar side of the hobby in recent years. When is the last time a manufacturer used clear tuning and additional wires, possibly since the AUTOart Zonda R?
In addition, the metal suspension bits and supporting staff are here in full force, quite refreshing to see this amount of engine detail and refinement. And that isn’t all, the lower exhaust working are ceramic coating and mated to the rear box section of the exhaust system, a work of art! The carbon fibre detailing is here and pushed right down to the cracks and crevices, areas one wouldn’t expect and some wouldn’t even notice. Each time you go back for another look, there is more to see. Did we mention the multiple and highly detailed dipsticks? Just awesome! The underside of the bonnet is painted and layered in carbon fibre too. And if you look closely are your example you will find a transparent-like OEM decal on the right side. We missed this on our first inspection.
We’re curious to know how long it takes to assemble one model? Or even just the motor?? This would help connect the hefty price tag this model commands – it is definitely labour heavy. And when you factor in the available choices past and present, high-end Peako. Sorry, Peako, more money and no access to internal bits. Advantage Almost Real.
There is more to see motor-wise, storage comes at a premium in any supercar, the Zonda F is equipped with two storage compartments on either side of the engine bay. Access is granted, and once again the cool and inspiring leather straps are visible. We’re curious again, can someone time how long it takes you to insert the strap into the metal buckle with the provided tweezer? We’d love to hear about your times LOL. Once inside there is a single piece of luggage. By the way, the finish here is excellent, along with the smooth operation of the storage lid.
The wheels are massive on the rear side, those that love deep-dish will definitely appreciate the look. Wheel design and execution are solid, the chrome work is gem-like. The supporting cast of the braking apparatus is up to speed too. Note the Pirelli branding around the tires, nice touch.
Inside the Zonda F continues its winning pace. The interior is covered in Red with multiple carbon fibre surfaces. This is a premium effort and there is NO second-rate carbon fibre going on here. Each area provides a quality fit, finish and look! This extends to the back of the seats and small speaker just behind each headrest.
Door cards, dash and centre console are again finished with premium stroke. Attention to detailing is evident throughout each element. Does the interior absolutely mirror the original, no, but it’s darn close. The steering wheel and shifter do definitely stand out. Almost Real’s attempt at leather and wood surface do mimic the original well. Definitely the calling card to the interior.
This might be trivial to some, however, on initial inspection, the finished work alone on the passenger side glove box is so genuine we actually tried to open it. To our surprise, it did not open. The texture and materials are top-notch throughout, you aren’t getting a generic look that AUTOart tends to lean to. No, this is polished, and you can clearly see the difference. If we had one complaint, it would be the upper vents on the dash, alignment is slightly off on one. On the flip side, the future release from LCD Models of the Pagani Zonda HP Barchetta does feature a fully functional glove box and a centre/rear accessible storage box too. They seem to be the value brand, but only time will tell what this model will sell for and how far the detailing will go into the production piece.
In short, was the wait worth it? Absolutely! Many on the team have a space in their collections for sport and supercars, we all agree this is a welcomed addition. I in particular have been holding space, a placeholder if you choose with the Mondo Motors Zonda F since 2009. It’s now being donated to the girlfriend’s nephew. In comparison, there is none, it is a toy next to the Almost Real effort!
Almost Real has done an outstanding job with the Pagani Zonda F, it is a COMPLETE model, one taking us back to the hey-days of this wonderful hobby. All this attention to detail does come at a price, $398 US. It will come hard to swallow for some but this is a premium product, nothing less. That being said, the Almost Real Pagani Zonda F, is the best available example, with no ifs and or buts and with little compromise. If checks off all the wants and then some, well at least for us. And, we would go as far as stating it as likely their best model to date. Our team is already shouting for admission into the DiecastSociety.com 2021 Model of the Year contest shortlist, and I agree, it is well deserved. For a year that’s been somewhat of a yawn fest, the Pagani Zonda F is definitely an antidote for getting the fluids flowing once again. Enjoy the pics!