REVIEW: Almost Real Pagani Zonda F •

REVIEW: Almost Real Pagani Zonda F

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 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 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!

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94 Responses to "REVIEW: Almost Real Pagani Zonda F"

  1. DS Team says:

    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!!

  2. Pi Liu says:

    I have seen the assembly process of this product and found many structural errors.For example, the wrong size of the engine gearbox and the complete lack of transmission shaft details are all mistakes that should not be made, because its price exceeds $400, because McLaren 600lt and Pagani ZONDA HP on LCD do better.

    • Fede Roloff says:

      I originally wanted to buy the carbon fiber version. Seeing these pictures and your comments, I gave up the idea of buying. I look forward to the LCD Pagani.

      • DS Team says:

        Wow, you seriously made your decesion that quickly? LOL.

      • Sponge says:

        “seeing your comments” Make your own opinion of the model. Everyone is agreeing to say that the engine bay, interior and overall details are stunning and over every supercar model you can currently find on the market. Plus, this is the only good quality Zonda you can find at 1/18 scale. I’m not trying to get you buy it by any means, but basing your opinion on someone else’s isn’t always the right thing to do

    • DS Team says:

      Please, explain how they do better? It does seem you have a bone to pick with AR, but always overlook the deficiencies from other manufactures, specifically LCD. Do you work for them?

    • DS Team says:

      FYI, explain how all comments from you, Fede Roloff and Mario. Are all connected to the same IP address? Again, your campaign to smear AR??

    • Marcel171281 says:

      Please, can you leave this site?

      Because you come here for a specific reason and that is not to enjoy this hobby with others, but to force your biased opinion onto others.

      Funny you always bring LCD into a topic not about LCD. Working for them?

      • . says:

        Funny thing is he is complaining about the ST Well LFA for having less parts than an LCD Models 1:18 diecast. It is like complaing that the apple doesn’t have the same taste like an orange lol.

  3. Mario says:

    I feel that AR is far worse than Autoart Zonda R

  4. Aceman says:

    Jeez! I can’t help but laugh at the comments people are making! What’s funnier is hearing people who buy resin BBRs and Frontiarts complain about the price. It’s definitely not cheap, agreed, but the craftsmanship and level of detail seen on this model are truly commendable.

    Excellent review guys! I haven’t been this excited for a model ever. Can’t wait for mine to arrive.

    • DS Team says:

      It really is humorous and sad. When you weigh all the pros and cons, to see this level of negativity is quite perplexing.

    • Giorgio262 says:

      Yes indeed. this model exceeds my per model budget policy, so I will not get one, and I don’t expect this getting cheaper anytime in the forseable future. But, given the complexity and the amount of detail, I can understand why it would cost this much. I can’t say the same about any resin model I’ve ever seen.

  5. InTheFastLane says:

    Definitely a winner for me. Beautiful detail, love the leather straps – great work Almost Real. Will get my vote for the model of the year. Definitely justifies the price – cheaper than some higher priced resin models too. Let’s take a moment and look at the Autoart models recently produced which are lacking these days. This Almost Real Pagani is definitely a breath of fresh air to collectors world wide. Almost Real, keep doing what you are doing!

  6. ATEOTD says:

    Not bad for a model that was cancelled and whose moulds were destroyed. :)

  7. Karsten says:

    First of all, thank you very much for this review, DS! This is something collectors have been waiting for for a very long time: First signs of an Almost Real hypercar, first example of their AR+ series.
    The results are certainly as to be expected from Almost Real. I am an Almost Real fan, I am a Pagani fan, but never warmed much for the Zonda. Hence I maintain a somewhat objective stance towards this model and see it more as a harbinger for the other Paganis to come. I love the effort with the BBResque carbon fibre and the leather straps, the detailed lights, and many other details. What does not convince me so much are the misaligned air vents on the dash, the visible mould line on the steering wheel, the dotted pattern of the wood veneer print (reminiscent of Minichamps Bentleys 10 years ago). There I have seen better from AR themselves, which means they can do better. Hence the Huayra Roadster can doubtlessly become the best Huayra Roadster available. Same for the BC. Whether the Zonda Revolution and Tricolore will surpass AUTOart´s pinnacle efforts remains to be seen, I don´t feel I could say yet BEFORE having seen AR´s. But LCD isn´t compalcent either: their Huayra Roadster BC looks further improved (and is increased in RRP) over their Huayra Roadster. So their is competition.

    Am I convinced about the “plus” extras? Well, not really. A cleaning cloth, gloves, tools are something we have previously seen from other manufacturers without fanfare. I would not want to use the car cover. It may be nice for this review, but little use for the collector display and I have my concerns in relation to the pre-installed wing mirrors.

    Finally, after having proved that for all my support for AR I am not biased in their favour, one thing really PISSES ME OFF: Every single time AR is mentioned on DS, the same hate campaigners pop up out from their fucking holes to throw dirt, and every single time they fail to give any evidence for what they are saying. It is completely obvious how that is an orchestrated troll army abusing the freedom of speech granted on this website to make unproven allegations.

    • DS Team says:

      Valid feedback Kasten, we value your perspective and comments.

      We don’t understand what this campaign of negatively is with AR. There are one of the few manufacturers that have from our perspective provided a constant solid product, albeit not the fasted to market, but also provide transparency behind the scene as well. This is NOT common from many other brands.

  8. Kevin says:

    Great review and model! Will add this one for sure, do you guys have any information about the Cinque release?

  9. wackygt says:

    Thanks for the detailed review guys. This certainly cements my view that this is an absolute stunner and in future could be viewed in the same way the BBR Enzo is.

    One thing you didn’t mention that should be fed back to AR that one of my fellow collectors noticed, is that the indicator behind the front wheel – it looks like the lens is covering the “i” in the Pagani logo. Not a massive deal but enough to annoy some collectors!

    • DS Team says:

      Thank you for the feedback! We missed that one, and rest assured AR does read comments. Hopefully, it can be revised in further production models.

      • Ollie says:

        They could also sort out the tyre branding. The white script should either be Michelin branding or not there at all. The photos I’ve seen from the web show no white branding and it’s highly unlikely they’d have Michelin branding on the stickers down the side of the car with Pirelli P-Zero tyres on the car. That said, I’ve ordered one given II (like many others) have been waiting for a decent opening diecast Zonda for AGES.

  10. Eric says:

    Great review! I placed my order for one on Friday from Racing Hero’s so I hope to receive it soon.

  11. H.S. says:

    Fantastic review, fantastic model, the detail level is definitely a cut above Autoart in places, just hope they have some decent colour variants for this model such as Black, White or Yellow and also getting the rest of their portfolio to market relatively soon, as I can’t wait to see how their Cinque, Tricolore and R’s turn out!

  12. kenney bee says:

    Love it , this is a must-have for me and I don’t think 400 is a bad price, actually I would say cheap for the work that has gone into it , does anyone know of the other colors that will be arriving at a later date

  13. . says:

    This one can easily be a top contender in the best diecast model of the year 2021. The only sad part is that I cannot afford to fork out 400USD for this baby

  14. josh pessman says:

    Fantastic Review of a fantastic model. At that price I can only get one so I will wait for the Tri color or cinque. I do think it is funny that it says Pagan instead of Pagani! Actually works well since most Zonda owners are likely Pagans as well! Joking aside the model looks quite good. I think the Zonda R from AA probably is a little better but I can’t be sure until I own both and obviously I do not have this model. ? on the steering wheel. Should there be gaps in the spokes of the wheel?

  15. Edib Zivalj says:

    Thank you for the pictures and review DS!

    Model looks great. price is a bit steep(not a collector that buys BBR/Fontiart lol), but knowing how much time goes into the details of a model like this i do get it. Still would pick Hans’s full carbon Zonda F :)…. one day ill finish my carbon vert.

    i did notice paint missing from the rear suspension on both sides, pre production issue??

    • spikyone says:

      I was going to ask the same; the gold paint at the front of the wishbones looks like it’s damaged. Is it fouling on something? It would be interesting to get AR’s comments if that is the case, it’s a pretty big issue on a model costing that much.

    • DS Team says:

      We can’t say, either way, this is the only sample of the model the team received.

    • DS Team says:

      “i did notice paint missing from the rear suspension on both sides, pre production issue??”

      Can you please define the part(s) missing? What we’ve seen is centre MB badge, which we noted in the foreword.

  16. CLAUDIO says:

    Hi! any news about more color options on Zonda F? thanks!

  17. mrm says:

    Thanks for the review. This was a model I have been anticipating for quite some time. I am not a huge Pagani fan, but I absolutely love the Zonda F, as for me personally it was pinnacle of Pagani. The later versions became more and more kitschy and the Huayra, at least for me personally, was way too over-stylized.

    About Almost Real, I am absolutely neutral. I never had a model of theirs and they have never produced anything to catch my interest before, so I am not familiar with their product.

    I can see some bickering and defensive moves forming in the discussion, but I will reserve my opinions about the model until I get one in my hands. I can see some quite annoying issues from the review, but I will give the model the benefit of the doubt, as we were warned this is a preproduction sample.

    I will however address something that was brought up. The price. There is a tendency on this site and in it’s reviews, for the subject of price to be presented in ratter manipulative way. Depending on sometimes obvious bias towards or against a given manufacturer, the price is not discussed in fair manner. If we take the LCD, AutoArt and the Almost Real models, we’ll be more or less comparing apples to apples, as they are all premium priced, similar in subject and similar in level of detail. Therefore it’s not right to toot LCD’s horn that is half the price of AA, because it is not, but in the same time when the AR model comes out and it is considerably more expensive than AA, to completely ignore that comparison and throw in “it’s still cheaper than BBR resin”. First of all it would be comparing apples to oranges for many different reasons and second of all it s NOT cheaper than BBR.

    A previous review on here motivated me to go ahead and purchase both an Autoart Huayra roadster and the LCD version f the same car and I was surprised how much the reviews on here hid, because the Auto Art is definitely the better overall model. LCD was an absolutely unknown to me, just like AR is now, so I am not bias at all I have some AA models, but I am not necessary a fan of theirs. So, I will wait to get one of these in my hands and I’ll make a nice total comparo of all the Pganis I have, which will be something like six manufacturers.

    On the subject of of the the companies themselves, they are definitely evolving. The carbon fiber on the LCD Huayra is not what I would cal realistic, but on the McLaren they followed it up with, it looks fantastic. I am pretty sure AR will improve with every model too. AutoArt did over the years also. I just can’t get over the price. I remember the outcry some AutoArt models caused with their prices and now all of a sudden a $150 bump is all fine and dandy, when from the pictures, I don’t see any justification for it. Also, I may have missed it, but have AR announced what are going to be the upcoming colors for the F?

    • DS Team says:

      Thank you.

      Sorry, we disagree with the statement on price. We’re not justifying the price of AR products here just comparing it to the Zonda product we have received touched and each brand is considered a high-end product. And here in Canada, the BBR product is MORE money than AR. The comparison was more for the detailing, interior and motor wise, each trumped by AR here. Inevitably collectors will ask or make comparisons from brand to brand, what we presented are our opinions on how we see, AUTOart LCD Models in relation.

      At the end of the day, this hobby isn’t easy on anyone’s pocketbook. Either you can afford the model or not. We don’t always agree with pricing and we’re certainly not going to focus all our energy on it. YOU choose, you buy it or not. The AR examples of the Zonda F is an extremely good replica. And no here said the premium price of AR is justified either, Is it worth $398 US? That is for you to decide.

      PS – The AUTOart/LCD, yes, the pricing at the time and how we sourced the product was about half of AUTOart. Supply and demand obviously increase the price throughout the available sources at the time. THe question is the will LCD remain the best valure brand, only time will tell.

      • mrm says:

        I will try to address both yours and Kasten’s replies together. Before that tho, stop with that “we” and “the team”. Who is “we”, “me, myself and my alter ego”? You hear designers, engineers or test drivers for companies like Ferrari or Pagani or whatever, say things like “we developed so and so”, but they follow it with “that’s what I like about what we achieved…” or “in MY opinion what we did….”. Stand behind what you’re writing with your persona instead of hiding behind “we”. First it does not add any credibility to what you’re saying, but on the contrary. And second, if “the team” is comprised of number of people, it is kinda disrespectful to them to to present your personal opinion as collective, even if “all of you” agree on the subject. And the gang-bang-passive-agressive-bullying has to stop. I enjoy the forum and even if I don’t participate often, it does not mean that I don’t visit on a regular basis. Forums are pretty much demodé nowadays and I like to see this place survive the social media platforms takeover.
        Now, specially for my favorite loud mouth with a foot fetish who always asks for proof, I have quite few pictures, which apparently I can not post in my reply. But I will try to explain.
        This review, upon closer inspection is more bias than I expected. I want to hurry up and underline that I am by no way saying that this is not a solid effort. It is a nice looking model. My problem is how it is presented. And I can understand that if AR provided the model for free (which is basically buying a $400 preview) “we” has to deliver a flattering review. And that is fine, because that’s how the world works. To a degree! Because giving a flattering review does no necessitate gaslighting, spinning some facts and manipulating things to fit a narrative. “Outragous allegation!” someone says. No. It is my personal opinion and how I feel. Here is an example (which is really hard without the option of showing pictures). I just bought total of 18 models from three different stores at three different locations in three batches of six. True story! I paid $14.99 per model. They are all Bburago and Maisto. I have the receipts, I have the picture of the price in the store and I have a picture of the huge pallet of models available. Latest stuff too. So I bought A Bbugatti Chiron Sport; Bugatti Divo, Lamborghini Sian, Lamborghini V12 Vision GT, C8 Corvette, Mustang GT 500 and a Ferrari 488 for $90! No joke. Does that mean that Maisto and Bburago retail for 15 bucks a pop? Hey, I did same thing two years ago in a completely different state, half way across the country. And previous years too. Actually, they used to be $12.99 per model. But that’s not Maisto/Bburago’s retail. That is what they are available right before the Christmas shopping season in a couple of competing store chains. Thir actual retail is at least double that. FACT!
        Right now, no the official BBR website, I can buy a Pagani Zonda C12 for €297, a Huayra Roadster BC for €303.75 or a Pagani Huayra roadster for €310.50. According to today’s exchange rate, the most expensive one of them is $363.34, which is definitely cheaper than the suggester AR price.
        Here is the bummer tho. “We” is praising the screw driver to tidy up the rear hinges in the AR model, when it’s copied from the AA Roadster. The center console on the dash, which looks straight up like something from one of the $15 Maistos I just bought and the 1987-Bburago-style instrument sticker behind the steering wheel are being praised, together with the pedals from Welly’s parts bin and the Minichamps looking woodgrain decals, which are the wrong pattern AND misplaced over some Jada-looking moldlines. Meanwhile, AA gets trashed over their center console, borrowed from the BC. “We” says:
        “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…” This is simply NOT TRUE. The entire part of the chassis in front and aft of the doors is missing carbon. The really nice cover for the wiper, which by the way is inaccurate in shape, does not have the carbon go over it’s edges, but only covers the flat surface in the center. Anyone on here, i know there are at least a couple of guys, with decent experience with carbon fiber decals in scale, can immediately figure out why there is no carbon in these areas. It is even worst on the LCD model. Speaking of LCD, when their Zonda was compared with AA, the underside of the hoods was completely (and conveniently) ignored. Because the way parts are attached under Lcd’s hood is straight up Maisto with no attempts at carbon replication. But guess who has their underhood in carbon… The little transparent emblem even gets praises. Nevermind it is supposed to be a silver plaque or that Mattel Elite used to put plaques like that under the hoods of their $65 models. In photoetch non the less. And my favorite:
        “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…” Uuuughhh…..well…..I remember Mattel Elite, Exoto, GMP/ACME, CMC, Kyosho, AA, BBR and pretty much any manufacturer worth their salt use all of the above. And now some will jump and say – you can’t compare this to CMC and Exoto and BBR! Why not? It is demanding the price of CMC. And since “we” is absolutely trying to justify the price with labor time and parts count, I wonder what is the parts count comparison between a CMC model and AR. What is the labor cost between the plastic molded one piece wheels and fantasy tires on the AR model (and LCD) and the hand laced aluminum wire wheels with real rubber tires on the CMC?
        And on the subject of BBR. Well, there couldn’t be better company to compare this model to. BBR, the same company, has both resin and diecast products of the same exact cars. By the way they both have “360 access”, since I can access them from all sides just the same, whether they have active components or not. At least “we” finally gave up on the “skins”. But back on the subject. So the same company has resin models and diecast models of the same cars and they price their resin models, which they manufacture themselves, higher than their diecast models, which they pay someone else to make for them. Maybe, just maybe it has something to do with the cost of production or perhaps the demographic of the target market. I mean, I don’t know, I’m just making a suggestion.
        But riddle me this! How come BBR sold me their diecast FXXK, with far more “additional wires and tubing” and with far more intricate and better applied carbon on a leather base with a nice clear cover for $315 shipped, after they paid AR to make it for them (and make profit) and then they made profit, but now AR wants $100 more without (the BBR) middle man?
        Allegations? Naaahhhh….. Just my humble opinion backed by facts, ctures and receipts.

        • j says:

          Dude you do realize this is a hobby right? I hate to see how serious you are about things that are actually important in the real world. GEEZ! So the model is overpriced and lacking in a few areas. Big deal. Don’t buy it then. Why do you have such an axe to grind with this website and the model. Most enthusiasts of this hobby really like the Zonda and have been waiting for a good opening diecast model of that car for over a decade. AR has done what no one else would. Autoart had plenty of tim,e to do so and did not. I will gladly buy one of these and enjoy it as much as my Autoart F1 and BBR Enzo, or my Maisto and Bbuargos. Hopefully you will not attack me for saying that. But if you do I can assure you I do not care and most likely neither will any one else here. DO the world a favor and go crawl back under the bridge you came from TROLL!

          • MRM says:

            Dude, you do realize this is a forum, right?
            I pondered for quite some time if I should answer you or just go on with the rest of my life. But then I read your comment over and over and I found it to be so rich, that when we add some issues that truly bother you apparently, I decided to bite, against my wife’s and my older son’s advise. To be honest I am doing it fully aware that it is against my own better judgement.
            You wondered how serious would I be about things important in the real world. Well, my hobbies are pretty important for me in the real world I live in. It is important to me, that because someone gave a very biased review in return for some swag, or because someone bought the same overpriced resin model in six different colors and then plastered it all over the internet, the next series of models that I like is going to be $100 up in price. And before you get your panties in a twist, this is not an attack on this forum or anyone in it. This is unfortunately the reallity all around us in the hobby.
            No. I am not going to stoop to your level and call you names or attack you. I actually prepared for this. Got myself a really nice pour of Blanton’s. I don’t know if you drink, but that’s one bourbon you have to try. A little bowl of honey roasted nuts and some dark chocolate covered açai. I also got some definitions for you, which you seem to be struggling with. According to the internet, the definition of FORUM is “a place, meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged”. And according to the old school Cambridge english dictionary a forum is “a place on the internet where people can leave messages or discuss particular subjects with other people at the same time”.
            See, I don’t have an axe to grind with this website or it’s members. Quite the contrary. But I do have a problem with people talking on behalf of others, let alone the world ;) And I do have a problem with clearly biased presentations, with not so great consequences for the hobby. And so should you, as a matter of fact, because it will ultimately affect you. And all the rest of us collectors. But you know what one of my biggest pet peeves is? Hypocrisy! When someone is trolling me by calling me a troll. In this particular case, I actually find it amusing and funny. And ironic. Altho I knew what it means, I still looked up the definition of a troll. So, besides the Nordic legends, the awful 1986 movie and the singing, here is what I believe you were going for:”Trolls are people who leave intentionally provocative or offensive messages on the internet in order to get attention, cause trouble or upset someone.”And my comment was just a reply to what could be the epitome of trolling. It was not directed towards me, but it was never the less nasty. Especially when the bandwagon fans join in. “Well, why do you respond, when it was nor directed towards you?”- you may ask. But then, why did YOU respond to something not directed towards you?
            You talk about bridges. I’ve crossed a few. Been under few and I even burned some. The bridge I crawled from is a funny place. It is littered with the corpses of companies and forums, manufacturers, distributors and groups. I’ve been a member of this FORUM since it’s inception. I remember when AutoArt started as a company making business card holders and belt-buckles. They actually made toilet paper holders and coat hangers. At one point even real car wheels. I remember when Bburago was the only option, with Polistil ruling 1:24. I remember when Maisto introduced their very first model. I remember helping GMP develop their 330 P cars…. I don’t know what is under your bridge, but under mine are quite few forums that died because people could not accept a point of view other than their own. Because they were biased and because a group of people sucking up to the “WE” pushed people away. This is actually how this forum was born.And I would truly hate to see it go the same way. And you are not helping. DUDE.
            Learn to call a spade a spade. It’s simple. And last, but not least, I don’t know or give a flying rat’s a$$ who you are, who you think you are, who you wanna be or who your daddy is, but you are the last person on earth who can tell me where to go and what to do. Capish?!

          • Karsten says:

            Dear J, do yourself a favour and DOŃT reply. Everyone who has had a discussion with him here knows, he is unable to let matters rest, does not care how he portrays himself. He does not even pay any heed towards what his own family or his „own better (!) judgement“ advise him (not) to do, so why should he ever listen to what we here say. Don ´t waste your breath, J, it´s no use arguing with him, not worth it.

            Let´s thank DS instead for the effort of giving us an honest review and excellent photographs to back up their words and make us able to judge ourselves. If anyone then finds reason to disagree, DS will welcome any valid input on what they may have overlooked. This website wouldn ´t have the credit it has with the community, if reviews were really biased and bending the truth. Many collectors trust DS and make buying decisions on what a community of contributors have to say and show, often confirming what we had to say based on their own hands on experience with their model. That tells volumes, no matter what the number of words in a comment.

            ( I know for sure, there will be a response to this, J, but tell you what … I will not read it. It´s predictable, will be abusive and add nothing … except for perhaps another good piece of advice on drinks (Blanton ´s Gold really is a bourbon that can hold a candle to my usual 12-18-year-old Scotch Whisky´s, e.g. Aberlour, Highland Park, The Balvenie, Glenmorangie). )

    • Karsten says:

      “There is a tendency on this site and in it’s reviews, for the subject of price to be presented in rather MANIPULATIVE way. Depending on sometimes OBVIOUS BIAS towards or against a given manufacturer, the price is not discussed in fair manner.”

      Outragous allegation!

  18. Pi Liu says:

    AR didn’t let Chinese websites evaluate this time, avoiding a lot of criticism, because AR’s reputation in Asia is very poor.I hope they can succeed in this product and change the current unfavorable situation.

    • Karsten says:

      There we go: I have been waiting for the ususal “AR´s reputation in Asia is very poor” comment. And here it very reliably is. LOL We get this line every single time! Like a mantra!

    • DS Team says:

      There could also be an alternative too. Seems the Chinese are overall sensitive to AR products… You have or are trying to condition the negative… We wish to align but the product we’ve seen over the years has been well above the average. Excellent, in fact for the most part.

      • Pi Liu says:

        Let me briefly summarize the problems of AR, such as QC problems, design defects, high prices, and don’t listen to the suggestions of players. At present, LCD does well in these aspects. The cost of many ar products is lower than that of LCD products, and the quality is lower than that of LCD, but the price of AR is much higher than that of LCD. For example, for the Pagani and Land Rover series, two LCD Pagani will be listed next year, so ar will be listed this year, otherwise there will be no market.ll

        • Karsten says:

          Again: unproven allegations! How do you know about LCD´s and AR´s costs? Have you got access to their books? With the products WE have seen in the past, AR´s quality is better than LCD´s, not vice versa. LCD´s certainly isn´t bad. I´ve got their Range Rover and Huayra Roadster, but it does not compare to AR´s Bentleys at all!
          Your reality in China seems to be different from ours. And we have been through all of it before. None of the shortcomings of AR has ever shown in any of the models that I have bought, that were shown here on DS or that I have heard of from collectors outside China. It only seems to be you Chinese guys who have an issue. Small wonder, AR won´t submit any model for review to a Chinese website.

          • Pi Liu says:

            As far as I know, many European brands have given up cooperation with AR. if you like AR, you can buy many ar products. I don’t object, but I just express some normal views and freedom of speech.I’m not in any mood to argue with you,We seek common ground while reserving differences!

          • Karsten says:

            As far as you know … you simply keep spreading rumours without any evidence. Of course freedom of speech includes telling complete nonsense, but it also includes telling people off for void allegations.

          • Pi Liu says:

            If you want me to provide evidence? For example, AA has transferred many orders to other factories for production.

          • Pi Liu says:

            AA corrected to minichimps

          • Karsten says:

            That’s not evidence, that’s more rumours. How do you know that this is true. It’s hard to believe that you’ve got all these insights into the business without working there yourself or knowing someone who does. You profess to know and have seen things that only an AR employee can know. And in this case, you are not speaking from a collector’s view, but someone with very different motives to join the discussion here. If you have any solid proof of the growing heap of allegations, forward it. Otherwise, it must be deemed a pack of lies.

  19. Justin says:

    All I can say is WOW! After a very long time waiting for this model, I’ve gotta say I’m impressed. Unfortunately, the price is a bit too much for me to chew at the moment so I am going to sit this one out for the time being.

    Proportionally, this model is excellent. The Peako Zondas have always had odd front proportions that almost made the car seem as though it was made of clay and softly pressed into a wall. It’s refreshing to see a new Zonda model with the front-end looking proper. While on the topic of the front end, the nose point is a bit wide on the bottom. Compared to the real Zonda F, this model is a bit beefy in that regard, but it doesn’t bother me personally as you would only notice it if you had an image of the real car side-by-side.

    The inclusion of details such as the VIN plaque on the side, Mercedes-Benz plaque under the wheel well, and the 3D Modena Design badges on the side are more than welcomed.

    The interior seems a bit off but still incredible, no real complaints there other than that crooked air vent (they’re adjustable in the real Zonda so use your imagination and it wont bother you much). Nothing is perfect but AR’s effort is very very clear.

    I cannot wait to see the Cinque and Tricolore. While I’m sitting this one out for now, the Tricolore and a red Roadster Cinque might just be required to sit along my AA Revolucion! Thank you DD for the great review!

  20. Rayaz says:

    Indeed shocking how many haters seem to come shouting loud when an all opening great diecast is put out by a manufacturer… specially for an exotic model….

    If hobbyist lobby like this, the end result is that we will only be stuck with high end resins….

    One must learn to give credit to the product.. if we can’t afford it, so be it, but if its good lets give it a heart welcome ..

    In my case the price is steep considering the budget limits i have but if i had no such issues this is something i would love to have in my collection… Shame on the delay as i thought this was not coming and put my money on the LCD… if both were available at the same time, i would have opted for the better AR version on detail, and avoided adding some other 1:18 to compensate for the additional cost of this model.

  21. Scenic says:

    I don’t think I ever saw any post on this website receive these many comments. That alone is proof how much interest this model has generated!!!

    • Karsten says:

      Very true, good point. Even the haters wouldn’t put in as much effort as they do, not only here but in each and every post on AR, if the model could be shrugged off. It is very obvious, that it is felt as serious competition by someone who has an interest in discrediting AR. And standing up against making unproven allegations produces this number of posts.

    • DS Team says:

      LOL, there has been more in-depth debates, conversation or whatnot… It still amazes us what lengths keyboard cowboys go to these days. In the end, these are just models, buy it or not. The team is just helping hobbyists make good buying decesions. That is all.

  22. Scott says:

    Beautiful model love the colour combo, details, very nice piece. Great video by the way!

  23. MRM says:

    Just a little update some may find useful or interesting.
    Altho in the review “we” says somewhat apologetically “ Suggested retail on for the Pagani Zonda F, $398 US. Some dealers may sell for less.” I just received an update from Mint models, who just listed the model available on their website for the $499! Legacy diecast is their “twin company”, so expect same pricing.
    Something I forgot to add to my rather lengthy previous comment. The markings on the rear suspension on the pictures are not quality control issue. They are actually a design issue of the model. Those spots are where the inner fenders attached to the rear hood are hitting the rear suspension arms. This means that if you want your model to have a really slick low ride in the rear, you have to compromise the fit of the hood as the rear suspension will push it up. This quite evident from few of the pictures where the rear hood does not line up with the doors where the silver meets the carbon bottom.

  24. Gonçalo Freitas says:

    Many thanks for DS team for this review.

    I would like to say that the model isn’t good enough to justify the money, that it has too many faults… …so I didn’t have to spend my money.

    In reality, this review showed me what a great model it is and that I need to have in my collection. This is why DiecastSociety is my number one reference in diecast collection.

  25. Aaron says:

    Okay, Almost Real, now how about some Jaguars, huh?

  26. Flex says:

    What other colors will the model be? When will they be on sale?

  27. Diego Cordoba says:

    I already ordered the Zonda F, but I´m more excited for the Cinque, does anyone knows when it´s going to be realese?

  28. Edib Zivalj says:

    hey MRM, can you please send me a FB message or something. its been a while. have a question regarding that custom set of Ferrari GTO style wheels you made(with metal chrome lip). i tried texting you a bit ago

  29. Vitaliy D says:

    This detailed video review shows this model is just amazing!!! –
    I’m so impressed!

    • MRM says:

      That’s actually a really nice review, which does not fail to point out some areas this model is lacking in. It does offer some questionable info, bug I would just give these guys the benefit of the doubt, that they just don’t know better 😉 (although I have my doubts).
      But still, unlike in some of their other videos that I checked out, they are also ignoring the elephant in the room. IT IS A $500 model! This is basically more than anything else in the same scale, save for very few exotic brands. I really want one, but I am struggling justifying paying for this model more than what a number of amazing CMC models sell for, or frankly, two Autoarts. It blows my mind that they are asking more than $100 more than the BBR LaFerraris, which are better and they are actually producing for BBR!!!!

  30. Jorge says:

    Thanks DS team for reviewing this preview. Although I’m a newbie, I think this web reviews in a fair and balance manner.

    The interior could a bit more refined, but overall is a must buy, at least for me. Price wise like many I would like to be cheaper (who wouldn’t) but such are the times unfortunately.

    Reading through the comment section and with the exception of the china bots, I personally welcome all opinions regardless if I agree with them or not.

    In the end, it’s hard to please both greeks and trojan, as no model is perfect or there’s no standard for collecting.

    That being said can’t wait to get this Pagani Zonda, it’s a beauty.

  31. Gerry Williams says:

    I always thought this car in real life is god awful butt ugly ass car so I would never buy it as a model to display. The Pagani Huayra was a design improvement, hell, the Zonda R looks better in the rear.

  32. Neo says:

    I received an email from a local car diecast shop with this Zonda finally being available. Now I know that guy loves to sell things upscale and you do end up paying for it. He marks up his things considerably.
    That being said, I started to investigate the intricate detail of this model. The Zonda F is the only Zonda I actually prefer. So it was a no brainer for me.
    Thankfully going online and finding it over $200 cheaper than what the local car shop was asking for made my day. 😎
    I received it 2 weeks ago. The detail is fantastic!! I absolutely love it. This particular review helped a lot during my research. I’m thankful I found this site because it’s exposing me to more models I wasn’t aware of. Thank you!

    • DS Team says:

      I’m glad the team could help! Once the dust starts to settle and additional colours come to market deals will be had. The first rule of fight club errr.. diecast club is patience! You are welcome!

  33. Fred says:

    I noticed almost all of the Zonda F produced by AR have rear wheels pointing toe in (mostly occuring to right rear wheels). Not sure what you guys think but it ruins the stance of the model for me as its unrealistic and odd looking. Hoping later batch releases by AR would fix this issue.

  34. Tom says:

    As a Chinese player and the manager of China’s largest car model forum, I can say something objective: what Almost Real (AR) is criticized most in China is that their products are too few and their updates are too slow. Also, the QC of their products does often go wrong, but not all buyers experience it. Personally, I’ve always supported AR, despite their many shortcomings. I have more than 10 AR models (and of course I have many many many Autoart and Cmc models). I hope AR can improve the shortcomings and launch more new models. As far as this Zonda is concerned, I think it is an excellent model, which is the voice of most Chinese model players.

    • DS Team says:

      We do agree, and because they provide such great detailed replicas, we want more and a lot faster. Hopefully, this will be resolved sooner than later, as AR is a primary manufacturer for many other well-known established brands. As for QC, from our perspective, they have been more than above the average, and we’ve seen a good share of models. The latest Zonda was missing the simple engine cover which was immediately shipped and easily attached. AR is good for this hobby, especially for those that like to secure full 360 access examples with a very high level of detail.

  35. RSQuattro says:

    Wow, what a giant discussion. Nice review as always. The author maybe got a little carried away by the model. The model looks amazing.
    But my two cents is about the engine comment. The AA Zonda R is a class above this in terms of engine presentation. But it’s more due to the real car, which is a track only model and has a much more agressive engine showing. But nonetheless, the AA engine is looks more impressive.

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