Words courtesy of Mac47
“The last Zonda” is a title which the automotive industry hauls out every few years, as the iterations of Horacio Pagani’s first supercar continue to emerge, usually at the Geneva show. The Zonda Cinque was intended to be the last model, in 2009, but since then we have seen the Cinque Roadster, the Tricolore, the Absolute, and three one-off Zonda 760 models. These are all road cars that take engines and other parts (air snorkels, canards, etc) that were pioneered on the track-only Zonda R. It seems as if any time an owner crashes or destroys a Zonda C12 or F, the wreckage is carted to Modena and emerges from the Pagani factory as a new car with upgraded specs. Meanwhile, Pagani has continued to develop and improve the Zonda R itself, since it was always conceived as a test bed for new technologies. Thus it is that even now that the Huayra has replaced it as Pagani’s entry into the road going supercar market, the R has continued alongside the Huayra. First, the Zonda R Evoluzione upped the R’s power from 740 to 800 and added a vertical fin to the rear of the car in the manner of Le Mans prototypes.
The Zonda Revolución adds three main improvements over the R Evo: new brakes using F1 style CCMR discs that are 15% lighter than the old CCM ones; a new gearbox with 20 ms shifts; and a new Drag Reduction System for the rear wing that is operable via a button in the cockpit.
At a price of $3 million, the Revolución is a toy for the rich, and aimed at the same market as Ferrari’s FXX and Maserati’s MC12 Corsa. Its performance is no doubt as outrageous as its looks, but with only five made, the drivers of Veyrons and Ageras won’t have to worry about being overtaken by them very often.
EXTERIOR AND CASTING – Score 9.5
I’m going to be lavish with my praise here, because even though the original R was a work of diecast art, the Revolución goes even further. It’s not merely that AUTOart has added two sets of three air deflectors to the front of the car, a vertical fin to the engine cover, and a smaller spoiler underneath the big one. It’s that they have realized all these new parts with carbon fibre decals that match the color and weave of the body precisely. Yes, they are plastic, not metal, but the difference is not perceptible.
The shape of the model is accurate from every angle. The shutlines are amazingly thin, and the posts and sockets hold everything tightly together. The gills over the wheel arches are fully perforated.
Some rubbery plastic is used to mold the straps which hold down the boot and bonnet; these can be tucked under the closed doors as on the 1:1, but if you do this, it sometimes take a little “training” before the doors stay tightly closed over them.
The front air deflectors look like a hurricane force wind picked them up like playing cards and stabbed them into the corners of the car’s nose. I am not generally a fan of what I call “aerodynamic clutter”; I consider added wings, vents, sills, and canards to have ruined the looks of more than one supercar (Countach LP400 vs Anniversary; Koenigsegg CC8S vs. One:1 or Agera R). But I have to admit that on a car as extreme and track-focused as the Zonda Revolución, the front air deflectors, stacked in sets of three at each corner, convey a truly awesome sense of menace.
The rear wing is another magnificent aspect of this model. Unlike the first batch released of the original R, where the owner had to attach the wing with screws, the Revolución comes with the wing preassembled and attached to the engine cover. It’s coated in carbon fibre, with – get this – another, smaller wing nestled underneath it. It’s a telling commentary on how over-the-top this Zonda is in its pursuit of downforce.
ARTICULATED PARTS – Score 8.5
This isn’t a car with any gee-whiz attention-seeking openings like the doors on Lamborghinis and Koenigseggs, or even the Huayra with its gullwing doors and aero flaps. The Revolución is no more complex than most LeMans racers: it has removable bodywork and normal hinges on its doors, though the angle of the door hinges is tilted backward so that they swing slightly upward rather than in a plane parallel to the ground.
AUTOart has replicated the milled-avional suspension arms with springs, and they are fully articulated front and rear. One slight disappointment: the range of steering for the front wheels is very limited. I’m not sure how accurate that may be; but many supercars have woefully large turning circles, so perhaps the Revolución is among them. I like to pose my models with the steering at full lock, but that simply doesn’t change much with this one.
PAINT, TAMPOS, AND DECORATIONS – Score 8.5/9.5/10
AUTOart picked this colorway because it was the Geneva auto show version of the Revolución, with distinctive two-tone carbon bodywork: blue carbon fibre on top of the deck, with bare black carbon fibre for the central portion and the lower half of the flanks. It is a subtle difference, so much so that some photos of the 1:1 have resorted to Photoshop enhancement to make the blue “pop” a little more.
I cannot praise the blue simulated carbon enough on AUTOart’s 1:18. They have resisted the temptation to falsify the color, and have instead devoted effort to the pattern’s metallic weave and the interplay of blue with hints of titanium or other metal strands. The result is a model that looks demure on an unlit shelf, but becomes a scintillating object under direct light.
More interesting is the neon blue character line separating the top half of the car from the lower half. AUTOart has rendered it well. The colored stripes on the original Zonda R were stickers, but this blue stripe appears to be a neat line of paint.
The rear of the car has yellow panels below the brake lights (a feature that was missing from the original R, though it was demonstrated that there existed a Zonda R in China that had no yellow there).
WHEELS, TIRES, BRAKES – Score 9.5
I hate black wheels, but they are what the 1:1 Revolución has. They are a black version of the same wheels that the Zonda R had in gold color, down to the valve stems. They are shod with Pirelli PZero corsa tires. AUTOart has included the white Pirelli logo and “PZero” branding on the sidewall in the correct positions. The 1:1 has some additional textured lettering on the tires, but I don’t really fault AUTOart for not including it.
The brakes are the usual faultless job from AUTOart. (This is an aspect of model-making at which they excel.) Even the pattern of holes in the discs is accurate.
I personally feel that the black wheels, along with the dark blue color of the bodywork, are a major reason why this model does not grab the eye as much as the original Zonda R. But I can’t fault AUTOart for those things. They just followed the 1:1.
INTERIOR – Score 9.5
I have complained that AUTOart missed an opportunity by making the interior of the Huayra black. The Revolución’s interior is stripped down like a racer: snaking down the middle is the wiring leading to the engine and transmission at the rear of the car. There isn’t a lot of change from the Zonda R: a few more buttons on the steering wheels (including the control for the DRS); some metallic blue touches on the aircon vents and door handles; and the grey-lavender sears. Many nice features are the same: real metal buckles on the real cloth seatbelts, a beautiful rollcage in tubular aluminium; real metal straps holding down the fire extinguisher.
Speaking of that fire extinguisher, it is the one piece of the interior that bears any obvious flaw: a plastic mold-line running right down the middle of it. CMC would never allow it.
ENGINE – Score 9.0
Mold lines are also the one problem besetting the engine bay. There are four cylindrical pumps or reservoirs for engine fluids, and each of them has a mold line. So I have to fault AUTOart for it. (The same thing mars the engine of their Koenigsegg models, the Huayra, and many others.)
The only other objection that can be leveled against this model’s engine is that it represents no real change from the Zonda R: it is the same engine, identical in every part, save for the fact that the gold color of the R’s engine block has been replaced with metallic blue. But since the Zonda R has the best engine that AUTOart has ever made, that’s not really a complaint.
There are braided cables, powder white exhaust lines, stainless steel exhaust tips, metallic gold and blue touches here and there, and surmounting it all, the carbon fibre air intake plenum leading from the air scoop on the roof, adorned with tiny metallic bolts and “Pagani” lettering. It is a feast for the eyes. I expect that many, many owners of AUTOart’s Zonda models will display their pieces with the engine covers off.
65.5 in seven categories = 9.35. This is the same score as the original Zonda R. AUTOart hasn’t really improved this model, but they also haven’t screwed up any of the things they got right on the R. Its claimed 707 separate metal and plastic pieces is a new record for an AUTOart model (compare to 658 for the old R, 672 for the Huayra). But the higher piece count doesn’t actually result in a more impressive model: what the Revolución gains in complexity, it gives away in its subtle color scheme. I’ve tried to factor in the “wow” effect of opening and viewing a model this well made. I recall being blown away by the original Zonda R model. Was the Revolución a let-down because I had already experienced the original R? Perhaps. There’s nothing about the Revolución that is worse than the original R except some of the colors; and those are all true to the 1:1. So I let the scores stay the same.
Do I recommend this model? It depends on what sort of collector you are. If you buy three of everything anyway, you don’t need me to recommend it. If you’re a hardcore hypercar collector, or focusing on Pagani, then you’ll want to get this model along with the old R. But if you are looking for a centerpiece of a collection, one spectacular model to crown a collection of other supercars, then I would recommend one of the other AUTOart Zondas, which have greater shelf presence because of their gold wheels and brighter livery. This one is beautiful, but it is just too dark to fill the role of a centerpiece. And finally, if you’re the sort of collector who loves opening parts and articulated features, then you’ll be better served by the Huayra or a Koenigsegg model.