Pagani’s Zonda Fantasma Evo is a ghost of Italian supercars past

The rules of the auto industry don’t really apply to makers of exotic Italian supercars. This particular car, the Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo, is a testament to that.

If Toyota or Buick brought out a new version of a car they stopped producing years ago, people would be, at best, confused. But Pagani has no problem revisiting its Zonda, which ceased production in 2014. The car you see here was actually built in 2005, and sent back to the factory for a complete overhaul.

In 2012, this car was involved in a crash. It was returned to Pagani for a rebuild and upgrade, gaining the name “Fantasma” (Italian for “ghost”) in the process. The car then went back to the factory a second time for even more upgrades, hence the “Evo” status.

In place of the original sequential transmission, the Fantasma Evo now sports an honest-to-goodness manual, according to Motor1. Pagani also changed the bodywork, incorporating new carbon fiber pieces. Like every other Zonda, the Fantasma Evo uses a Mercedes-AMG V12 engine, in this case a 7.3-liter unit producing 760 horsepower.

The Zonda has had an incredibly long life. The original Zonda C12 model debuted at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show, and countless variants were launched before Pagani announced the end of production in 2013 with a special model called the Revolucion. The last of the five cars in that limited run was completed in 2014, and Pagani was supposed to shift focus to a new supercar, the Huayra.

But while the Huayra did go into production, Pagani never gave up on the Zonda. It’s continued to crank out one-off Zonda special editions, at least some of which are, like the Fantasma Evo, based on older cars. It’s an odd position for a carmaker to be in: normally, companies want customers to forget about their older models so they will buy new ones.

Pagani isn’t an ordinary automaker, though. It’s a very small company, with a close relationship with affluent customers that can probably afford to buy new Huayras, and continue upgrading their old Zondas indefinitely. We certainly can’t complain about the longevity of these stunning supercars.