The Zonda C12 debuted in 1999 at the Geneva Motor Show. Powered by a 6.0 L (366 cu in) Mercedes-Benz V12 engine producing 394 PS (290 kW; 389 hp) at 5200 rpm and 570 N·m (420 lb·ft) at 3800 rpm mated to a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox. The C12 could accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.2 seconds and to 100 mph (160 km/h) in 9.2 seconds.
Just five of the original 6.0 L Pagani’s were built, though it was still available in 2002 when the C12 S debuted. One was used for crash testing, while another was a demonstrator and show car. The remainder were delivered to customers during the next three years. A woman from Switzerland is confirmed to own the last remaining Zonda C12, rejecting the offer from Pagani himself to redeem the car for historical reasons.