Pagani Zonda Aether With 760-HP V12, Manual Transmission Expected to Fetch up to $5.5M at Auction
This true Italian gem is based on the Zonda Cinque, of which only five were built.
A one-off Pagani Zonda equipped with a manual transmission is scheduled to hit the auction block this November, where it's expected to sell for up to $2 million more than Pagani's fastest current model, the Huayra BC. (One of which was just involved in a heavy crash with a Porsche GT2 RS.)
Those without an encyclopedic knowledge of Pagani's extensive, confusing series of Zondas may need a briefing on what's different about this particular supercar, which was based loosely on the one-of-five Zonda Cinque Roadster.
Commissioned by Ronnie Kessel—also the owner of the one-off Ferrari SP38 according to CarThrottle—the Aether differentiates itself from the Cinque with altered front and rear aero, a tweaked taillight setup, door straps in lieu of handles, and a headset for the driver. In all, not much, but these aren't what makes the Aether special among Zondas.
No, what makes the Aether special is that it features a collector-spec six-speed manual transmission, which makes it something of a unicorn among modern hypercars. Likewise, a three-pedal setup pairs nicely with the Zonda's naturally aspirated 7.3-liter AMG V12, which in the Aether makes a healthy 760 horsepower—a good 235 more than the engine originally made in the Mercedes-Benz SL73 AMG. This gives the featherweight, mostly-carbon Zonda Aether (which weighs well under 3,000 pounds) a power-to-weight ratio up there with the best of them, not to mention handling that'd make your parents disapprove of your driving.
When the Zonda Aether hits the auction block this November during the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, its consignor RM Sotheby's expects to see the car sell for between $4.5 and $5.5 million. As tall as that figure is, the Zonda Aether may not be the most expensive car sold there; Michael Schumacher's championship-winning Scuderia Ferrari F2002 Formula 1 car is also scheduled to appear at this auction, where it may sell for considerably more, even though you'll never be able to drive it on the street—the Zonda Aether's rightful domain.