There are many big and scary numbers attributed to the Pagani Zonda Aether, a one-off hypercar punching out 749bhp at 8,000rpm from a 7.3-litre AMG V12. Perhaps most startling is how much it sold at an auction last weekend.
Six point eight million dollars. US$6,812,000 (RM28,427,840) to be precise, making it the most expensive Zonda ever sold. RM Sotheby’s, hosts of the Abu Dhabi sale, declared the Aether’s attributes as “ultra-desirable”, which is a little like saying “the Sun… quite warm”.
Specifically, the six-speed manual gearbox was the ‘ultra-desirable’ bit, because, according to RM Sotheby’s and most sentient humans, “the evolution of the supercar into the hybrid era has left enthusiasts hearkening back to the analogue driving experience”.
The Zonda Aether is very much a throwback: AMG naturally-aspirated V12 with many litres, six-speed manual, really bloody loud exhaust (a ceramic coated item). Heck, there’s even ‘Aether’ engraved onto the air boxes, so the experience of flattening the throttle will be quite sprightly. Not least because there’s a roof scoop… and no roof.
Elsewhere it’s all hand-crafted, bespoke magnificence: lots of carbon fibre, splitters, dive planes, diffusers, leather, diamond stitching and the like. The thing’s only covered 1,400km too.
The Abu Dhabi sale also hosted something else quite superlative, in the shape of Michael Schumacher’s F2002 F1 car, which eventually sold for a whopping $6.6m. A portion of this sum will benefit the Keep Fighting Foundation.
The car? It’s awesome. Fully updated from the title-winning F2001 the year before – which Schuey took the title with – it featured a new lightweight chassis, a titanium gearbox, better aero, cooling and weight distribution, and the not-so-small matter of a 3.0-litre V10.
Schuey won in the F2002 at the San Marino, Austrian and French GPs that year, on his way to his fifth world title. It was retired at the end of the year and sold on to a Japanese collector, and sold again to another collector in 2012 where it has lived ever since.
Now that it’s sold, Ferrari will completely rebuild the engine and ‘box of the F2002 for its lucky new owner, where it will continue to shine a very bright light on an astonishing period of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari’s history.