Let's put it this way: the C11 was so cool that Mercedes-Benz couldn't resist putting its name on it for the 1990 season, despite the also Mercedes-powered C9 running solely under the Sauber logo a year before. Wondering why they skipped the C10? C(é)-Zehn wouldn't have worked in German as well as C(é)-Elf.
Compared to the C9, the C11 was made almost entirely of carbon fiber, featuring a new transaxle five-speed gearbox and a twin-turbo V8 producing around 720 horsepower on a conservative tune. It was rigid, very well balanced and so light that they needed ballast to bring it above the required 1,984 lbs minimum weight.
In total, Sauber built four cars and a spare chassis, with drivers including Jochen Mass, Michael Schumacher, Mauro Baldi and Jean-Louis Schlesser bringing the C11 to victory. After finishing the 1990 championship on the top of the podium, Mercedes continued to run the C11 in 1991, mostly because their new 3.5 flat-twelve didn't work well at first in the successor C291.
The naturally-aspirated AMG V12-powered Pagani Zonda debuted eight years later, and in 2006, Horacio Pagani told this to my friend during an interview:
My Zonda was inspired by race cars, not road cars. Mainly from the late eighties. From back when race cars were still quite elegant and romantic, and not designed through aerodynamics like they are now. There have been other sources of inspiration outside of cars, like Patek Philippe watches, Riva speedboats and fighter jets. All these components have combined to make the Zonda as it stands today.
Later, it became quite clear that we was mostly talking about the Sauber-Mercedes C11, perhaps the cleanest-looking endurance race car of all time. But judge it for yourself! Here's the ex-Schumacher machine doing its thing at Spa, like the past 27 years were nothing:
Horacio Pagani also happens to use a twin-turbo drivetrain nowadays, although with four extra cylinders and an automatic gearbox.