- Here’s the first look at a spectacular new hypercar, Pagani’s replacement for the Huayra.
- The new car is equipped with the AMG V-12 twin-turbo engine, which delivers 852 horsepower.
- It will be offered with a manual transmission, which we hope all 99 buyers choose.
Pagani is the modern supercar manufacturer that blurs the line between automobile and art more than any other. This remains true with the new model of the Italian company, the Utopia, which you see here for the first time. This is a car that would look natural sitting on a pedestal like in a garage.
While many of the design themes are familiar from the earlier Huayra, Pagani promises that Utopia’s structure is entirely new. It was built around three objectives set by the founder of the company Horacio Pagani himself: simplicity, lightness and pleasure of driving.
The first of these qualities is why the Utopia isn’t following the rush of other hypercar manufacturers to offer a hybrid powertrain. Instead, this car will continue to be powered as the Huayra was, by an AMG-developed 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12 that produces peaking 852 horsepower and 811 foot-pounds of torque and sends all this fury to the rear wheels.
Structure in “Carbo-Titanium”.
Lightness is ensured by the relative simplicity of the powertrain but also by a central structure that does not use mere carbon fiber; instead, it is made with Carbo-Titanium, which, as it seems, is a mixture of composite and high-strength metal patented by Pagani. The combination of a Carbo-Titanium core structure, lightweight carbon bodywork and chromium alloy subframes means the Utopia is said to have a dry weight of just 2822 lbs.
The third quality of driveability brings a gloriously unlikely feature back into play: this is, as Horacio hinted in previous interviews with Car and driver –a hypercar with the option of a manual gearbox. Of course, he is not alone in offering a change of leverage. Gordon Murray’s GMA T.50 gets one as standard, and the Koenigsegg CC850 has a shift-by-wire manual. Pagani will also offer an automated single-clutch transmission for those who don’t want to save their left leg from exercise, or more likely avoid the need to learn how to drive the stick in the first place. Pagani discarded the idea of following the herd and offering only a dual clutch transmission for reasons of weight and complexity.
We don’t have any performance data stated yet, although the compelling simplicity of its power-to-weight ratio means we can confidently predict that the Utopia will be blazingly fast. Despite this, the Utopia looks set to accelerate impulses as much through its extraordinary design as its ability to create g-forces. Pagani says the shape is the result of thousands of hours of wind tunnel testing. Work surfaces reduce drag and add downforce without the need for anything as vulgar as a pilot’s raised wing thrust into the airflow. As in the Huayra, there are two active elements operating in the channels; they are divided by the brand’s characteristic quadruple exhaust, but are also part of an oval element when viewed from the rear.
Other spectacular details include the continued use of leather straps to secure the front and rear shells in place, with the rear opening revealing the luggage bags and rear structure of the car. The Utopia attaches to the butterfly-opening doors and sits on alloy wheels – 21 inches at the front and 22 at the rear – with turbine-shaped vanes to channel hot air away from the brakes. Look closely and you will see that they are shaped like a plan template of the car itself. The roof incorporates two windows and a small rear window reminiscent of the first Lamborghini “periscope” for rear viewing. Behind and below is a glazed engine cover, which offers both a view of the top of the V-12 but also, through another small window, a view of the four quadrants in the center of the dashboard.
Classy analog interior
The outside is special, but the inside is definitely special. Horacio Pagani has already complained about the trend of large screens dominating most high-end car interiors. Utopia buyers will be spared the need to deal with one of these. There’s a single screen between the mechanical speedometer and the tachometer, but everything else is entirely analog. The cabin is built and finished to a standard that makes other hypercars look shoddy. The steering wheel is milled from a single block of aluminum, as are the individual pedals, and the exposed gearbox for the seven-speed manual transmission is a design masterpiece in its own right. It would be a crime to choose the robo-box and order this car without it.
While Pagani Zonda is named after a wind and Pagani Huayra from a wind god, the title of Utopia has its origins in medieval intellectual thought. “For the philosopher Thomas More in 1516, utopia was a place that did not exist”, intones the official statement, “and since then the name has been given to the idealized places we dream of”. Something that seems entirely justified by finite reality.
Only 99 Utopia coupes will be produced, with these scheduled to be built at the rate of just one week at the Pagani plant in San Cesario sul Panaro in Modena, Italy, with the first deliveries starting mid-next year for cars equipped with manual transmission. The manual will follow later. Pagani has also invested the time and money needed to give the car full federal homologation in the United States, no need for “show and show” mess here. Marketing director Christopher Pagani confirms that the entire run has already been awarded to buyers, despite a price equivalent to $ 2.5 million. By the increasingly surreal standards of limited-run hypercars, that makes it almost a bargain.
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