The Pagani Utopia hypercar is an 864bhp object of dreams

The brand had to forge new materials and components to meet its utopian capabilities

Utopia – a name given to the idealised places of which we dream. Many might argue it’s a weird name to be given to a car, let alone a £2.2 million Pagani hypercar. But when you observe the clean bodywork that relies on its design rather than active aerodynamics to achieve the desired downforce with an 864bhp 6.0-litre biturbo V12 nestled in between, the name starts to make sense.

“No heavy batteries, no hybrid power, just a wonderful V12”. That is what the Pagani Utopia’s brief reads. In today’s climate-friendly and battery-dependent times, a multi-million dollar car with no form of electrification that still manages to pass the stringent emissions laws of California with a V12 engine certainly feels like living in Utopian times for enthusiasts. The brief further read, “no dual-clutch system, just a pure seven-speed manual or automated transmission”, which translates to divine for an enthusiast but asking for a manual gearbox unit to handle 1100Nm torques? Doesn’t it sound Utopian too? Read on for further clarification.

If the Zonda, Pagani’s first creation, was created to establish a legend, the second creation, called the Huayra, built upon it by embedding Carbo-Titanium and modern-day automotive witchcraft like active aerodynamics. But while developing the Utopia, codenamed the C10, the approach was dialed back to master three attributes – ‘simplicity, lightness and the pleasure of driving’. In times when complex circuits are taking over mechanicals, battery-powered hatchbacks superseding SUVs on the weighing scale and the pleasure of driving being hardly mentioned on modern-day car brochures, the demands seem utopian, but on paper, Pagani’s latest creation may have managed to realise it all.

Starting with the bodywork, Pagani sketches a clean design with minimal aerodynamic add-ons and yet manages to incorporate a beautiful spoiler within its rear profile. None of the vents seems to force function over form as they blend seamlessly into the bodywork. The simplistic approach gets carried over to the cabin with no screens apart from the small digital speedometer, as it takes “away much of the beauty”. Hence, all dials are kept purely analogue while subtly revealing part of their mechanism. The beautifully exposed gear mechanism personifies this technique. 

Playing on its materialistic strengths gained while working on new composite materials such as Carbo-Titanium and Carbo-Triax in previous designs, Pagani went on to create a whole new type of composite for its latest creation. Called the ​​A-class carbon fiber, the new material provides 38 per cent additional stiffness while retaining the same density for specific application on the Utopia’s bodywork. It further utilises a double-wishbone suspension setup made from aerospace aluminium alloy. And instead of equipping an efficient double-clutch transmission, Pagani had a new gearbox with helical gears developed from Xtrac, as they were more compact and lighter. 

The pleasure of driving is where Pagani stayed true to its roots. With a clientele spoiled with the purity of V12 engines, Pagani could choose no other mill to mimic such a pleasure. Hence, Mercedes-AMG specially built a 6-litre biturbo unit that delivers 864bhp and 1100Nm torques. The firm claims it to be a high-revving unit, so the owners have a clear indication of how to make use of it.

Pagani had to fabricate certain utopian materials and aerodynamic concepts to make the Utopia a real thing. Limited to 99 units worldwide, all called for, the Pagani Utopia appears to be a simplistic, lightweight tool of driving pleasure for these 99 individuals while the rest of the world will have to make do by considering it a utopian object. 

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