Pagani’s Utopia is a V12-engined supercar that refuses to go electric

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Pagani, arguably the sexiest supercar brand in the world, has this week taken the covers off its third model, the Utopia.

Unveiled on Monday evening by the flamboyant Italian marque, the follow-up to the jaw-dropping Zonda and Huayra is an equally-stunning piece of four-wheeled art that will be produced in limited numbers – just 99, in fact.

Traditionalists will salute the brand’s decision to opt for a monstrous V12 twin-turbocharged petrol engine and manual gearbox rather than heading down the same electric route taken by rivals, with eccentric boss Horacio Pagani recently stating that current battery technology is too heavy and lacking in emotion to be fitted to a car that wears the company’s famed badge.

Prices are said to start from around £2.2million, though all 99 cars have already been promised to customers who likely already have a Zonda or Huayra in their collections – possibly both. 

World’s sexiest supercar maker’s trilogy model: This is the new Pagani Utopia, which costs in excess of £2million and the production allocation has already sold out

Pagani says it has been developing electric drivetrains for the last four years, but it appears to be some way off bringing its first zero-emission model to market.

Instead, the new Utopia ‘goes against the main trends of the time’ with ‘no heavy batteries’ and ‘no hybrid power’, the maker says in its official announcement.

Horacio has argued in recent weeks that the climate impact of low-production-volume supercars is almost irrelevant, no matter how big the engine. And the Utopia’s powerplant is certainly substantial.

It’s a Mercedes-AMG developed twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 petrol – a far cry from the hybrid powertrains being conceived by many of its supercar rivals, including Ferrari, which is based just 20 kilometres down the road from Pagani’s HQ.

The thunderous motor produces 864bhp, which is 58bhp more powerful than the most potent Huayra that came before it.

The Utopia 'goes against the main trends of the time' with 'no heavy batteries' and 'no hybrid power'. Instead, it uses a twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 engine developed by Mercedes-AMG. Pagani says electric-car tech is currently not suitable for its models

The Utopia ‘goes against the main trends of the time’ with ‘no heavy batteries’ and ‘no hybrid power’. Instead, it uses a twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 engine developed by Mercedes-AMG. Pagani says electric-car tech is currently not suitable for its models

Unveiled on Monday evening by the flamboyant Italian marque, the follow-up to the jaw-dropping Zonda and Huayra is an equally-stunning piece of four-wheeled art
It is being produced in limited numbers. Just 99, in fact

Unveiled on Monday evening by the flamboyant Italian marque, the follow-up to the jaw-dropping Zonda and Huayra is an equally-stunning piece of four-wheeled art that will be produced in limited numbers – just 99, in fact

Horacio Pagani, the brand's boss, argued in recent weeks that the climate impact of low-production-volume supercars is almost irrelevant, no matter how big the combustion engine

Horacio Pagani, the brand’s boss, argued in recent weeks that the climate impact of low-production-volume supercars is almost irrelevant, no matter how big the combustion engine

It’s also lighter than its predecessor, tipping the scales at a Ford Fiesta-like weight of 1,280kg – some 67kg less than Huayra. This is mostly thanks to an evolution of the brand’s monocoque chassis, which has been upgraded with new composite materials, including ‘Carbo-Titanium’ and ‘Carbo-Triax’, while a new ‘A-class’ carbon fibre is used for the bodywork.

While the combination of these vital elements should, in theory, help to better the Huayra’s 0-to-62mph time of 3.5 seconds and 220mph-plus top speed, Pagani has remained tight lipped about its outright performance figures for now.

What we do know is that Pagani has reverted back to a manual gearbox for the 99 cars it has promised to make as part of the brand’s underlying bid to deliver ultimate driving pleasure to its well-heeled customers – which happens to be one of three new pillars the Utopia, which the brand refers to as an ‘Act III’, aims to achieve.

Building on top of its portfolio for creating ‘exceptionally fast and beautiful cars’, the company says its clients have also asked for the third-generation model to add simplicity and lightness on top of pure enjoyment.

With fun being a major factor for customers, Pagani has taken the bold decision to revert to a seven-ratio manual 'box co-developed with British specialist, Xtrac

With fun being a major factor for customers, Pagani has taken the bold decision to revert to a seven-ratio manual ‘box co-developed with British specialist, Xtrac

While its electrified rivals are forced to adopt automatics, the flamboyant Italian supercar brand has taken a step back to the iconic supercars of yesteryear with this glorious gated manual shift design

While its electrified rivals are forced to adopt automatics, the flamboyant Italian supercar brand has taken a step back to the iconic supercars of yesteryear with this glorious gated manual shift design

Horacio Pagani claims the Utopia has been under development for six years, including 'more than four thousand stylistic drawings, ten scale models, one wind tunnel model, two 1:1 scale models and eight complete prototypes'

Horacio Pagani claims the Utopia has been under development for six years, including ‘more than four thousand stylistic drawings, ten scale models, one wind tunnel model, two 1:1 scale models and eight complete prototypes’

With fun being a major factor for customers, it has taken the bold decision to delete the seven-speed sequential automatic transmission used in its second model and in its place is a seven-ratio manual ‘box co-developed with British specialist, Xtrac.

While its electrified rivals are forced to adopt automatics, Pagani has taken a step back to the iconic supercars of yesteryear with a gated manual shift design, as was the case when the brand first hit headlines with its Zonda, built from 1999.

Pagani Utopia: What we know so far 

On sale: Sold out

Price: Over £2million

Production: 99 examples

Engine: Mercedes-AMG 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 petrol

Power: 864bhp @6,000RPM

Transmission: Xtrac 7-speed manual or automated manual

Acceleration 0-62mph: TBC

Top speed: TBC 

Dry weight: 1,280kg

Chassis: Monocoque Carbo-Titanium and Carbo-Triax construction

Suspension: Forged aluminuim alloy independent double wishbone with helical springs and electronically controlled shock absorbers

Brakes: Brembo 4-ventilated carbon-ceramic discs brake unit, 410×38 mm with 6 pistons monolithic callipers at the front and 390×34 mm with 4 pistons monolithic callipers at the rear

Wheels: APP forged monolithic aluminuim alloy, 21” at the front and 22” at the rear

Tyres: Pirelli PZero Corsa 265/35 R21 at the front and 325/30 R22 at the rear (also sold with Pirelli SottoZero for driving in low temperatures)

‘All this [is] to ensure that the car would respond better than ever to its driver’s every action and work with them to be the purest form of driving, a ‘classic’ experience defined in new ways,’ it says.

‘However intelligent automatic transmissions may have become, nothing can replace the driver’s own mastery of the gearchanges: the prevailing logic is his alone, each change up or down is totally unique and depends solely on his decision and good judgment, the exact combination of circumstances, the nature of the road and the mood of the moment,’ the company goes on.

There is also the choice of an ‘automated manual’ – likely with paddle shifts – for those clients who would prefer not to have the conventional stick shift. 

Horacio Pagani claims the Utopia has been under development for six years, including ‘more than four thousand stylistic drawings, ten scale models, one wind tunnel model, two 1:1 scale models and countless ideas, research and experiments on eight complete prototypes’.

While the company describes the design as ‘so different from anything Pagani has offered us before,’ it is pretty easy to guess which supercar firm has built it.

Customers were brought into the development phase to shape the new model, which has resulted in 'softer contours' that are said to give it 'a new expression, a new outline' that 'sticks in your memory from the first time you see it'

Customers were brought into the development phase to shape the new model, which has resulted in ‘softer contours’ that are said to give it ‘a new expression, a new outline’ that ‘sticks in your memory from the first time you see it’

It wouldn't be a supercar without having a pair of butterfly doors
These fitted to the Utopia add plenty of drama

It wouldn’t be a supercar without having a pair of butterfly doors. These fitted to the Utopia add plenty of drama

Design bosses have ditched big wings and gaping air intakes often incorporated by its supercar competitors. Instead, the Utopia has a cleaner look and aerodynamic performance and downforce is generated by the car's natural shape

Design bosses have ditched big wings and gaping air intakes often incorporated by its supercar competitors. Instead, the Utopia has a cleaner look and aerodynamic performance and downforce is generated by the car’s natural shape

Customers were brought into the development phase to shape the new model, which has resulted in ‘softer contours’ that are said to give it ‘a new expression, a new outline’ that ‘sticks in your memory from the first time you see it’.

It says it has ditched big wings and gaping air intakes, instead tuning its aerodynamic performance and generating greater downforce from the car’s natural shape. 

There are a few design features that are said to hark back to the 1950s, with the headlights penned to replicate that of a Vespa scooter, and other elements inspired by speedboats of the generation.

The forged wheels which have a turbine-shaped carbon-fibre extractor that draws hot air away from the brakes to stop them overheating and to reduces turbulence under the body

The forged wheels which have a turbine-shaped carbon-fibre extractor that draws hot air away from the brakes to stop them overheating and to reduces turbulence under the body

Some of the design features that have been retained. This includes the titanium quad exhaust outlets that typify all Pagani models

Some of the design features that have been retained. This includes the titanium quad exhaust outlets that typify all Pagani models

While the first batch of 99 coupes is already sold out, a convertible and track version is expected to follow later in the Utopia's life

While the first batch of 99 coupes is already sold out, a convertible and track version is expected to follow later in the Utopia’s life

Other elements are for function over form, such as the forged wheels which have a turbine-shaped carbon-fibre extractor that draws hot air away from the brakes to stop them overheating and to reduces turbulence under the body. 

Features that have been retained include the titanium quad exhaust outlets that typify all Pagani models. And it wouldn’t be a supercar without having a pair of butterfly doors.

Inside, the customers’ calls for more simplicity have been headed with the restricted use of large digital screens, with just one in the driver’s instrument cluster. The rest of the clocks are purely analogue to make them easy-to-read on the move. Some even subtly reveal parts of their mechanisms ‘as if it were revealing the skeleton movement’.

The steering wheel is completely new and milled from a solid piece of aluminium, while the pedal box is also made from one metal block piece. The gated gear shifter and other switches and dials are also crafted from lightweight metals.

Inside, the customers' call for more simplicity have been headed with the restricted use of large digital screens, with just one in the driver's instrument cluster. The rest of the clocks are analogue

Inside, the customers’ call for more simplicity have been headed with the restricted use of large digital screens, with just one in the driver’s instrument cluster. The rest of the clocks are analogue

The steering wheel is completely new and milled from a solid piece of aluminium, while the pedal box is also made from one metal block piece

The steering wheel is completely new and milled from a solid piece of aluminium, while the pedal box is also made from one metal block piece

The thunderous mid-mounted motor produces 864bhp, which is 58bhp more powerful than the most potent Huayra that came before it

The thunderous mid-mounted motor produces 864bhp, which is 58bhp more powerful than the most potent Huayra that came before it

Purist are likely to fall in love the with Utopia, given it could be one of the last combustion-engine supercars made before the market-wide shift to EVs

Purist are likely to fall in love the with Utopia, given it could be one of the last combustion-engine supercars made before the market-wide shift to EVs

‘We put our passion, effort and sacrifice into creating something timeless and cutting-edge in terms of technology,’ Horacio Pagani said.

‘After being completely absorbed by this strenuous creative process, the ideals represented by the project became so intimate to me, that any attempt to describe it would have seemed inadequate.’

A convertible and track version is expected to follow later in the Utopia’s life.

CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST

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