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Poring Over The Details On The Pagani Utopia Is Almost As Much Fun As Driving It, Reviews Say

Twin-turbo V12 hypercar has a manual transmission with a gorgeous exposed shift mechanism and hundreds of other exquisite details


by Chris Chilton

May 5, 2024 at 17:39

 Poring Over The Details On The Pagani Utopia Is Almost As Much Fun As Driving It, Reviews Say

  • Huayra successor is powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 and weighs just 2,820 lbs.
  • Interior features fully exposed manual-shifter mechanism and a steering wheel milled from an 88 lb hunk of aluminum.
  • Car and Top Gear’s video reviewers are amazed by details like the mirrors and part-carbon wheels.

You can no longer buy a Golf GTI with a manual transmission, BMW’s M Division admits it’ll be phasing the option out soon and you haven’t been able to order a Ferrari or Lamborghini with a three pedals in the footwell for years. But Pagani will sell you a V12 hypercar with a manual shifter, and seeing that shifter move is almost as amazing as rowing the lever.

The gorgeous shift mechanism in only Pagani’s third model in 25 years in the car biz is just one of the many exquisite details packed into the $2.3 million Utopia (pronounced oo-toh-pee-ah in Italian). In two recent videos from Top Gear and Car Magazine, both reviewers are mesmerized by the attention to detail and the creativity that’s gone into to every switch, button, lever and piece of trim.

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You wouldn’t call the Utopia classically handsome; it looks muscular, but a little puffy, like a pro bodybuilder in the off-season. But it’s much more interesting than so many low-volume supercars and hypercars, and much of that is down to the detailing, with features like the part-carbon wheels and the gorgeous door mirrors that look like they’ve been lifted from a mid ’70s endurance racer.

Or the twin panes of glass in the bubble canopy whose dramatically curved windshield and swept-back A-pillars TG’s Ollie Marriage say give the driver great visibility of the road – not something you can say of any Lamborghini of the modern era.

Fortunately for us, the two reviews also devote plenty of screen time to telling us what the Utopia is like to drive, and how Pagani’s first turbocharged engine sounds and feels. It’s a Mercedes-AMG unit, as were the naturally-aspirated mills in the Zonda and Huyara, but with the help of its two turbos delivers 852 hp (864 PS) and 811 lb-ft (1,100 Nm), which is plenty for a car that weighs an astonishing 2,822 lbs (1,280 kg) – around the same as a Toyota GR86.

Both testers are impressed by the flexibility of the V12, it’s soundtrack – so often disappointing on turbocharged supercars – and say that fact that it doesn’t spin anywhere near as high as a Ferrari V12 (6,700 rpm, versus a crazy 9,500 rpm for the new 12Cilindri) never prevents it being anything less than thrilling.

There are faster cars out there, of course, but what these two videos remind us is that there’s more to a great supercar or hypercar than simply going fast. And when most of them seem to spend their time being driven slowly, and not even getting close to their sky-high dynamic limits, that must make the Utopia one of the best of all.

Title images courtesy of Car Magazine

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