The reveal of Pagani’s Utopia is, if the company’s marketing patter is on the money, attended by an ‘aesthetic shock’. Even a cursory look at the successor to the Huayra suggests iconoclasm, from the design sensibilities of the majors and from Pagani’s previous models.
The product of six years of work, the Utopia is possessed of a remarkably graceful shape, and a dearth of conspicuous aerodynamic components. Instead, the aero elements are integrated almost seamlessly into the body; the shape itself sculpts the air while the car is in motion. The inventiveness that inflects the model is aptly displayed in the forged wheels’ turbine ‘extractors’ that ferry hot air away from the brakes and improves airflow from under the body, and in the mirrors, a departure from the familiar ‘leaf’ shape Pagani has used before, are airfoils in themselves.
The Utopia starts around $2.17 million and is limited to 99 examples. It is powered by an AMG-sourced V12. The 6L biturbo engine is built exclusively for Pagani, and makes 852 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque. Its efficiency is proven by the fact that the Utopia meets California emissions requirements. The engine can be mated with a Xtrac helical-gear-design seven-speed manual transmission, which should delight purists eager to row gears in a Pagani again (the Zonda offered stickshift, but the Huayra went automatic). A single-clutch automatic transmission is also available.
It may be the cabin of the Utopia that is most engaging. It looks like an idealized painting of a supercar interior; it’s an intensely romantic layout and design, with an abundance of analog forms and no massive touchscreen overwhelming the eye and reducing the rest of the interior design to secondary consideration.
The name of the vehicle raised eyebrows upon introduction, and might have generated a few scoffs if the Utopia didn’t live up to its aspiration so gloriously. Manual cars are a dying breed; manual hypercars with a V12 at the other end of the stick are almost extinct. In delivering such a well-executed example, Horacio Pagani burnishes his personal legacy and that of his brand, and secures both a place in the pantheon of elite automakers.
So, would Tommy More have driven one? Perhaps — if he’d had one waiting in the driveway, he might never have gotten around to writing Utopia. The romanticism built into it might’ve rendered satire unnecessary.