Pagani Utopia takes things back to basics: V12, manual

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Pagani's latest supercar and successor to the Huayra is here, and its name is Utopia. And everything about it is about getting back to basics and focusing on the driving experience. But don't take our word for it, that's what Pagani said its clients wanted: "simplicity, lightness and the pleasure of driving." So it's delivering a light car with a big V12 and a manual transmission.

In the middle of the Utopia is a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 from Mercedes-AMG, and it makes 852 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. Power goes into an Xtrac-designed seven-speed manual transmission (or automated manual as an option) to a limited-slip differential and the rear wheels. Pagani also seemed to take a dig at Koenigsegg and its manually-shiftable automatic in the CC850: "Moreover, in order to best match the wishes expressed by Pagani enthusiasts, its aficionados, a virtual manual would not be acceptable so a real seven-speed manual transmission has been developed."

The chassis is a blend of carbon-titanium fiber for the body and passenger compartment with chromoly tube subframes front and rear. Suspension is double-wishbone at all four corners with forged aluminum components. The wheels are also forged aluminum and feature carbon fiber turbine covers that extract hot air. Six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers stop the supercar.

Design-wise, the Utopia looks like a blend of the Huayra and Zonda. It's very curvy like the Huayra, but the low center section and raised front fenders are reminiscent of that original Zonda. It does of course have many unique cues, particularly the side mirrors that hang off their mounts and the floating taillights. Inside, Pagani has focused on a more traditional look with just a single small screen in the instrument cluster, and analog dials for nearly every other instrument. The manual shifter is fully exposed and sits prominently between the seats. It also features a steering wheel and pedals that have all been milled as single pieces from aluminum.

Pagani will build just 99 Utopias in the initial run, and they've all been sold. No price was given, but it was surely astonishingly high.

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