Paganis have always felt a little crazy. From the original Zonda, with its mid-mounted 6.0-liter AMG V-12, fighter plane cockpit, and entirely bespoke interior, to the 750-odd horsepower, $1,000,000-before-options Huayra follow-up, there’s more than a little Patrick Swayze in “Roadhouse” to Pagani’s offerings.
Its latest gem turns that up to 11, bespoke everything and exclusivity be damned. The company just announced the 2023 Pagani Utopia, and it distills the ludicrousness of its predecessors to the essence of Italian supercars. To wit, the Utopia’s AMG V12 has been twin-turbocharged to make 864 horsepower. And, if you have the constitution, Pagani will bolt that engine to a dogleg seven-speed manual transmission. Excuse us for a minute.
The Utopia’s styling is distinctly Pagani and every bit as two-fisted as either of its predecessors. And the details, in true Pagani form, are exquisite. Outside, panels are lashed closed with leather straps and buckles in the style of a 1930s LeMans contender. The quad taillights are familiar, as are the gunslit headlights, but the edges have been taken off, contoured, refined. Even at first glance, it looks like a very grown-up Zonda. On closer inspection, it’s an incredible piece of industrial art.
The staggered 21” front and 22” rear wheels are forged aluminum, rimmed with carbon vents for the six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo brakes, and are the car’s best feature. Inside, everything is bespoke. You will find no parts-bin switchgear here. The forged aluminum shift gate is an old Ferrari-level special unit. The cockpit is somehow opulent and business-like, with little clutter and everything pointed right at the driver.
Cars like the Utopia are why people get into cars in the first place. An unbelievably powerful, beautiful, expensive expression of the joy of the pursuit of driving quickly. It’s out of reach for almost everyone but carries the old-school weight of an important supercar. It’s one of very few truly remarkable cars that will come out in this era, a full-throated swansong for the old modes of car enthusiasm.