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Pagani’s C-10 Takes Drivers to Utopia

In a world shifting to EV, Pagani’s newest V12 stays the course

If you asked most folks in the automotive space whether or not we would see the launch of a V12 supercar with a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive in 2022, the answers would not be especially optimistic. After all, electrification is the new name of the game for the industry at large, and the percentage of the population able and willing to drive stick is a dwindling minority at best. That said, the auction market has proven that there’s still room in the market for this kind of analog experience — especially in the upper echelon — and with a name like Pagani, that analog experience is just the start.

The new Pagani Utopia is Pagani’s third generation of supercar. Its predecessors, the Zonda and Huayra, firmly hold their respective pages in automotive lore for delivering incredible poise and power, alongside bespoke interiors only matched by the likes of Rolls-Royce. For the Utopia, the trilogy of internal combustion is complete. Once again, a specially built V12 engine with six liters of displacement from Mercedes-AMG provides power, mated to either a six-speed manual or an XTRAC seven-speed transversal automated manual gearbox for those who love shifting via paddles. The newest mill delivers 864 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque, which comes up a notch from the outgoing Huayra R, with which this powerplant’s base is shared.

With a dry weight of 2,822 pounds, the power-to-weight ratio in the Pagani Utopia is right where it should be — in between the Huayra BC and track-only Huayra R. Considering this is the “standard version” of the new model (if you could call such a thing “standard”), this certainly bodes well for what’s to come of the next decade of Pagani. These details also speak to why we aren’t seeing electrification from Pagani just yet.

When in the development process, Mercedes-AMG offered up two different powertrain options. Alongside the monster V12, AMG put forth the idea of the V8 and electric motor package currently used in the AMG GT 63 S E. Though the latter is exciting and new, Pagani still isn’t entirely sold on electrification. Using simulations, Horacio’s R&D team was able to determine that the Utopia would be several seconds slower around the Nürburgring should they go that route. Though the all-wheel drive of the hybrid pack would have its advantages, in the end the weight burden would not be overcome on the track.

In a recent interview with Top Gear, Horacio Pagani effectively clarifies the brand’s position on their moves toward electrification. “We’ve had a team only focusing on full electric, but at the same time they’re also evaluating all the other options that could be also hybridization. I own a Porsche 918 and I love it on electric driving from my house to Modena which is probably 15 kilometres, [but then] the battery’s gone. So when I’m driving back home, I carry all the weight of things that are completely discharged.”

So for now, the 99 examples of the Pagani Utopia will rely on fossil fuels, as will the subsequent variants of the model that will follow — most likely. When speaking of the pinnacle of automotive performance and exclusivity, this is not the place in which to start eco-shaming. The consumption of less than a hundred supercars will not change our climate, so we might as well let those with the 2,170,000 Euros to spare enjoy this last ode to petrol-fueled tire shredding.

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