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2023 Pagani Utopia

Pagani's Utopia Blurs the Lines Between Art and Automobile

Forgive the heavenly puns, the Pagani Utopia is a dreamy supercar that's both cutting-edge and proudly throwback

  • The Pagani Utopia replaces the outgoing Huayra supercar.
  • A Mercedes-AMG sourced twin-turbo V12 engine is fitted in the center of the car.
  • Only 99 examples of the Utopia will be built.
  • The price is estimated at about $2.5 million.

The Pagani Utopia lives up to its name, both in terms of its heavenly shape and the car's determined stance to appeal to driving purists. Unlike the current trend to electrify everything from SUVs to multimillion-dollar hypercars, Pagani has crafted its latest creation around an 852-horsepower, AMG-sourced twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 that sends power solely to the rear wheels.

That's correct — there's no electric motors or batteries hidden under the carbon-fiber bodywork. Nor is there all-wheel drive to come to the rescue of anyone who isn't respectful of this car's mind-bending performance.

2023 Pagani Utopia

No, it's not electric or a hybrid

Pagani has been building outrageous sports cars since 1992, and the Italian automaker continues to define itself by running against the grain in this rarefied market. As with its first vehicle, the Zonda, and its successor, the recently discontinued Huayra, the Utopia's beating heart is sourced from Mercedes-Benz. This isn't exactly the same motor you'll find in a S-Class sedan, however.

While no one outside a Formula 1 driver would consider the outgoing Huayara underpowered, the Utopia cranks output up even further. The old Huayra produced a maximum of 838 hp in the track-only Huayra R (older versions had as "little" as 720 hp), but the floor for the Utopia is 852 hp. Torque stands at 811 lb-ft — the same as in the extremely limited-production Huayra Tricolore.

2023 Pagani Utopia

All in the details

The more you look at the Pagani Utopia, the more the idea sinks in that it qualifies as four-wheeled artwork. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Pagani unveiled its masterpiece in the National Science and Technology Museum located in Milan, Italy. Surrounding the Utopia were none other than six drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, loaned specifically for the car's dramatic debut.

While not wanting to speak for Leonardo, we think he'd come away impressed by the Utopia's lightweight construction. The chassis features a blend of titanium and carbon fiber, and the latter makes up the entirety of the car's exterior. In total, the dry weight of the Utopia is a scant 2,882 pounds — for a reference point, a 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata tips the scales at just under 2,400 pounds.

The front and rear bodywork opens in a clamshell configuration and the doors swing upward in proper Italian supercar fashion. Sitting on turbine-shaped alloy wheels (21 inches up front and 22 inches at the rear), the sculpted shape of the Utopia is noticeably free of massive wings and spoilers. There are active aero aids that spring into action at high speeds, however, to keep the Utopia glued down to the road or racetrack.

Pagani offers the option of a seven-speed automated manual transmission, though many of the brand's well-heeled clientele are likely to choose the true seven-speed manual. That's correct, a manual gearbox with an honest-to-goodness clutch pedal is offered in the Utopia. 

2023 Pagani Utopia

99 reasons to become a millionaire

The cabin of the Utopia is possibly even more dramatic than the car's shape or spec sheet. Bucking the trend of touchscreens everywhere, there is only one digital screen in the interior. It's positioned directly in front of the driver, flanked by traditional gauges and more metal and leather trim than you'll find in a fleet of Bentleys or Ferraris. When it comes to cabin design, there are luxury automakers and then there's Pagani. The exposed inner workings of the manual transmission are particularly stunning.

Now for the bad news: Only 99 examples of the first run of Pagani Utopias will be built (more expensive and powerful versions will undoubtedly come in the future) and each has an asking price of approximately $2.5 million. That's a guesstimate, since Pagani shoppers prefer to customize their vehicles in ways that add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the final price. And unless you're friendly with your neighborhood Pagani dealership, it's likely each one has already been spoken for.

Edmunds says

A car is something extra special when it debuts in a museum surrounded by Leonardo da Vinci's masterpieces. The 2023 Pagani Utopia is a supercar that makes other supercars seem, well, a lot less super.

2023 Pagani Utopia