The Next Pagani Hypercar’s Gated Manual Transmission Might Be the Last
Better yet, it’ll be paired with an AMG twin-turbo V12 that makes all the noises.
Pagani is making the enthusiast world very happy with a new teaser for its upcoming hypercar, codenamed "C10." The company's founder Horacio Pagani already confirmed a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter AMG V12 and a manual transmission, but now, there's more news. A video posted on Tuesday shows a wonderful open-gate shifter.
Why is that important? Open-gate manuals are among the most mechanically satisfying, enjoyable transmissions out there. Not only can you see parts of the linkage but each shift is typically accompanied by a satisfying, metallic click. It's cliché to compare the feeling to the bolt-action on a rifle but I'm not above using clichés. The whole point of modern manual transmissions is to give the driver a greater sense of mechanical involvement, so adding that noise and feel to each shift only ups the engagement.
What makes the Pagani C10's gated manual even more special is the fact that it could be the very last of its kind. It isn't a secret that manual transmissions will go away someday. Automakers have been ditching row-your-own gearboxes in favor of quicker-shifting dual-clutch automatics and even just really good torque-converter automatics. That's especially true in the world of supercars and hypercars, where the pursuit of speed takes priority above all else. Look around at the lineups from Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Bugatti, and Maserati—there isn't a third pedal to be found. And once EVs take over, the manual could truly be dead forever.
However, one of the benefits of being a small, boutique hypercar maker like Pagani means you can buck those trends and do whatever you want. This is why Pagani is actually going back to a manual after using a sequential automated-manual gearbox in the Huayra. Back when Horacio Pagani announced the C10's switch back to a three-pedal 'box, he cited customer demand, saying, "My audience wants to feel emotions when driving, they don't care about pure performance or shift times."
He even said Pagani lost customers with the Huayra because it didn't offer a manual. In turn, the switch back to the more old-school transmission was an easy choice, despite what the rest of the hypercar market is doing. Of course, only offering a manual would alienate customers that prefer automatics, so a dual-clutch auto will be optional.
Using an open-gate manual is also a first for Pagani, whose original Zonda's manual transmission featured a traditional linkage covered by a leather boot. It will also be the first on the market in years. The last open-gate manual supercars were the Lamborghini Gallardo and first-gen Audi R8, which died off in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
When you consider Pagani's typically long product life-cycles and the fact that it's currently looking into electric powertrains for its next car, it's likely that this is its last crack at a manual transmission. So why not send it out in the most thrilling way possible?
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